Film: The Past
Cast: Vedita Pratap Singh, Samiksha Bhatt, Sonia Albizuri, Yuvraaj Parashar, Deepti Pujari, Rajesh Sharma
Director: Gagan Puri
Rating: * ½
Indian horror genre films have always been spotty scare fests and this one is no different. Though a sincere effort to make an impression on the horror fans, this film directed by Gagan Puri lacks the tension and the scares that might have anointed it as a distinctive horror classic.
Simran (Vedita Pratap Singh) an aspiring young novelist is on a deadline to finish writing her debut novel but her younger sister, Alia (Dipti Pujari), on vacation from school, is in no mind to let her work through the day. Yuvraaj (Yuvraaj Parashar), her publisher, suggests she take a working vacation at his Lonavala farmhouse. But the vacation soon turns into a nightmare when Simran and Alia both get possessed by the resident ghost Sanjana (Samiksha Bhatt) who is desperately searching for the love she was denied.
Constantly creaking doors, ominous blood splatters, screechy sound blasts, a tree swing that swings on its own, orange eyeballs that spit venom, an innocuous doll and the victim’s clothes that become medium for possession are the instruments of paranormal upheaval here. The tricks don’t go further than that though. And the ominous atmosphere to make paranormal activity look credible is missing.
The narrative is not constructed with any great accomplishment either. It’s an inept and implausibly constructed narrative. Don’t know why Simran chose to stay on despite being privy to minor paranormal experiences. And by the time the major ones come on it’s pretty much laughable. There’s nothing new to the story here.
The effects are generic and unimpressive, the performances are stilted and lack consistency and the narrative spiel appears motivated to throw in overtly sexual intonations that don’t jell with the overall narrative. The ghost should have, in effect, been wreaking vengeance against her husband instead of terrorising the two young women there. But the writer and director obviously saw more purchase in following the ‘desperate for love’ theme and used it shamelessly in pursuit of pecuniary gain at the box-office. This is no cult horror effort it’s just a sloppy and clichéd effort that fails to raise a single scare!