A horror film ought to spook the daylights of the moviegoer. Sweaty palms, heart skipping a beat, occasional shivers... in short, the eeriness should give you those heebie-geebies or make you uneasy if you walk into a dark room in the middle of the night. Puja Jatinder Bedi, the first-time director of GHOST, opts for the most appropriate title [it conveys what the film is all about], zeroes on a plot that's tried and tested since Ramsay days [the spirit seeks vengeance], has some spooky moments [the back-story of the spirit], but runs out of breath as it reaches the finale.
The problem with GHOST is that the scares are scarce, despite some twists and turns injected in the plotline. Regrettably, the story goes for a toss thanks to the interrupting song and dance routine [with autopilot choreography], the listless romantic track between the lead pair [looks completely forced in the narrative] and a patchy screenplay. In fact, Puja takes the film to another level as she unravels the mystery, but the end is so tame that it leaves you with a feeling of uneasiness.
City Hospital witnesses a chain of bloodcurdling, spine-chilling murders. A young recruit, Dr. Suhani [Sayali Bhagat], is faced with uncanny happenings at the hospital. She is stunned by the monstrous force that sweeps out of the night to cause a trail of gruesome killings. What or who is responsible for this strange murderous destruction? The murderer uses a unique methodology, leaving behind no trails, defying all human comprehension.
A leading investigating agency assigns the case to their most competent officer, Vijay [Shiney Ahuja]. Vijay moves intelligently to gather information about the mysterious murders. Among the first he questions is Dr. Suhani. There is immediate chemistry between the two. The culprit moves again and more horrifying brutal killings ensue. Vijay gets passionately involved in the case, treating it as his personal war against the slaughterer.
GHOST boasts of a couple of spine-tingling scary scenes, but a few spooky scenes does not a horror film make. Relying on an age-old premise where the female protagonist's spirit seeks vengeance from wrong-doers [dates back to the Ramsay days], GHOST could've done with a tighter screenplay, although Puja creates the right mood and setting for a chilling experience. Shiney's tryst with the spirit and also the portion depicting the gruesome murder of Julia are indeed terrifying, startling and definitely not for the faint-hearted. But the writing is contrived, the makeup of the ghost is terrible and the finale [no signs of Sayali in the climax, while Shiney is conspicuous by his absence in the final moments] plays a complete spoilsport.
In the absence of a watertight screenplay, expectedly, GHOST relies on external factors like camera movements and sound effects to cause thrills. The DoP captures the beauty of Lavasa well. The background score is loud. The songs are tuneful, but the placement of songs acts as a roadblock. The editing is loose for a horror film.
Both Shiney and Sayali strive hard to keep your interest alive. Tej Sapru is decent, while Deepraj Rana doesn't get much to do. Julia gets limited lines to deliver and then it's white dress, mutilated face, twisted feet and long nails.
On the whole, the scares in GHOST are inadequate and ineffectual. One expected so much more from the scary movie.