Ghost Stories Review: Directors Come Out of Their Comfort Zone, Almost

Ghost Stories

2.2

Concept

0.5/5

Screenplay

0.5/5

Performances

3.5/5

Direction

2.0/5

Production

4.5/5

Ghost Stories is Netflix’s latest attempt at creating tent pole franchises for the woke Indian. It joins the list of India-centric content on Netflix. Where does Ghost Stories stand in such a list? Read the IHC Ghost Stories review to find out.

With many tent-pole movies not doing well at the box office, in production houses are shifting gears towards a safer genre HORROR. Worldwide the business in the horror genre has proved to be safest.let’s not forget the fact that today movies are available in a few weeks on the OTT platform. It has become difficult to get audience to the theater. horror us best experienced in theaters, it’s a perfect date movie and is low in production… We have a dedicated vertical on HORROR and Supernatural movies. And with big productions jumping on the bandwagon it only opens the space for more player’s

Ghost Stories Plot

Ghost Stories is an anthology of allegedly horror movies. The crew behind this is so big that it is one of those classic Bollywood projects that can’t go wrong. These are projects that find bankrolls in the blink of an eye. There’s Zoya Akhtar with a story about a young nurse, (Jhanvi Kapoor), looking after an old, invalid patient (Surekha Sikri). Anurag Kashyap has a movie about a pregnant woman (Dhulipala) who’s facing some issues with her pregnancy. Dibakar Banerjee comes up with a story about a young man posted in a rural area that’s apparently overtaken by cannibalistic zombies. There’s Karan Johar with his movie about Ira (Mrunal Thakur) marrying into a family that accepts the existence of their dead grandmother.

Ghost Stories Review:

The Bad: 

Ghost Stories is an unfortunate attempt at adding some modern aspects to Indian horror. Unfortunate because the stories are interesting. However, everything else is lazy and all over the place. Jump scares are the bread and butter of horror content. For some strange reason, all four directors decide to do away with them. Instead, they go for eerie scenes, potent dialogues, and those nausea-inducing camera angles.

The four short horror movies are difficult to digest for an audience who’s grown up on a steady diet of Veerana, Purana Mandir, Jism, Raat, those kind of movies.  It will be an effort for even the younger generation, weaning on movies like Stree and Pari to ‘like and share’ Ghost Stories.

Ghost Stories Trailer:

The Good:

Ghost Stories is visually striking. The set pieces are gorgeous. Netflix ensures that the ambiance is perfect for each of the stories. Ghost Stories is one of those horror movies that the audiences take time to understand – and when they don’t, they go with the flow until the end credits.

The two sections that stand out are the Jhanvi-Kapoor and Sureka Sikri starrer and the one that Dibakar Banerjee directs. Very few directors have the wherewithal to bring in classism in a horror movie, and Dibakar does just that. Jhanvi and Surekha are the two saving graces of the slow-paced and uninspiring movie.

Jhanvi Kapoor shines through all of this, and proves that the acting DNA is well and alive with her. With her portrayal as a nurse who’s battling loneliness with a grudge against her job, Jhanvi proves she’s the next best thing waiting to happen to Bollywood. All she wants now is a ‘Highway’ moment.  Though Jhanvi and Sureka do an excellent job, the story is strictly TV. If this was not coming out under Zoya’s name, the story would be staple of any-of-the-many mid-night horror TV shows available.

In a Nutshell:

Ghost Stories is a well-meaning project. It’s as far from the witches-and-devils trope that’s common in Bollywood, but the new taste of this horror anthology would be an acquired taste for audiences. This is a unique case of the directors being in their space – Karan Johar does family, Zoya does a human relationship story, Anurag goes weird – and trying to break free. The one director who goes boldly where others won’t follow is Dibakar Banerjee.

Unfortunately, with rudimentary storytelling all around him, even his story bites the dust.

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About Roy D'Silva 483 Articles
Roy D'Silva loves nicely made horror films,books and series. He has spent a lifetime covering various entertainment beats and has finally found his calling covering the paranormal/supernatural/horror fiction beat.

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