My usual problem with horror films made in the Bhatt fashion is there seems to be no underlying theme other than revenge. Given that, the story is predictable - good vs evil spirit. Scary faces and noises scaring the daylights out of badly made up women, some loophole hocus-pocus and ta-da evilness of the spirit is taken care of. With 1920 Evil Returns, there is no revenge per se, but the premise for the spirit to be evil is so lame that revenge looks like at least a plausible reason for nastiness.
The buildup towards the mystery of what might be the cause for Smriti's (Tia Bajpai) situation is slow and relaxed. While the mystical way it is done in is just about alright, it crumbles down within a few minutes and a voiceover reading out a letter, in a very unengaging fashion. And like one would expect, the writers don't seem to care what causes the spirit to cause so much harm, as long as they get to write down their contorted imagery of a haunting spirit.
The imagery though is brought out well by the combination of Tia Bajpai, the special effects team and the make-up artists. Aftab Shivdasani is appropriately restrained and confused, thus expressionless and Vidya Malavade is extremely superficial in expressing herself.
Tia Bajpai on the other hand, must have been exhausted mentally, physically and maybe even emotionally after some of the scenes in which her character is possessed. But then, when she is not possessed, Tia's dialogue delivery is annoyingly honey-coated. So much so that you wished the parts where she was possessed were back, at least then you can feel sorry for her.
Anyway, for a person who likes the thrill provided by horror, the last half hour of 1920 Evil Returns might be well worth the time spent on the film. To me it was just the disgusting kind of gory.
However, I did like the basic concept of the evil spirit taking advantage of its body's sudden death and the means it uses to express how much hatred it feels inside. But too little too late. Those are concepts that can actually be explored in another story.
I also liked how the possessed is out in the clear right in the beginning and there is no time spent in building up that aspect of the standard evil-spirit horror film. But, the writers got lazy and just wrote a turn of events which brought everything back to square one. Such a shame, again.
Creaking doors, background music that builds up and climaxes, extra sweet, innocent lady possessed by a evil spirit who just won't let go - yep these and many more standard ingredients of a horror film trying hard to scare. It doesn't really scare, but it does get repulsive in some parts.
- meetu, a part of the audience
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