The ApunKaChoice movie review of Raaz 3. Vikram Bhatt’s latest spookfest Raaz 3 may be riddled with clichés of the horror genre, but the film does at times send chills down one’s spine. Put succinctly, Raaz 3 is a one-time scare.
After dabbling with subjects like reincarnation and rapist ghosts, Bhatt pivots his latest flick on a more humane premise: the deep rooted jealousy and insecurity of a woman who’s beginning to lose her fame, her man, besides her mental balance, of course.
Bipasha Basu plays Shanaya, a successful film star facing competition from her half-sister Sanjana (Esha Gupta). As Sanjana sweeps awards that Shanaya hoped to win, bags movie projects that looked Shanaya’s for the taking, insecurities come creeping in and Shanaya loses all sense of morality or righteousness and takes to casting black magic spells on Sanjana to destroy her career and life.
To do her dirty job, Shanaya seduces her director Aditya (Emraan Hashmi) who’s indebted to her for giving him a break in films and who now wholeheartedly gives in to her seductions only to be trapped in a sordid intrigue that makes Sanjana’s life hell on Halloween. The tide turns when Aditya develops feelings for Sanjana and decides to rid her of the black magic spell cast by Shanaya. Easier said than done.
To his credit, Vikram Bhatt has this time chosen a subject that’s far less outlandish, but he fails to infuse novelty in the scares. The evil spirits being invoked in graveyards, the hands popping out of a TV screen to throttle the young heroine, clowns wandering about in her haunted house, the babas, tantrics and all doing mysterious rituals and mouthing mumbo-jumbo mantras are not exactly one’s idea of good horror. That said, a few macabre sequences do stand out. Like when Esha Gupta is mauled by thousands of flying cockroaches or when maggot-infested ghouls make an appearance, which, when seen with 3D effects, do appear popping out of the screen, and it’s not without a careful peep into the popcorn bucket for the creepy-crawlies that a viewer thereafter proceeds with ritual munching.
The culmination to the story isn’t unpredictable, particularly when it’s turned into that never-ending battle between the good and the evil.
Kudos to Bipasha Basu for giving herself fully to this role like a possessed woman. Her character breathes malice for her rival. She’s the cunning, manipulative, unrelenting vamp that doesn’t mind romping with an evil spirit in her vile pursuit. Esha Gupta has a persecuted look throughout the film, and her performance teeters between a few glimmers of fine acting and plain hamming. Emraan Hashmi, surprisingly, looks disinterested for the most part, as if it’s just another drill for a good payday. Aditya’s role is underwritten for an actor of Emraan’s caliber, the only compensation being the steamy lovemaking scenes he has with both Bipasha Basu and Esha Gupta.
The songs are a let-down; more notable, however, is how Vikram Bhatt uses the background music to build anticipation. The silences preceding the sudden burst of background score -- the thumps, the screams, the creaky doors -- with morbid imagery in 3D to boot, do give you the heebie-jeebies once in a while.
All said, Raaz 3 works because of a fine performance by Bipasha Basu and a few genuine scary moments well executed by Vikram Bhatt. An old hand at horror genre, Bhatt’s improving with every film, but he needs to forgo the clichés that have become synonymous with his oeuvre.