Lapachhapi is the greatest Indian Horror Movie ever made!!!
It takes a lot of guts to make a horror movie in India and then make it work….not commercially…that’s a give or take or a dynamic, which you truly have no hold over. But to genuinely unnerve and terrify Indian audience is a very difficult task. They are fickle, not knowledgeable about watching good horror, giggle continuously and essentially I feel like going “Jason” on them sometimes.
So, when you come across a movie produced with slim pickings a paltry cast and just one locale and it grabs you by your sockets and engrosses you on a ride for a few hours, where you can’t keep your eyes off the screen or sometime you just do, because you don’t want to have a heart attack watching the next jump scare — then you know you have watched something special and if taken forward — it would become the next game-changer in Horror.
I am not going to mince words. It has everything a horror movie can offer. I have watched many big budget horror movies but haven’t felt the same thrill, this movie offers. It has enough Jeeper’s creepers jump-scares and a stunning super scary story to grip you for its trimmed run-time. My only complaint was the rushed climax, which seemed a little juvenile. But apart from that there is not one wrong bone in this flesh creeping goose pimple inducing terror ride.
The setting is a young couple seeking shelter in a house surrounded by sugarcane fields. The catch is that the woman is 8 month’s pregnant.The sugarcane fields are like a labyrinth surrounding the house. And then the fun begins. There maybe some horror purists, who will scoff at the premise and pose some questions as why would a man bring his 8 month old pregnant wife to a position, which is so isolated and vulnerable. I convinced myself thinking that if we have families like in “Sairat” who can hunt down married couples — then probably this doesn’t seem that extreme a step for a married man to flee angry families bent on honor killing. But once a viewer can accept the premise then this brilliant horror movie spanning 8 days is thrill a second affair.
The best part of this movie is that it uses all the horror tropes with an Indian flavor and the escalation is pitch perfect. The references and homages to some of the best horror movies are fleeting, yet integrated with the soul of the story. There are no songs or stupid erotic scenes to dilute the creepy eerie tension, which wrap coils around you till you are quite freaked out to even glance at the screen.
The 8 month old pregnant woman as the main protagonist, who goes through this traumatic torrid ride is brilliantly portrayed by Pooja Sawant. You pine for her and sometimes curse her husband under your breath that how could he place his woman in such a vulnerable position without even thinking about her safety. That’s how well the movie is made. I have forgotten when I had really cared for a character in a Indian movie. They may die or live — its just a movie but Pooja Sawant is so effective, while talking to her baby or feeling curious chasing a ghost child or getting irked by a village elder that you automatically start empathizing with her problems and fears. I think women will love this movie more. I could connect to a certain extent but women would relate with her more. However I would tell my friends not to go and watch this movie, if you are expecting. This is definitely not full blown out horror but it skims the surface to be disturbing enough to have a sleepless night or more.
Special mention also needs to be given to Usha Naik, who is the antagonist. Her sweet motherly demeanor hiding her evil intentions displayed by Ushaji with her crooked eyebrows and banal smile is a treat to watch.
The writing,editing, screenplay, characterization is superb. There was only one jump-scare, which went a shade bit wrong, because the contours of the frame exposed the moment before it occurred at the intermission. Otherwise all the others were executed smooth and sharp and they hit you hard. It even doesn’t shy away from introducing a little gore, which shows that the director is adventurous enough to traverse territories in Indian horror which have not been explored before.
This is a movie Stephen King and Clive Barker would have enjoyed watching for sure!! The best part is we are finally treated to a Horror story with no loose ends and a closure, with a befitting social message.
Vishal Furia has gifted us the greatest Indian Horror Movie. If you love horror — go to a hall..appreciate it and show it all the love it deserves.
Horror has no language but thanks for the great subtitles Indian audience can devour such magnificent horror.