As in Vikram Bhatt's earlier release 1920, the setting is a bungalow faraway from the city, with fog as blinding as vehicular smoke, the imprint of a hand, standard shrieks, severed heads and scampering feet. A woman's dead spirit is ravaged by the dead spirit of her perverse piano teacher, for 80 years and counting, until our dour-faced hero Rehaan (Maha Akshay, decent) arrives at the scene. With the ghost working a night-shift, Rehaan has to wait for darkness for the blood and scream show to take over. Unable to release the girl from the evil spirit's clutches, the hero is conveniently transported back in time to prevent the chain of events from occurring.
Things get predictably romantic with kisses exchanged, the ghost making some lustful attempts in invisibly tearing through a woman's old-fashioned attire. Thanks to 3D, there are a few rare heart-stopping moments. Also inclusive, is an abundance of unintentionally-funny moments of raw, average dialogues.
As in 1920, Bhatt exploits the sway of religion to build on beliefs, symbolisms and superstition. But then, ghosts, like our knowledge of death, been unknown territory, are allowed their liberties and free will. We only say, this could have been so much fun.
It is not that borrowed ideas from movies like The Entity, What Lies Beneath, is a deterrent. The weakness is the tepid, old wine script, that runs on similar lines. Laugh while you can, the scare moments are limited, and even if this is your first 3D movie, Haunted displays what not to do in 3D at several instances. You are advised to take someone along with a good sense of humour, if you are risking it. You will need the jokes to keep coming, a 3D screening on 70mm has no intervals, yet.
As to why we need to be frightened at the movies, and when did the whole thing begin, that is for another blog post.