Feature Name: Bhoot: The Haunted Ship
Directed By: Bhanu Pratap Singh
Cast: Vicky Kaushal, Bhumi Pednekar, Ashutosh Rana, Siddhanth Kapoor, Meher Vij, Sara Gesawat
Run Time: 114 minutes
Bhoot: The Haunted Ship follows a young shipping officer Prithvi (Vicky Kaushal) who is grappling with a personal loss. When upon the mysterious ship, Sea Bird, he takes it upon himself to unravel the mysteries of the haunted ship. Will he survive to tell others what’s the haunting? Well you will have to watch this almost 2hours film to find out.
You know a horror film fails in its genre when it resorts to every trick in the book to scare the living daylights out of you – but fails. Written and directed by debutant Bhanu Pratap Singh, the film thrives in a tamed and cliched genre tics that amount to little. The film does have quite a few jump scares but once that’s done it doesn’t leave you scared.
Talking about acting, Vicky Kaushal carries his character’s guilt and new found mission with honesty. He manages to deliver consistently despite a repetitive screenplay that puts him in the exact same situation many a times.
Bhumi Pednekar has a very – very – brief role, only appearing in flashbacks. Ashutosh Rana plays a learned professor who uses what looks like an old voltmeter to chase away the ghost and when that fails, he even ends up chanting mantras. Yup, it takes you back to the Bollywood ‘70s and ‘80s films. Meher Vij as Vandana – an ex member of the Sea Bird, too does as much as the screenplay permits.
Films in this genre have a few hallmarks to effectively scare its audience including well-timed jumpscares, an alarming background score, believable computer graphics – CGI and make-up. These aid in making the characters look genuinely scary as and when required. The make-up in this film ends up making the characters look funny rather than scary. The CGI often gives away even as the cinematography is consistently dark to create the eerie atmospherics.
The film manages to throw in a few terrifying moments while keeping the background score subtle.
While the film isn’t to long, the pace seems exhausting because most of the scenes are concluded abruptly. Also, the backstories aren’t convincing enough to make your wait worth it.
Talking about Bhanu Pratap Singh, even though his story seems lacking he has done a commendable job in direction.