The house of Bhatts gives us yet another reason to be afraid! Vikram Bhatt’s last horror film, 1920 was a pleasant surprise despite its fresh cast the film had something new to offer in terms of Bollywood horror unfortunately he seems to have regressed with his latest offering Shaapit. It’s more of sham and less of thrills in this one. Shaapit also marks the debut of Aditya Narayan who impresses in his first attempt. Besides Aditya, the film stars Rahul Dev, Shweta Agarwal and Murli Sharma.
The story this time is a bit different from the normal horror stories where the main element is the mystery behind the ghost in case of Shaapit it’s more of an adventure horror story where we’re chasing the identity of the ghost with the cast. Aman (Aditya) and Kaaya Shekhawat (Shweta) are deeply in love but they when they decide to get married an old curse on Kaaya’s family almost kills them. Kaaya’s father explains how three hundred years ago certain circumstances angered a Bhrahmin who cursed all the daughters of the Shekhawat family such that they could never marry and if they ever tried to they would die. The curse is so powerful that just an unofficial engagement between Aman and Kaaya triggered it off and now as long as the curse is alive Aman and Kaaya cannot be together. Unable to bear this separation Aman decides he will fight this curse even if he has to die trying! On this journey of a scary adventure Aman finds solace in Pashupathi a professor of the paranormal. Can they fight the powers of the supernatural world?
Like any other film Shaapit has its highs and lows. Let’s start with the highs
- A hatke story line which has mini-adventures that lead to the main ghost adventure!
- Nice use of sounds in the first half where the director uses silence to invoke fear
- The director uses some good and believable paranormal jargon bringing in the Inca, Mayan and Witchcraft cultures to make it interesting.
Now the lows:
- Extremely poor make-up for the ghost… despite a good fearful build-up of any scene the make-up of the ghost is so bad that you can’t help laughing especially in the climax where the spirit stands in ridiculously funny wrestling poses! The ghost looks straight out of some 90’s Ramsay film.
- Songs are a let down
- The plot is very small and as a result the film drags to complete 2.5 hours
- Though many scenes are chilly with a good anticipation for the ghost they fail to scare you when the ghost actually comes on screen.
- Though the camera work is good but the sets seem so outdates especially the Jungle seems right out of 2001’s Raaz.
- The visual effects are not up to the mark and they look fake.
In horror film the main thing we look for are the scares in that area Shaapit falls terribly short however the performances in the film are noteworthy especially Aditya who delivers a strong and confident performance in his very first film. Though he still looks too boyish as a result Shweta looks older than him in the film. In a couple of scenes Bhatt plays very well with the lighting keeping Aditya’s face half lit and at times silhouetted.
Overall I’d say Shaapit with its sham-ghosts fails to impress because I sat alone and saw this film when there were hardly about 5 other people in the theatre all spaced far from me and I still didn’t get scared in fact I was probably slightly more scared in Click!! If you’re out to scare your girl friend give Shaapit a miss but if you’re in a mood for something different then give it a try.
Rating – 2/5