After delivering a successful hit- ‘Raaz 3’, a few months ago, Vikram Bhatt is back yet again with another movie to take forward his ‘1920’ franchise.
‘1920: Evil Returns’ has all the ingredients which make it somewhat similar to its ‘prequel’ that had Adah Sharma and Rajneesh Duggal as the main leads. This one features Tia Bajpai and Aftab Shivdasani and has a tormented heroine, an evil spirit, her lover who saves her and of course the picturesque locations of England that are presented as an Indian hilly town of the pre-independence era.
Now the question is what is different this time? The answer lies in the movie’s story written by Vikram Bhatt. ‘1920: Evil Returns’ begins with Smriti (played by Tia Bajpai) pining to meet her lover Jaidev, a famous poet (played by Aftab Shivdasani) but she is under house arrest by a jealous evil spirit (played by Sagar Saikia) who does not want the two love birds to unite. Apparently, Jaidev and Smriti have not met each other even once in the two years that they been together and have only communicated only through love letters. While the lovers are desperate to meet, the evil spirit ensures all possible ways to thwart the impending union.
While the first half of the film keeps the viewers desperately waiting to get scared in the real sense of the word, it is the second half which has moments which run a chill down your spine. In fact, the second half of the film is what keeps the viewers hooked on to the big screen for it has all the elements that makes for a good horror film.
However, the film is not free of the glitches. It has its typical stereotypes. Like the zombie-like man who speaks to the graves and evokes more humour than chills. Funnily, in the movie this man has played the part in helping the hero in saving the heroine.
As far as performances are concerned, Tia Bajpai shows a marked improvement in her acting skills since the last time she worked with Vikarm Bhatt in ‘Haunted’. She scores much more for playing a possessed woman and she has done complete justice to her role in the movie’s second half. On the other hand, the leading man, Aftab Shivdasani is a disappointment. The actor has worked earlier in some good films with Vikram Bhatt but this time he has given a lackluster performance and appears drab in certain scenes. Vidya Malvade (she plays Aftab’s sister) and Sagar Saikia give able support to the film.
Debutant Bhushan Patel’s direction is not exceptional; there is still room for improvement. Directing a horror film is not an easy task. But when the script is written by a veteran in this genre, it can be improvised to great extent.
The special effects are captivating and lend a realistic look to the film’s sequences.
Overall, ‘1920: Evil Returns’ makes for a good watch and promises to keep you hooked and booked with all its frightening moments. Yet it is not as good as '1920'. Horror movie lovers may go and watch it for a healthy dose of it. It won’t let you down.
Rating: 3 cheers!