Horror fans will watch pretty much anything offered in the genre (myself included), which seems to be the only reason why 2023 Bollywood film “1920: Horrors of the Heart” had a good run at the box office. After some scenic spooky shots in the first few seconds, the movie switches to a cheesy romantic moment between its lead against a clearly fake (green screen) background. So you immediately know the special effects are very mediocre.
Directed by Krishna Bhatt, “1920: Horrors of the Heart” has been written by Mahesh Bhatt, Shweta Bothra, and Suhrita Das. It stars Avika Gor as the protagonist Meghana, who decides to avenge her father after discovering that he holds his ex-wife Radhika Thakur (Barkha Bisht) responsible for his decision to end his life. A grief-stricken Radhika arrives unannounced at her mother’s mansion, where the woman lives with her wealthy second husband, Shantanu Thakur (Rahul Dev), and teenage daughter, Aditi (Ketaki Kulkarni). What unfolds is a boring mess, with theatrical dialogues that are out a television drama from the 90s, exaggerated make-up, unconvincing CGI and scary scenes that aren’t scary at all.
While Avika Gor is at least convincing as a misguided young woman hell-bent on revenge because she believes her mother wronged her father, Danish Pandor, as her boyfriend Arjun, has zero onscreen charm, and even his acting skills are subpar. A lot of the supernatural scenes are unintentionally comedic, and perhaps making an outright Bollywood horror comedy like “Phone Bhoot” would have worked better for this wafer-thin script. I wanted to stop watching this film within the first ten minutes, but still tried watching a little more and it never gets better. Although, to the creators’ credit, the regular settings are quite aesthetic-looking, but that’s a parameter that ranks pretty low on a horror fan’s criteria for a good scary movie.
Watch “1920: Horrors of the Heart” if you are a big Avika Gor fan or don’t mind overtly theatrical outdated stories.
Rating: 3 on 10. You can stream the film on Disney Hotstar.
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