3 A.M. - Review

wogma rating: Watch when on TV (?)
quick review:

3 AM suitably horrifies for a good part of the film before it cops out in a hurry towards the end.

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I am spooked easily and maybe that is why I am not too fond of horror films. So, it is very difficult for me to understand what "liking" a horror film would feel like or what a "good" horror film is. In my mind then, I translate my feeling for a horror film to be good if it manages to spook me more than what is normal for me. With that disclaimer at your disposal, 3 AM is a decent horror film till it loses steam in the last half hour, that is.

Its time for another disclaimer. When I say I get spooked easily, it doesn't mean a regular Hindi horror film that is actually a comedy masquerading around as a horror film. It is when the characters get me involved enough to care for them; when I don't want the ghost or the spirit to trouble them. And this bit 3 AM manages reasonably well by building the chemistry between Sunny (Rannvijay Singh) and Sara (Anindita Nayar) and the camaraderie between Sunny and his friends Cyrus (Salil Acharya) and Raj (Kavin Dave).

Of course, for this first you have to get past some major loopholes in the character development like why would Sunny get Sara or even Cyrus and Raj into dangerous situations without any backup. But, once you are willing to accept that and move on, there are a few chilling moments and some eerily long, uncomfortable sequences in the dark.

The kind of lingering sequences which make you want it to be dawn at 3AM or the characters to break into a dance number in the middle of the haunted building. The exact kind of thing I would scoff at, if it were to happen. And it does happen, and there is relief. Except that the relief stays too long and the tension fails to build back to the same level.

The rest of the story is pretty much your average horror film story. Haunted building, evil spirit, innocent killed, search for truth by the survivors, impending disaster. The only thing to keep you going is the way the spookiness is executed.

It boils down to the sound, light and the performances. Editing in and out of monochrome handycam recording and in general a dark environment gives 3 AM's horror bits a good eerie backdrop. Add on, the minimal use of background music and heavy reliance on sounds to set the chill at the right level. The mere absence of typical Hindi horror films violins and creaks is good enough to make any horror film reasonably scary.

The performances aren't half bad either. The characters make the usual horrified faces and scream and display pain appropriately. None of it too distracting. Rannvijay Singh, Salil Acharya and Kavin Dave all give engaging performances in the horror scenes. The rest of the film though, they all look a little too affected. Anindita Nayar is the regular horror expression-less, supposed x-factor lead lady of the film. She doesn't have too big a role and isn't required to emote much.

3 AM, thus, had all the ingredients needed to execute an average horror product. Where it fails is in keeping the momentum up through to the end. Even if it had lost its enthusiasm in the climax, it could've been overlooked. But, the energy drops a good half hour before the end, as if it became too intense for the makers themselves. Even though 3 AM leaves room for a sequel with a very interesting premise, this one is a little bit of an anti-climax, a little bit of a cop-out, a lot of a mood-dampner. So what, if I am not complaining?

- meeta, a part of the audience

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: Loads of horror-movie style violence.
  • Language: No profanity
  • Nudity & Sexual content: A couple of making out scenes with lip-to-lip kisses.
  • Concept: A haunted mill, a death by supernatural mediums, a quest for answers.
  • General Look and Feel: Intense horror movie style for most parts.

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

  • Direction: 2.5
  • Story: 2
  • Lead Actors: 3
  • Character Artists: 1.5
  • Dialogues: 2
  • Screenplay: 2.5
  • Music Director: 1
  • Lyrics: 3

3 A.M. - Movie Details

3 A.M. - Trailer

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Comments (1)

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Arpita Dash:

I'm also not fond of horror movies but i quite like your review....so I think of watching now...

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