The Past Review

Yes, there is one moment where the sister jumps out of the cupboard that is surprising. But it is too late, too little.


The story is straightforward. A publisher asks a writer to write a novel based on his story, and offers his Lonavala bungalow for the writer (and her annoying sister) to write in peace and quiet. Of course the bungalow has a caretaker Shambhu (who is conveniently absent when the hauntings begin).


Let's list horror film cliches that crowd the film after the two girls reach Lonavala. The writer begins to hear things. The writer obliges us with a swimwear scene. You hear more strange noises, the writer (Vedita Pratap Singh) explores the bungalow. She sees the ghost, the ghost enters her body with a jerk, she does bones of the neck cracking action, her hair that is in pretty curls suddenly turns into something out of evil 'Hairspray' - teased beyond belief. When the ghost occupies her body, the writer's eyes suddenly become wider and dark circles are added around her eyes.


The writer goes to the 'cupboard' and suddenly is out on the street seducing some passing motorist, calls him in for coffee and yes, there is a gratuitous lovemaking scene. When she wakes up, she does not remember anything. That's when we realise that the ghost enters and goes out of her body at will.


The sister realises something is wrong when her sister suddenly grabs the bowl of chicken and is then shown sitting on top of a cupboard eating like an animal. The sister has called the writer's best friend and her fiance. Of course the ghost attempts to seduce the poor fiance. They call Jane the exorcist and then a Hindu exorcist (what is Rajesh Sharma doing here, you wonder!). There is a crucifix (and the Lord's prayer) as well as a pocket sized trishul (the three pronged spear that Shiva carries). There is levitation (after all what is a ghost film without levitation?!)


The film has so many cliches you feel terrible for the lead actor Vedita Pratap Singh. She does her best, but the story around her is so terrible, you sigh and wait for the evil doll to be destroyed. Yes, there's that cliche too. The terrible horror films that Ramsay Brothers made still rule Indian halloween!


A novelist and her sister are in a bungalow in Lonavala which is haunted. Before you facepalm at every cliche in the horror genre you will see in this film, spare a thought for the actor Vedita Pratap Singh who gives the role of a girl possessed her everything. She's very good, but the rest of the story and other actors are terrible. Could have been a good fun scary story but ends up being silly. (1) - Manisha Lakhe

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