Cast: Kainaz Motivala, Raj Kumar Yadav
Directed by Pawan Kriplani
Those who say, they don't enjoy watching horror films, are the ones who shit their pants. Those who say they do, enjoy shitting their pants. And 'Ragini MMS' has many scenes that, well, induce one to visit the washroom. Only problem, you don't want to go alone.
Another ambassador of the found-footage genre that first got noticed in 'The Blair Witch Project', this one is not about a witch hunt, but about a hunting disembodied spirit, who finds her (yes, it's a woman) prey in anyone who happens to tread her path.
The story begins with jump cuts of a young couple filming each other with a handycam as they plan a trip out of town where, quite apparently, the idea is to get intimate. The boy, Uday (Raj Kumar Yadav) has another secret plan, while the girl, Ragini (Kainaz Motivala) is truly committed and ignorant of her boyfriend's true motives. Their love-nest happens to be an oddly-shaped bungalow in the middle of the densest forest imaginable. What you can also imagine is what would follow. But the terror, although impending, doesn't prepare you enough to take it head-on. In fact, there would be scenes where you would want to tuck your head between your knees, with your fingers screwed tightly inside your ears.
Uday's secret plan obviously goes out of the window as unexplainable incidents follow one after the other and the two get progressively restless and subsequently helpless. While the 'presence' is established with subtlety, grunting, moaning and heavy breathing follow. And although this is the point when Indian horror films lose their sheen, this one manages to hold on for much longer with scenes panning out slowly to tweak the right amount of fear. Will they be doomed for good or is there hope? Honestly, you would care more about making it out of this movie with a sound heart yourself.
The recipe for fear is not revealing the spirit often in the film. Because multiple appearances make the spirit seem like just another character in the film and the 'para' dissipates from the paranormal. Here, it's an almost ideal combination with just a few screenshots of the spirit, many creaking doors and invisible hands causing a lot of harm. What this does to you, is that it enhances your auditory sense and every soft crackle you hear for some time makes you sit up and inspect where it's originating from.
For a film with no celebrated names in the cast or crew, this film had to really hit it out of the park to make a mark. Luckily, it has managed a fairly decent job in the spook department and the handycam effect, although initially annoying, is later cleverly used to amplify this bone-chilling experience. Raj is perfectly unrefined and despicable as his character demands and Kainaz's screams will reverberate in your ears long after you're out of the movie screen.
This may not be the scariest movie ever made but when you come in expecting a low-budget erotic adventure, this one knocks you off your seat. Surely an MMS that can cause sleepless nights.
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