Help is full of usual horror film cliches. Whether it's scenes or props or sound effects...you won't miss anything that you have scene in earlier horror films. In that way, if there was ever a book like "Horror Movie direction for Dummies", the debutant director Virani would have gone through it very sincerely. Here are a few of the cliches which make this movie.
Cliche no. 1
Mental asylum: Lot of horror films have this fascination to link horror genre to someone getting admitted to a mental asylum. So, the first scene starts at a Mental asylum in Mauritius with a mad woman sketching or scratching the surface that makes a loud, irritating, shrieking kind of noise before committing suicide in front of her own husband.
Cliche no. 2
A barking dog: A dog can see, what humans can't. So, when Pia's dog starts barking with a ghost in the background, which Pia (Mugdha Godse) can't see...you know for sure, time for the dog to go. An innocent animal sacrificed for the sake of proving a point...this ghost is not a member of PeTA either. The dog's intestines are shown in close angle to prove, this is one mean, evil spirit. Conclusion: The best friend knows, there is something wrong.
Cliche no. 3.
Someone who suspects the spirit has to go. This is one holy rule! Generally a beautiful woman who has been taken as a prop, just to sacrifice her life...to prove that this spirit can kill! So, Pia's best friend who tries to help her by dies conveniently to prove that this spirit has no heart and definitely doesn't believe in BFF theory.
Cliche no. 4
Go foolishly, where no sensible one would go. At night, when things move in the house, go out to check, check out the attic, go to the garden or even the forest, all alone just so that you can meet your friendly neighborhood ghost. Even if there is someone just next to you, don't call him as he should come when he hears your shrieks. Go, get scared alone!
Cliche no. 5
There is a resident ghost expert. Did you ever wonder, why you don't know any parapsychologist? Most likely, because, they all are busy acting in movies. Enter cool dude cum parapsychologist, Dr. Aditya Motwani (Shreyas Talpade) who keeps a close eye on Pia at the funeral of his girlfriend, because he knows, there is something wrong with Pia. By the way, Aditya is restricted to a wheelchair from childhood due to an accident caused by a "possessed" driver, though he drives perfectly well and even plays basketball with frenetic action.
P.S. After Click debacle and this one, Shreyas should do well to avoid this genre and even his looks are same in both the movie. Maybe, he got the same stylist who specialized in horror movie look. ;-)
Cliche no. 6a, 6b, 6c...
Picture frames move & fall, knives which have been neatly stacked come out, powercut happens without reason, candles blowing off without wind. All are there in the movie...so that you are convinced, it's indeed from the horror genre. But, no one except the actors seem to be scared.
Cliche no. 7
Spirit behavior is strange. They don't follow good manners. They move on ceilings and they also go for a walk on the beach. They would do anything to pop a wicked surprise. They are also present at two places at the same time. How cool oops scary, isn't it?
Cliche no. 8
The actors in horror movies must love spooky environment. Unless, you are the kinds who love to preserve and stay in a haunted, spooky kind of place, why preserve ugly pictures, burnt dolls and stuff from 30 years. Maybe, because all come handy to scare the actors, when the time is right.
Cliche no. 9
Do it yourself. The ghost expert can give the solution, but can't do it himself, because he is doing a cameo and also has to pay for his sins and the Ghosts Union has to take revenge. So, enter the hero Vic, who follows a manual to orchestrate an ill-conceived, poorly fabricated with shoddy special effects sequence to trap the spirit and bring an end to your torture.
Cliche no. 10
The Spirit is dead. Long live the Spirit. We keep an option open for a sequel. What if the movie works or, better none of the cast & crew have any work, we can always come back for a sequel...which can be titled Please Help or More Help. Any suggestions are welcome!
Please note, that to justify the title, the word Help is strewn all over the script. eg. He needs Help, She needs Help, We need Help...you get the drift...right?
Also, Mugdha negotiated a bikini scene before she gets into the ghost act in ghost costumes, which could have just held the audience attention for 30 seconds as bikinis have become so passe these days with every actress giving in to the script's requirement. Not to be left behind, Bobby also gets a song picturised on him, when he is just required to walk around the sets like a zombie. Anyways, you must have noticed, that in all the cliches mentioned above, he is not really required. Thank God for small mercies.
P.S. As we were walking out, there is a song playing with end credits with lyrics like "Everybody's crying, everybody's screaming for Help". So true! I was thinking, what an appropriate title for the movie. The film makers and the cast really need Help to resurrect their career after this movie.