The Wife could have been a game-changer in the horror genre, but falls prey to listless execution, complains Moumita Bhattacharjee.
Horror movies made in India have some obvious cliches.
Jump scares, hideous prosthetics of the ghosts, bone-breaking and ample copies from every Hollywood horror franchise.
The Wife stays away from that fortunately, but doesn't make a point.
Varun (Gurmeet Chaudhary) moves into a new house with his wife Arya (Sayani Dutta) after their wedding.
They witness falling photo frames, open cabinets in the kitchen and much more.
Things comes to a head when the maid's child is found inside a running washing machine.
Varun, a non-believer in ghosts, starts to see something is amiss.
Arya is desperate to get rid of the ghost and so, she meets Professor Das (Shweta Dhadhicch), a psychic.
She informs Varun about something that was buried deep inside him.
A secret that can ruin everything he has now.
Before I move on to the demerits which sadly outweigh the merits, let's talk about what works for this movie.
There are predictable jump scares, but you still skip a beat whenever it happens.
The CGI scenes may not be fantastic, but show a marked improvement here, especially the end.
The scares are not in your face, which is both great and also underwhelming.
After all, it's a horror movie.
If such scenes don't raise the hair at the back of your neck, it has missed its purpose.
The Wife's pace is unlike any horror film you have seen before.
It's a slow-burner and yawn-inducing.
In the first half an hour or more, the ghost procrastinates.
It just doesn't want to make its presence felt until tragedy strikes.
While it's a good mystery-building exercise, the repetition mires the experience.
Some of the sub-plots do seem convenient.
Like, for example, when the mystery is revealed, it is never explained why the ghost decides to haunt then and not earlier.
There are scenes that could have been easily clipped like the one where Arya is shown taking the stairs as the lift is stuck on some floor.
As for performances, Gurmeet shines in a few moments, but falls flat in key scenes.
Debutant Sayani Dutta suits the role well, but needs to work on her Hindi diction.
The Wife could have been a game-changer in the horror genre, but falls prey to listless execution.
The Wife streams on ZEE5.