RAAZ REBOOT – The fourth installment to Bollywood’s oldest franchise RAAZ (2002) is all formula affairs and is modestly chilling. The Vikram Bhatt helmed spooky thriller sticks to its roots to give something to the genre ‘obsessed’ freaks from this part of the world as ordered by the school of Bhatts from where Vikram has learnt most of his cinema.
However, the movie fails to break the curiosity level and add any novelty to the franchise or to the genre in which the Bhatt’s have shown some good ‘inspirational’ hand earlier.
So like any typical Vikram Bhatt film, things get scary outside India this time it’s the snow capped Romania. Rehan (Gaurav Arora) has moved into a plush apartment with his wife Shaina (Kriti Kharbanda).
Things are not pleasant between Rehan and Shania, they sleep separately and one day Shania gets some eerie feeling inside the house. Busy Rehan has no time to pay heed to Shaina’s plea and slowly Shaina (yes, you get it right) gets obsessed.
You guessed it right again, the so far missing Emraan Hashmi comes to her rescue. By the way, Emraan is the ex of the damsel in distress. What follows, in this Vikram Bhatt written script, is a series of routine creepy sequences and the debate of believers and non believers, we have seen in number of horror films.
All the tried and tested norms get repeated over here with a hit and miss impact. You have CGI crows, blood soaked hands getting washed in wash basin, objects, curtains in house moving suddenly, a witch fortune teller, clergy from Church making their attempt to trap the evil but finally it is the chanting of Indian ‘shlokas’ that releases the demon from the possessed soul.
The first half takes it time and the eerie feel is minimum. After the entry of Emraan Hashmi, which takes its own time, things start moving in the required direction. The director shows more dedication in the second half hitting the right button a couple of times with some genuine eerie moments.
The technicalities are routine and the CGI is also just average. The movie gets a different snow capped look thanks to Manoj Soni’s cinematography.
The actors didn’t get good support from the script but do their job with honesty. Emraan Hashmi is decent. Rehan impresses and Kirti Kharbanda makes an attempt.
RAAZ REBOOT continues Vikram Bhatt’s obsession to the ‘possessed’ movies from the west, mansion, church, old town, good spirit, bad spirit everything happens.
Sadly, music by Jeet Gannguli, Sangeet Haldipur and Raju Singh is a letdown. The background score does the needful in giving the eerie feeling.
If makers like Vikram Bhatt stick to Indian settings for their horror stories, it would be better in my opinion. Sticking to Indian roots and making use of religious doubt and religious extremism to concoct eerier feelings to influence the nonbelievers and satisfy its congregation that is practiced worldwide with Indian ethos, will make the difference. No wonder if later our horrors also get tagged like Korean horror and British horror who have followed the above practice and tagged themselves differently. That will be the real REBOOT.
As far as RAAZ REBOOT is concerned, it’s just an extension of the money making franchise which at the most strictly manages to please the diehards.