Darr @ The Mall might be an absolute failure in the horror genre but as a revenge drama, it is refreshingly simple and does manage to pull a few heartstrings at the end of the day, writes Paloma Sharma.
The mall is ready.
This is the second inauguration.
It needs more business. It needs a better image. But most of all, it needs an exorcist.
Amity Mall, know to the rest of us as Growel's Mall which is located in western suburbs of Mumbai, is haunted. 9 'accidental' deaths have occured so far.
Only one man can put an end to this - and that man is clearly the one on the life-size posters of the film (like d'uh).
Vishnu Sharma (Jimmy Shergill) is requested to be hired as the new security chief by the old security chief of the mall, Solanki, during the last phone call he ever makes, following which he burns to death in his car without the automobile receiving as much as a scratch.
Vishnu, as it turns out, was called upon by the supernatural presence in the mall for a specific reason. Something in his past holds the key to unlocking the mystery of the haunted mall. Only he can undo the curse and stop the untimely, brutal deaths of all those related to the construction of the mall... but all of that is possible only if he manages to survive the night.
Inexplicable stuff happens. Ghostly children show up everywhere. More people burn. Eerily familiar tunes from our childhoods are played to add to the fear factor. Scenes from Insidious, The Mummy, The Conjuring and Horror Story flash by.
Badly animated child ghosts mar the film. Something similar to the Black Bride from Insidious pops up. Production design feels a bit like CID-meets-Aahat. But that shouldn't stop you from enjoying the film.
Darr @ The Mall might be an absolute failure in the horror genre but as a revenge drama, it is refreshingly simple and does manage to pull a few heartstrings at the end of the day (sorry, Spike Lee).
If you can look past the basic technical issues and focus on the story, Darr @ The Mall just might turn out to be slightly enjoyable.
However, the enjoyment will only come after enduring a long, torturous film that doesn't seem like it is going anywhere.
It would be a bit of a risk to call the last 10 minutes of the film innovative, yet - in all honesty - the scene where the culprit gets transported into the victims' worst nightmare really drives the point home. The glory doesn't last too long, though.
The script, although existent, has several loopholes in it: Why is Vishnu's memory so bad that he cannot recall the most traumatic event that occurred in his life, albeit 30 years ago?
However, the highest point of Darr @ The Mall is the soundtrack- highly predictable, but it is the only thing that keeps the horror factor up. The songs fail to generate interest, except for one - Pinacolada; and as the song goes, "zindagi hai mehngi sharaab".
So don't waste it on Darr @ The Mall.