Emraan Hashmi, Kriti Kharbanda, Gaurav Arora
Mukesh Bhatt, Mahesh Bhatt, Vishesh Bhatt
Vikram Bhatt, Girish Dhamija
Some raazs are better left untold and Raaz Reboot, the fourth installment of the Raaz franchise could very well have remained that way. Alas!
Set in the Dracula country Romania and directed by Vikram Bhatt (Yeah, the same man behind the spine- chilling 2002 horror flick Raaz), Raaz Reboot doesn’t set any new benchmarks in the horror genre, rather the film is staged on familiar grounds, the ones that we have visited way too often.
The film begins with the hackneyed plot where a newlywed couple —Shaina (Kriti Kharbanda) and Rehaan (Gaurav Arora) move into a palatial yet eerie looking house in Romania. No brownie points for guessing that the house is haunted and there is someone else giving these two lovebirds a company in the house. Soon enough Shaina starts feeling the presence of the evil spirit in the house and after a couple of scary encounters begs Rehaan to move to another house. However, Rehaan who has now started keeping a distance from his wife refuses to believe her.
Just then, Shania, who is troubled by the strange happenings in the house and her husband’s weird behavior happens to run into her former boyfriend — Aditya (Emraan Hashmi). Aditya believes in everything that she says and even claims that he has seen all of this in his dreams too. Bet, you have never seen this before. He even convinces Shania that her husband is hiding some secret from her.
Reusing the obvious clichés that are the hallmark of archetypal horror films — ravens, creaking sounds, creepy silhouettes etc., the movie thus moves forward without actually giving us the thrill of watching a horror film. No nail-biting, hair-raising, spine-chilling, bloodcurdling moments, naa, nothing.
Of course, Raaz Reboot tries hard to be scary however it fails miserably. Rather it eventually turns out to be an unintentional laugh fest. In fact, the horror saga gets sillier and even more preposterous as it goes along.
Beat that, when Gaurav starts chanting some religious mantras in front of a possessed Shania, the evil spirit abuses him using the ‘F’ word. Now that’s what we call being innovative! The climax of the film is equally hilarious. For a while, Vikram Bhatt who has also co-written the film with Girish Dhamija holds his ground well and even manages to build a certain amount of curiosity in the beginning but fails to engage the audience as he moves forward.
The screenplay is weak with poorly etched characters and the performances by the whole cast are okay. Kriti Kharbanda looks pretty but needs to work a tad harder on her acting skills. Gaurav Arora is good. Emraan Hashmi as usual is impressive. The score is fine but nothing like the usually memorable tracks that the Bhatts are known for. The cinematography is pretty good and the effects are okay as well.
But on the whole, you still are better off not knowing this funny secret called — Raaz Reboot, unless, of course, you are game for a few good laughs.
And yeah, it’s about time the Bhatts devise a new recipe for horror films if they want to continue their dominance over this genre.