Saturday, February 15, 2014

In short: Horror Story (2013)

A group of friends decides that getting drunk to say goodbye to a friend emigrating to the USA is all well and good, but it would be rather more fun to go visit a supposedly haunted dilapidated hotel where a ghost is supposed to murder anyone entering with great enthusiasm. The friends (using character or actor names seems rather pointless) soon find themselves trapped in said dilapidated hotel and consequently murdered with great enthusiasm.

If you are like me, you might have hoped that the title of Ayush Raina's Horror Story is an ironic one, and instead of something absurdly generic, you'd get something playing cleverly with expectations. Of course, you'd be utterly wrong: there's nothing ironic about the film's title whatsoever. Instead, it's a curious case of honesty, for Horror Story is as lamely generic as its title suggests.

So expect a bunch of cute yet talentless thespians walking, running, and splitting up through the usual dark and empty hallways, screeching, acting like idiots and getting killed off in deservedly ignominious ways by a very shouty ghost who seems to attempt to go through all the clichés you'd expect as well as some of those you'd hoped not to see anytime soon again.

Although Raina is a technically competent director, he isn't able to build up any atmosphere of horror, dread or creepiness at all - it's all shouty running around, all of the time; worse, Raina does seem completely unsure on how to deliver the weirder aspects of his tale, like the ever-changing rooms of the hotel, in any effective way. I don't exactly expect a movie to be House of Leaves in this regard, but I do expect it to present its ideas in a vaguely interesting manner.

Of course, presenting anything in a vaguely interesting manner would rob Horror Story of its claim to fame of being just as generic and boring as its title, so it's probably for the better this way.

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