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Friday, April 03, 2020

My first horror film: Vicky Kaushal’s Bhoot The Haunted Ship

I have stayed as far away from horror movies as Rakhi Sawant from making sense. Also, this is not a review.

Written by Arushi Jain | New Delhi | Published: February 24, 2020 9:23:40 pm
vicky kaushal in bhoot Vicky Kaushal starrer Bhoot: The Haunted Ship hit screens on February 21.


I am one of those 90s kids who felt uneasy after watching the likes of Aahat, Zee Horror Show, and the ramifications were a lack of sleep for days. Still, I decided to watch Bhoot: The Haunted Ship. You may ask, why? Mainly because I am enamoured by Vicky Kaushal, and the plot seemed intriguing.

When the teaser and trailer of Bhoot dropped, I gathered all my courage to watch them. My heart skipped a beat each time the ghost crawled on the walls, and the creepy-looking doll sang. Shots of objects rising, bloody walls and mysterious hands pulling Kaushal into a wall didn’t help. But there was intrigue: what was the story behind this abandoned ship? Why was Prithvi, played by Kaushal, so obsessed with figuring things out?

vicky kaushal in bhoot Vicky Kaushal shouldered the horror drama Bhoot: The Haunted Ship.

This curiosity met insistence from a friend, and I dared to step inside a cinema hall to watch Bhoot. If an emotional song (“Channa Ve”) calmed me, spooky shots of Sea Bird, the humongous haunted ship, that followed brought the nervousness back. I told myself, ‘You still have time. Walk out instead of spending the next two hours biting your nails.’

But what happened next, gave me the chills. Unmanned ship. Dark empty corridors. Creaking doors. Creepy doll. Snapping of fingers. The sound effects complimented the visuals and nervousness gave way to heart-in-mouth feeling. As music leading to the actual scare intensified, I knew it was time to shut eyes and ears. But since I couldn’t do both, I screamed as I faced my worst fear: ‘bhooot’ (Kudos the production and sound team).

As the movie progressed, the screenplay got engaging. Prithvi’s personal tragedy got exposed. He lost his wife and daughter during rafting for which he blamed himself. Still grieving, Prithvi opts to not take his medication to ‘still be able to see his wife and daughter’. It all gets interesting when his hallucinations blend with his experiences on the ship. You are left wondering if there is an actual ghost or Prithvi is being tormented by his tragic past.

By the interval, all my preconceived notions of Bollywood horror films were shattered one after another. Bhoot: The Haunted Ship was not your stereotypical horror film marred by unintentional comedy. But then, the second half of the film happened.

In the second half, director Bhanu Pratap Singh introduced Professor Joshi (Ashutosh Rana), an expert in paranormal activities. He helps Prithvi in ‘cracking’ the case of the ghost of Sea Bird: “humein uss bure saaye ke baare mein pata karna hoga aur uski laash jalaani hogi”. Suddenly from a perfect horror drama, it appeared as if the movie got possessed by the spirit of a horror TV show which has ‘taantriks’ uttering dialogues like these. Rana also appeared with a ‘ghost detecting machine’ which got louder as the ghost grew nearer. It became laughable when he muttered ‘bhoot bhagaao mantras’ in the climax.

ashutosh rana in bhoot Ashutosh Rana was seen as professor Joshi, a paranormal activity expert in Bhoot: The Haunted Ship.

If my thought during the interval was of the upcoming sleepless night(s), when the credits rolled, it was replaced by amusement.

I would give it to Vicky Kaushal, however, for shouldering this film. But, oddly enough, my question to the makers would be where did the promised shock value go in the second half?

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