Rum (Tamil)

TOI : Rum (Tamil)

2017-02-18 00:00:00 +0000

Synopsis: A gang of robbers ends up in a haunted bungalow in the middle of a forest.

Review: Right from its opening scene, in which a couple of random men walk into a dilapidated house in the wilderness and die at the hands of a supernatural power, everything in Rum, a by-the-numbers horror comedy, feels so been there seen that. We have a group of people which goes into a forest and gets trapped in this house. We get their at times hilarious, at times scary experiences as the ghost makes its presence felt (lights switch on and off, eerie-looking toy blinks, a chair rocks by itself, et al). And then we get a backstory of the ghost, and learn who it’s after — a heartless villain (Narain, taking on this role here), we get the revenge and finally, just as the credits roll, a set-up for a probable sequel.

Agreed these are the must-haves of the horror comedy genre, but what’s disappointing is that the film rarely tries to make these clichés feel fresh or interesting. There is some effort in the beginning when we get a heist, but following this sequence, the film settles for the routine. We are shown that these characters have some special skills. Hrishikesh and Sanchita (whose romantic track serves only to give us an unnecessary song) are good with planning and execution, Vivekh (whose comedy both a hit and a miss — he was more effective in Kaashmora) has a flair for chemicals, a speech-impaired person on their team is a gadget-guru… We expect these skills to come to the aid of these characters, but that doesn’t happen.

And the film needs more visual flourishes like a flashback portion in the second half when the past and the present unfold simultaneously. Sadly, we never get them. Even exciting elements like a character discovering the presence of ghosts when he steps outside its compound (it’s night inside, while it is broad daylight elsewhere) or another character appearing both on top and under a violently shaking bed are handled with indifference. No wonder that we exit the theatre in low spirits.

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