Bhoot The Haunted Ship Review: Despite An Earnest Performance By Vicky Kaushal, The Film Fails To Scare
Bhoot: The Haunted Ship had been hyped the moment it had been announced. First of all, it was Vicky Kaushal, one of the most dependable actors of Bollywood who would be seen in the lead. Secondly, Dharma had promised that this one would be like no other horror film that the Hindi film industry has seen and would move way beyond the cliches. But alas, this couldn't go beyond what we have seen before, despite a lot of earnestness.
To begin with, this one uses almost that same cliches that we have seen in any other film. Yes, it's true that this one has a story and not just focuses on a ghost. But the creaking doors and cracking mirror and a toy that seems haunted are elements that still find themselves there in the film. What's worse is the fact that till the point they had been focussed on, this was gripping.
The first half had some genuinely scary moments that was enough to make you want to shut your eyes or scream your lungs out. The way the personal story merged with the narrative is brilliant. But this brilliance comes to a sudden halt the moment the second half starts to roll. Somehow, as we move to the climax, it gets more funny than scary. The bad CGI ghost is also to blame here honestly. Even though it does not look rushed, the end is bad and destroys the good build up it had created before it.
Background music is an indispensable part in a horror film and this one made good usage of that. But like I said before, it all works great in the first half but the second half gets sloppy, especially as we approach the climax. There are some genuinely scary moments and jump scares are in abundance too in the first half of the film.
To give you a perspective of the second half, let's just tell you that this film has Ashutosh Rana in it who plays a principal. But guess what his hobby is- *drumrolls* indulging in paranormal activities. Yes, two decades might have passed since Raaz released, but this man is stuck doing the 'shring ving sharvaling' stuff whenever he sees a ghost.
Vicky Kaushal surely knows how to act and emote, even when everything around him has been created through CGI. This man is the star and he puts an earnest performance. But somehow, the emotional Prithvi is way more appealing on screen than the acred Prithvi, because at times, and only at time, a certain strain shows on his face. He has put in a lot in the film and deserves all the credit for the performance, yet, this would be one of the weakest films in his entire career.
All in all, this isn't merely a horror film but has a story running throughout the narrative which makes it different. However the rest is what we have seen and have been served for so long in Bollywood. This would have been a commendable film had it released with Raaz, but with the bar rising high up in both Bollywood and Hollywood, this could have been so much more.