Ragini MMS (2011)

India Junglee DVD

Poster

 

This is a Bollywood update of horrorfilm Paranormal Activity from 2007 and this film is supposedly based on a real
incident in a real ghosthouse. Lots and lots of horrors are made in India and especially then in Bollywood, but the
reception from filmcritics and filmfans mostly are poor and this with no regard taken to if the film actually works or
not as in the case of the ignored and/or slaughtered Kaalo from 2010, a wild and fun desert witch on the attack flick.
And sometimes, sometimes but very rarely there's a Bollywood Horror that's actually Scary. For real. That delivers.

I ramble about if there's any Bollywood cult movies - B's or horror - and if so, if there's any discussions about them, at
another page on my site (you can find this link at my Bollywood page 1) and my conclusion was that the Bollywood
horror genre was mistreated and ignored by the critics/audiences compared to the widespread fan discussion about
this type of films in the west. Maybe and hopefully this is changing as Bollywood Horror films are getting better, and
Ragini MMS was met by fine reviews from many critics and created a buzz among indian horrorfans. The film was a Hit.

I'm not a witch - I didn't kill my children - This is my house !

The film starts with the 2 youngsters (around 20 years old) Uday (Ray Kumar Rao) and Ragini (Kainaz Motivala)
going away for a sexy weekend. Uday has loaned/rented an old house in the countryside and his sneaky agenda is,
unknown to Ragini, to record their love-making by using hidden cameras and to make a sexvideo for a friend.
The house has been pre-installed with cameras and it's through them we will follow the goings-on in this film, a mini-
malistic chamber piece in the truest sense as the scenes are played out mostly in a bedchamber.
In the beginning of the film we have to endure the shaky handheld mobile camera, but this disappears after a while
thankfully. 2 friends of Uday and Ragini turns up at the house, Pia (Janice) and Vishal (Rajat) and before leaving
again they tell something they've heard from a local, that the house is supposed to be Haunted by the spirit of a
marathi woman who once was accused of being a Witch and of killing her whole family.

Deep Focus in the bedroom

Uday and Ragini shares a sexual moment before things get scary

Deep Focus Photography

The Visuals are important in a horror film, some are more disturbed by it than others and for me, i'm easily disturbed
by cleverly used deep focus photography. Debut director Pavan Kirpilani manages to make a bedroom, as in the
above pic, to be genuinely scary. Already when the couple entered the house i felt Uneasy. A creeping and growing
uneasy feeling. The scariest scenes in this film were the ones from the bedroom and the living room. Why?
In the bedroom (as seen in the pic above) there's deep focus with doors open to other rooms in the background, and
there are mirrors. Mirrors, always in horror films with looming and potential horrors. In the living room scenes there's
a dark passage in the background, a disturbing dark passage. You're watching a horror film, you know there's some
nastiness to occur suddenly, a witch has been mentioned and you worry about seing something suddenly appear.
To create such unease with so small means that's talented and innovative work by the filmmakers behind this film.

When Uday and Ragini understand that they're not alone in the house they get really, really scared (who wouldn't) and
Uday Panic when he's to move through the rooms. That's great horror filmwork as he's a Stand In for the viewer and
it's almost as we, the viewers, has to move through the rooms in this nasty house. Great work.
Compare this Uday's fright with a common haunted house teenager horror were the (soon to be killed) youths enter
a dark cellar with a lit matchstick and yells .... hello, helloooo is there anyone there? This knowing there's a slasher
murderer at loose who's killing all of your friends. In real life one would run as fast as you could in the other direction

The Scariest Witch Ever

And then, there's a Marathi witch in the film. I do NOT like witches, not at all. As a child i saw The Wizard of Oz
and got frightened out of my wits seeing the magnificent Margaret Hamilton as the Wicked Witch. This childhood
trauma was nearly forgotten when i watched Dario Argento's Suspiria, his epic horror about a witch clan in a ballet
Academy in Freiburg, Germany run by one of the Three Mothers. Thank you Dario, that were some nice women
there, Alida Valli and Joan Bennet, yuck. In this film we have a Marathi woman presenting herself ....

I'm not a witch, i didn't kill my children - THIS IS MY HOUSE!

and it's very, very effectively done and Kudos to the debuting director Pavan Kirpalani.

So, was this film just beginners luck? I don't know, maybe. Kirpalani followed this Hit Horror with another one in
2014, which i haven't seen yet. But Ragini MMS is an effective lowbudget horror which in it's best moments
is the scariest Bollywood horror i've ever seen and one of the scariest of any horror i've seen from wherever.

Forget about the stupid IMDB ramblings, trust me, this is scary and i've seen some horrors through the years.
I would love to have this on a Blu-ray disc just as the cool but non-scary sequel with Sunny Leone.
The sequel Ragini MMS 2 became a super hit in India 2014 and ex-pornstar Leone a celebrity.
anamorphic widescreen, 5.1 or 2.0 hindi with english subtitles, no song/dance numbers

 

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