Surprisingly great horror-thriller ....
Yes, yes, i know, again i used this wording "surprisingly great"
so i must've a
negative view of Bollywood movies then? No, but i do with Bollywood
horror films as they usually suck bad.
But, there are some rare exceptions to this rule as with this film,
Phobia. It's a well made and well acted genre film
and plays out like a mix of Repulsion and The Apartment of Ectoplasm
(if there was a film called that) and it has a
stunning performance from the talented Radhika Apte,
who already made a great impression in her role as the poor
Koko in the great noir thriller Badlapur from 2015. She's a class actress
and she's very good as the traumatized
Mehak in Phobia, but she's well supported by Satyadeep Mishra who plays
the role of her friend and/or boyfriend.
Phobia looks great visually with photo from Jayakrishna Gummadi and
i'm not sure if this film is a re-make or not
(but maybe not, see below about the talented director and screenwriter
Mehak and Shaan
Mehak (Apte) is an artist who get's assaulted and raped
after falling asleep in a taxi on her way home from her vernissage
at an art gallery. She's in a very bad state after that, traumatized
and suffering from Agoraphobia and her family can't handle
her panic attacks. Instead of them locking her in at some institution
her friend and/or sometimes boyfriend Shaan (Mishra)
finds her an apartment to live by herself in, taking her time to adjust
to normal life again.
The former tenant, an air stewardess named Jhia has disappeared and
there are rumours about her having had an affair with
the neighbour, the hysterically laughing architect Mannu (Ankur Vikal).
There is another annoying neighbour, an old lady
who rings her door and says ..."You've come back, he'll kill you
Nice for Mehak's nerves, very, and that damn door with it's nasty peephole
worries her too. Then her visions start ...
The peephole viewer
There's an ectoplasmic problem with the apartment as
Mehak are having visions of ghostly apparitions. Has a murder
been committed there and who were the victim, Jhia (Amrita Bagchi) ?
Mehak befriends the neighbours teenage daughter Nicky (Yashaswini Dayanna)
and together they begin to investigate
the highly suspicious Mr. Mannu and where he could've hidden the body
of Jhia. A great twist is coming and will Mehak
overcome her phobia just like Dorothy McGuire did with her trauma in
the 1946 horror classic The Spiral Staircase?
Director Kirpalani's 1st film from 2011, the modern horror classic
It's a really smart story written by director/screenwriter Pavan Kirpalani
and Phobia, his 3rd film, is a very fine follow-up to his
1st film, the genuinely scary Ragini MMS from 2011. His 2nd Darr @ The
Mall i haven't seen, but the sleeve looks bad.
The story feels like something you've already seen in some western film,
but quite possibly this really is Kirpalani's own idea
and then it could be re-made in Hollywood. So, now we know it, Ragini
MMS was no lucky fluke and the man got talent
(- read more about Ragini MMS on my Bollywood page 2).
Anamorphic widescreen, 5.1 or 2.0 hindi audio with english subtitles.