By Deepa Gahlot
A family driving down a dark winding road sees a stroller with a strange looking doll in it, and are quite unperturbed by it, even though after Chucky the killer doll of the Child’s Play movies, they should have been warned of the horrors to follow. The audience, however, knows exactly how the story of Lupt will play out. To make it easier, director Prabhuraj starts leaving clues right at the start.
Harsh Tandon (Jaaved Jaffrey) is an overambitious businessman who wants to be at the very top. So he snaps at everyone in the office, and at his unhappy-looking wife Shalini (Niki Walia) at home. But when he starts hallucinating, a friendly shrink tells him insomnia is causing his mind to see things, and suggests a vacation.
Harsh reluctantly piles Shalini, son Sam (Rishabh Chaddha), daughter Tanu (Meenakshi Dixit) and her boyfriend Rahul (Karan Aanand) into a car and sets out for Nainital. A traffic jam makes him take a veer onto a desolate road through a dark forest, where they encounter the doll-in-stroller and then a creepy man, Dev (Vijay Raaz), who offers them shelter in his “outhouse” located nearby, when their car breaks down. Sam, who is fond of playing macabre pranks gets a warning “sab marenge” from the switched-off car radio, but who would take him seriously? Besides, what choice do they have but to accept Dev’s hospitality.
Lupt must be the mildest horror movie ever made, with flickering lights, a creaking swing, a spooky log cabin in the middle of nowhere and pasty-faced ghosts, meant to scare audiences, who have undoubtedly seen worse.
For some reason, Jaffrey copies Amitabh Bachchan. Vijay Raaz looks suitably blank since he doesn’t really have much to do; the other actors just carry on gamely, probably aware that like the road in the film, Lupt won’t take them anywhere.
Directed by: Prabhuraj
Cast: Jaaved Jaffrey, Niki Walia, Vijay Raaz and others
Rating: One star
Deepa Gahlot is one of India’s seniormost and best known entertainment journalists. A National Awardwinning film critic, Deepa has watched more movies and theatre than most people in the country. An author of several books on film and theatre, she has had an extremely successful run as head of theatre and film at the National Centre for Performing Arts, Mumbai, during which she helped nurture several original productions. For Xyngr, Deepa Gahlot reviews theatre and cinema.