'Oh God, I don't known what's happening here,' exclaims Ahana (Nargis Fakhri) as she seeks shelter in a religious shelter-zone with a shrink by her side who looks equally clueless. The moment is supposed to be terror-struck. Instead, you find yourself fidgeting in your seats waiting for this nightmare to come to an end at the earliest.
Bhushan Patel's Amavas begins like how most Bollywood horror flicks unravel. A chilly night, an abandoned mansion, a man who is scared to death and keeps chanting religious mantras to keep 'bhoot' at bay. The audience is supposed to assume there's something sinister out there. Can we just get over these typical Hindi horror tropes, please?
This brings us to the lead pair of the film, Ahana (Nargis Fakhri) and her stinky rich beau Karan (Sachiin Joshi). Like a kid in a candy show, the lady tells him that she wishes to spend their second anniversary at his summer house which is actually an abandoned mansion. Of course, the man isn't pleased because he's got some secrets there to hide.
Nevertheless, he reluctantly agrees and we soon see them breaking into a romantic song because why should only ghosts have some fun? Next, we learn that Karan has been in therapy for years and his reluctance at returning to his childhood mansion has got to do something to do with a girl name Maya (Navneet Kaur Dhillon). In between, you have got a series of painfully slow scenes where the couple just eats, drinks and sleeps.
Their siesta is periodically disturbed by creaking doors, a ghost watching them over and singing all around inside the mansion, a chair rocking on its own. In the second half of the film when the makers finally drop the big revelation, you are by then simply weary and just wish to have some bear-snooze instead.
Amavas is a film which turns out to be unintentionally funny. Bhushan Patel and his team tries too hard to spook you. Unfortunately, their scare-tricks are rusty old. Instead, the clumsy pace of the narrative is more terrifying than the ghost. And those searching for some logic, you are at the wrong place, folks!
Speaking about the performances, there seems to be some stiff competition between Sachiin Joshi and Nargis Fakhri as to who emotes the least in their scenes. The chemistry between them is as freezing chilly as the Antarticas.
Navneet Kaur Dhillon acts like an overgrown child. Vivan Bhatena ends up with some of the most tackiest dialogues in the film. Funny man Ali Asghar as the butler with buck-teeth is annoying right from the first frame. Mona Singh as Karan's psychiatrist is the only one who fares a little better in this acting lot.
Amarjeet Singh's camera-work lends a grim, eerie mood to the film. Deven Murdeshwar's editing is hotchpotch. The songs of Amavas are the only sunshine. But their picturization on Sachiin Joshi with his leading ladies fails to create the mood of love.
Some dusty graves should never be disturbed. Sachiin Joshi- Nargis Fakhri starrer Amavas is one of them. Skip this one to save precious minutes of your life. I am going with one star.