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GHOST STORIES (Netflix) - Only Dibaker comes up with a watchable section and the rest probably took Netflix as the golden egg laying goose. (Review by Bobby Sing)

03 Jan, 2020 | Movie Reviews / 2020 Releases

Discussing the genre first, Comedy and horror have one thing in common and it’s the subjective nature of their impact on the viewers. Subjective, because as a joke or a comic sequence might work or not for different viewers, horror sequences also might succeed to scare a few and turn out to be nothing for the others. 
Moreover, where repetitive comedy might work if done tastefully by the performers, horror doesn’t really work in any similar manner as it doesn’t remain scary anymore. So, while watching a new horror film, it also largely depends upon what all one has seen earlier in this particular genre, both in Indian (including its immensely rich regional movies) and World Cinema.

Thirdly there is a significant difference between a crime-psycho-thriller with an element of supernatural and a dedicated horror film. In straight words every murder mystery with a supernatural or psycho angle cannot really be termed as a hardcore horror project. Explaining it further, I shockingly wonder when even today many recall Alfred Hitchcock as the horror movies director. Probably they have just heard about his PSYCHO, which they have not even seen, having no idea why it was aptly called so? Interestingly, the very first scene and the poster of GHOST STORIES at once reminded me of Hitchcock’s classic THE BIRDS.
The above are the basic problems with this anthology of four supposedly horror films directed by renowned directors of Hindi Cinema. The Netflix film hardly works as out of four, only one from Dibakar Banerjee truly stands out as a short zombie-horror film making some smart indicative comments on our present social and political scenario. Though as a zombie genre movie, that also doesn’t have anything fresh or novel, but it still has an engaging presentation with thoughtful metaphors which more or less strike, being way ahead of the rest three sections of the film. 
Especially watch out the way Dibaker shows how “If you are with us then its fine, but if you are not then we will see to it” has become a new norm in our society, more visible in the social network platforms. And how the kids keep eating onions for its peculiar smell and apply human blood on their bodies to escape the man-eaters, posing as one of them. The film also hits the right note due to the two kid characters and the fact that you cannot really recognize Gulshan Devaiah in the get-up for a major part of the film (at least I couldn’t do that). Plus, this has an impressive lead performance by Sukant Goel – a kind of act which will force many to enquire – who was that boy playing the teacher in Dibaker’s section?
As a matter of fact, GHOST STORIES doesn’t give you much to complain in terms of lead performances as you get to see an exceptional effort made by the veteran Surekha Sikri in Zoya Akhtar’s first, Sobhita Dhulipala in Anurag Kashyap’s second, Sukant, Gulshan and the kids in Dibaker Benarjee’s third and Mrunal Thakur in Karan Johar’s fourth section of the compilation. 
But what doesn’t work in the first, second and fourth segments is their unconvincing presentation with much less of horror that simply ruins your wish to watch some good horrifying sequences with a few novel scary elements. 
Giving the details, the first segment directed by Zoya is actually a suspense-crime-thriller with a supernatural element, having nothing much to do with horror. And I strongly felt Jahnvi Kapoor was featured in it just to add some value and glamour to the project as none of the other three segments had any famous name.
The second story directed by Anurag Kashyap is the worst of them all with more of weird, psycho and pervert elements, again remaining far away from anything seriously scary. Frankly this particular segment really puts one off with no wish to continue further.
And then the last segment directed by Karan Johar is again an all forced effort to make a horror film just because someone is paying to give it a try due to your name and fame. Hilariously Karan brings in a marriage, a Punjabi wedding song and Saas-Bahu angle here too in an attempted horror film, which should say it all explaining his individual thought structure.
Overall, if you simply jump to the third section of Dibaker Banerjee, skipping the rest three, then you will not be missing anything to be straight. Probably that will be the best way to watch this bland, so-called GHOST STORIES.
Rating : 2.5 / 5

Tags : Ghost Stories (Netflix) Review by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, New Netflix Original Review by Bobby Sing, New Horror Movies in Hindi, Dibaker Banerjee Horror Movie
03 Jan 2020 / Comment ( 0 )
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