Vikram Bhatt is the reigning king of horror in Bollywood, but then he’s the only filmmaker churning out scary movies with increasing regularity. Still, Bhatt truly loves the horror genre, and tries to outdo himself with every movie – mostly failing, rarely succeeding – but he really cares about scaring people. As the producer of Horror Story, he lets Ayush Raina take a shot at it.
Seven friends during a farewell celebration ignore the weird barman’s ominous warning and head to the deserted Hotel Grandiose, which has claimed many lives including that of the owner, whose suicide we get to see as the opening scene of Horror Story. The youngsters make a backdoor entry and find themselves trapped in the hotel and are killed one by one by the ghost of Maya, a deranged girl who was undergoing treatment at the mental hospital that once stood where the hotel was built.
Horror Story has a lot of potential but the script is terrible. As two boys attempt to reach the terrace where there will be enough network for them to make phone calls and ask for help, a nurse calls out to them, telling them the doctor is now ready to see them. If I made the grave mistake of breaking into a haunted hotel that hadn’t been opened for years and a nurse came up and said, “Excuse me!” I’d have a heart attack and still manage to run the fuck away. Nobody minds bad acting in horror films, really… it makes the movie more fun. The problem with “Horror Story” is that it uses the same old chudail (learn the difference between a chudail and a daayan here) and she isn’t scary and neither are the scares. There’s no buildup to anything, and what we have is the ghost of an insane girl who only wants to kill all those who enter the hotel.
When I reviewed 1920 for Buzz18 in 2008 or 2009, I found it absurd that Vikram Bhatt showed that the Hanuman Chalisa was more effective at blowing the ghost away than Christianity. In Haunted (read my review of that film here), the lead pair seeks refuge in a mosque, and the maulvi manages to give the ghost some grief. In Raaz 3 (read my review of that movie here), the ghost is killed with Ganpati’s power. I’m mildly pleased to say that in Horror Story, director Ayush Raina hasn’t brought in anything as ridiculous: it is a an old table fan that comes to the rescue thanks to the ghost of the hotel owner.
Horror Story is less than two hours long, mercifully has no songs or blossoming romances, and unfortunately no skin show or scares either.