To enter a haunted house in the brightest fur coat is to send out the wrong message. Nobody likes their privacy invaded by gaudy affluence, let alone ghosts in the English countryside. The heroine of Amavas, Ahana (played by Nargis Fakhri), goes a step further: she laughingly unknots the religious token hanging off the front door, chiding the comical caretaker for not using a lock instead.
A door squeaks open, and you know evil forces are afoot. Once again. Directed by Bhusan Patel, the film refurbishes old creeps just for the sake of it, with no added ambition or intent attached: floorboards creak, shadows float, hands emerge from the corners of the frame.
This utter lack of reinvention is highlighted in the laziest possible ways, signalling a disinterest that verges on defiance. I assume there’s still a market for all this. There’s one new addition though: lead actor (and producer) Sachiin Joshi. He has figured out how to play the quintessential horror hero with conviction: He just doesn’t budge.
The camera swerves around him in smartly framed mid-shots, but Joshi keeps a straight face. Nargis, understandably out of touch with her Hindi, chews up her lines with an unplaceable accent. Ali Asgar keeps things jolly as the monkey capped caretaker with Wi-Fi dots on his head, and Mona Singh, playing a therapist, tries hard not to laugh at the goingons. Patel’s film makes for an agonizing watch, worsened by its two-hour-plus runtime. The acting is gorier than the plot, and the writing paler than the faces.
Director: Bhushan Patel
Cast: Nargis Fakhri, Sachiin Joshi, Ali Asgar