Bhoot Police movie review: Despite enthusiastic performances by Saif Ali Khan and (surprisingly) Jacqueline Fernandez, the new horror-comedy relies too heavily on cliches and is stuck being mildly amusing.
More funny than it is scary, Bhoot Police is undone by poor casting and an acute deficiency of Pankaj Tripathi. Starring Saif Ali Khan and Arjun Kapoor as sibling ghost-busters, Bhoot Police is the latest in Bollywood’s ongoing flirtation with the horror-comedy genre.
While it isn’t as eye-winkingly sharp as Saif’s Go Goa Gone, Bhoot Police is still a mildly amusing movie with moments of surprising emotional depth. But its over-reliance on genre cliches – expect everything from projectile vomit and wall-crawling ghouls to a creepy kid and a haunted forest – stops it from ever being more than a middling film that aims to please the masses.
Director Pavan Kirpalani borrows liberally from Evil Dead, Ghostbusters, Zombieland and The Exorcist, but perhaps the biggest inspiration – both tonally and intellectually – is Scooby Doo. Not only do the brothers Chiraunji and Vibhooti drive around in a Mystery Machine-esque van, they soon form a sort-of ‘gang’ with sisters Maya and Kanika (Yami Gautam and Jacqueline Fernandez). There is even a ‘pardafash’ moment midway through, but I won’t get into that.
The mismatched duo – Vibhooti is a rapscallion and Chiraunji is the sort of person who’d have carried the burden of family expectations in his youth – are in the ‘tantric’ business. Fortunately for them, they were born in a society whose very survival hinges on superstitions. Business, therefore, is booming.