After watching 'Bhoot Returns', you get an impression that this was one of those films that was designed to made in quick time and at a minimal price before filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma moved on to his next project.
With several long drawn scenes running into minutes in this one and a half hour long movie, it is quite apparent that the emphasis has been on technology more than any twists and turns emerging in the story. Yes, that has worked in Ramu's 'Kaun' but then it boasted of a much better plot. However for 'Bhoot Returns', that is not really the case.
The story is simple and Ramu makes it simpler by sharing a disclaimer at the very beginning that there is no idea which anyone has around the ghost's background or its need for staying on in the house.
This means that when its peace is disturbed with the arrival of a new family (Manisha Koirala, Chakravarthy, Alayana Sharma and Madhu Shalini), there are enough warning bells being raised.
The trouble though for the audience is that such alarm bells are raised far too often in the film due to which it all starts seeming repetitive after a while. Yes, agreed that in a horror situation like this, characters are expected to behave the same way every night and get panicky. However when it comes to a film, you do want something newer to play on every five minutes but that's something which goes missing in 'Bhoot Returns'. In fact not just is the interval point abrupt, the culminating stages are far from being impressive either as the story comes to a close before one could realise.
However the good part about 'Bhoot Returns' is that it has some genuinely shocking moments that do jolt you as an audience. Of course the sound design plays a major role here but then that's one of the core expectations of a Ram Gopal Varma. Yes, the film doesn't sustain similar tension right from start till the beginning but there are moments indeed where you are with the character and can actually sense the nervous moments. On the other hand 3D also works only intermittently and though 'depth' in the scenes is visible in every frame, that 'jumping-on-the-viewer' shots are way too limited.
Amongst actors, Manisha Koirala starts off well but becomes monotonous after a while (of course due to the script which takes only one track). Chakravarthy is natural and his plight as a head of the family who is seeing things disintegrate right in front of him is something one can relate to.
Child actor Alayana is decent though doesn't have much screen time despite each of the posters featuring her quite prominently. On the other hand Madhu enjoys quite some attention for herself and though she seemed all at sea in 'Department', she not just acts ably but also comes across as a confident glam girl.
'Bhoot Returns' follows the template of a horror film to the T. A family encounters a ghost. From non-believers, they turn out to be believers. The house servant is the first to ring an alarm. Another family member tries to find a solution and eventually.....! Well, let's not get there since that would be accounting to spoilers being shared.
However it is clear that 'Bhoot Returns' has been a quick film delivery which does have a few genuinely interesting moments but doesn't quite make you go wow at the end of its play.