I have suddenly gained a new sense of respect for those who write movie description for online streaming sites. Because if I had to pen a synopsis for the 2019 Horror comedy film Petromax, I would have scratched my eyes out. It’s a maddening mess, which is absolutely hilarious in parts, but also mind-numbingly boring and idiotic in large chunks.

The south-Indian film is about Meera (Tamannah) who lives with her foster family in a beautiful bungalow. The owner wants to sell off the property but finds it hard to do so owing to rumors that it’s haunted. Rest of the film is spent in four idiots spending a few nights in the bungalow to prove it has no supernatural residents.

There is a neat little twist right at the beginning, after which we get background stories to the four men. Their tales were cliched and unnecessary. I managed to survive the 2 hour 30 minute madness because I was watching it with family at home and we could chat among ourselves and bitch about the plot.

“Looks like the director just picked off random people off the street and decided not to do any re-takes for the scene,” one of us laughed and said. Basically – the casting is quite shitty.

The thing with Petromax is, it did have a good plot, but it’s stretched so much, that the story gets lost in all the extra unfunny chaos that’s stuffed in. Had director Rohit Venkatesan had the heart to tell his editors to chop off at least 45 minutes off the film, it could have been a memorable horror comedy. It takes an hour for the film to finally get funny & interesting. Not many viewers have the patience to wait that long.