Crummy little movie that wants to be a Bollywood slasher flick, Hide & Seek should by now have had its director Shawn Arranha hacked by those who saw it. “Friends” who used to hate each other (and yet partied together) are abducted twelve years after a tragic incident and thrown together in a vacant mall decorated for Christmas, tree and gifts and all. What a coke-snorting corporate, an actor who used to be fat, a mental asylum-returned fellow (no, Yash is not in the movie), two chicks who whimper at the most unfortunate times but you wouldn’t mind banging, and a rapist tapori have to do is play Hide & Seek while a trendy Santa plays referee and shoots and stabs the odd half dozen.
There is so much loathing the characters have for each other that the fear never comes across onscreen. Amateurish direction and clumsy editing prevent scenes from establishing themselves, and not a single good actor – the kids who play the younger versions of the strange six are even worse. So when you know what the story is and it’s not progressing (how far could they go in a mall?), you want those two chicks to look hot and scream like crazy before old Santa chops off a limb or two. But, alas, no screaming, no chopping, no preening, no shopping.
When there’s only two people left and Santa wants to take his beard off you know it’s coming to a damn end. Hide and peek. Two songs come on as the end credits roll, and one has a singer (and Hindi rock band) trying to sound grungy with nicotine-affected vocals. Maula it is called, with the lyrics having nothing to do with any Maula, and the word ‘khalish’ thrown in for the sake of using a new (old) word. But they’ve unintentionally made a connection: I came out of the movie saying ‘Mall-ah!’. Maula, mall-ah, get? I feel mauled alright.