Rajeev Masand – movies that matter : from bollywood, hollywood and everywhere else

October 12, 2012

Ghost mortem

Filed under: Our FIlms — Rajeev @ 10:39 pm

October 12, 2012

Cast: Manisha Koirala, JD Chakravarthy, Alayana Sharma, Madhu Shalini

Director: Ramgopal Varma

In an interview he gave me two weeks ago, Ramgopal Varma said he thinks horror films “should never have a story”. According to him, an ominous setting alone can do the trick. That’s pretty much all he’s willing to offer in Bhoot Returns, his new film about a family that moves into a house only to discover that it might already be occupied by a supernatural presence.

The ghost in Bhoot Returns is Shabbo, and she is visible only to the six-year-old girl in the house (Alayana Sharma). While the little kid’s mother (Manisha Koirala) loses her patience quickly over repeated mentions of this ‘imaginary friend’, it takes a little longer for the father (Satya’s JD Chakravarthy) to be convinced that not all is well. It’s when things begin to go bump in the night that the family is truly spooked.

The flimsy plotting notwithstanding, Varma succeeds in keeping you on the edge during the first half of the film by relying on old tricks like an eardrum-splitting background score and some crazy camera angles. From above a ceiling fan and under a glass table, to behind a television set and inside a basin, Varma indulges his obsession with unlikely camera placements, and exploits 3D effectively to create a sense of foreboding.

Alas, the film nosedives almost immediately after interval, when Varma throws the oldest stereotype into the mix – a typical buffoon cop who’s insensitive and dismissive of the distressed family’s condition. There’s also some of the hammiest acting in the film’s underwhelming climax, and an abrupt ending barely 90 minutes into the film.

Bhoot Returns is no Paranormal Activity, although it does borrow at least three key moments from that popular horror franchise. It’s not entirely a waste of time either, because Varma does deliver a few good scares. I’m going with two out of five for Bhoot Returns. It’s the kind of film that the phrase ‘time-pass entertainment’ was invented to describe.

(This review first aired on CNN-IBN)


  1. Here Is My Review ( In Telugu Language ) But Written In English –>> Those Who Can Understand Telugu Can Read This In English Font.

    Have A Look 🙂


    Comment by Sai Prem — October 12, 2012 @ 11:08 pm

  2. its a predictable non scary movie with nothing new and no bhooth in 85 out of the whole 90 munites. People get impatient waiting for something horror to happen. Acting is like we feel in front of a television serial. Worth only for the 3D effects.

    Comment by Ajber — October 13, 2012 @ 3:45 pm

  3. My Review:: http://rrachna.com/2012/10/14/movie-reviewbhooth-returns/

    Comment by Ashwath — October 14, 2012 @ 9:45 pm

  4. Can anyone stop RGV from making muvees….this guy is going to kill us one day…there is no bhoot in bhoot returns…mahaghatiyaa picture.

    Comment by rahul — October 15, 2012 @ 12:38 pm

  5. sir is movie ko zyada se zyada 1 star milna chahiye ,,,,,,,,,,,,

    Comment by sachin sam — November 7, 2012 @ 8:14 pm

  6. Still my favorite director, RGV has run out of steam and ideas and is rehashing his previous yarns to make a quick buck or to at least keep his name afloat in the industry. Come on sir.. you can do so much more.. we are waiting.

    Comment by vaz — January 4, 2013 @ 6:33 pm

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