Movie review '3 AM: The Hour of the Dead': The film has nothing new to offer

Published Sep 26, 2014, 7:04 pm IST
Updated Mar 31, 2019, 1:47 am IST
'3 AM' movie poster.
 '3 AM' movie poster.

Director: Vishal Mahadkar

Cast:Rannvijay Singh ,Anindita Nayar, Salil Acharya, Kavin Dave

Rating: 2 stars

Director Vishal Mahadkar's second outing may not be a sequel, but it uses the same old notes to scare us. Creaking doors, moaning voices, dark woods, deserted mills, red eyes, and black magic. The techniques used are so predictable that instead of instilling horror, it is massively mirth inducing.

‘3 AM: The Hour of the dead’ is set on the premise that demonic beasts and evil spirits come to life at the ungodly hour of 3 am. Instead of focusing on horror,  Rannvijay Singh’s MTV experiences are replicated in ‘3 am’, where he is the host of a television reality show, albeit a faux one that explores the city’s most haunted places. The VJ turned actor has worked hard to improve his acting skills, though more often than not you keep thinking this is another Roadies’ Task.

Sunny, Cyrus and Raj (Ranvijay, Salil and Kavin respectively) work for a TV channel. Their camaraderie is established through the liberal use of the Bros, Buddies and Dudes. While working on a story on haunted locations, at a certain Rudra Mill, Sarah (Anindita Nayar), who is also Rannvijay’s love interest is found dead, thereby leading Rannvijay to follow the trail.  The three friends set out to record an episode for their upcoming television show in Rudra Mills, which has been burned to ashes in a 1984 fire. The trio, set up their cameras to capture the paranormal activities within the mill’s compound.  What follows from here on is lazy writing and inept direction makes the film a relentless torture; a real horror story for audiences. The gore and contrived plot will make you feel that watching and surviving this tale should be a task on Rannvijay’s reality show MTV Roadies.

The first half builds up slowly and looks promising despite the creaking doors, flickering lamps, and one bloody killing. The second half is where the plot loses its trajectory, because here the ‘aatma’ comes into its own, or, rather enters the body of the Salil Acharya, who henceforth is  seen only walking on fours! He also acquires a chalky white face, discoloured teeth, gruff voice, and superhuman strength. Kavin Dave is brimming with humour even midst the haunting setting. Mahadkar has ensured that he gives his audience a good laugh, through Dave’s one-liners, if not spook them.  Mahadkar began his career in the Bhatt camp, the heavy influence of which can be seen in '3 AM’. When Salil Acharya chooses to devour a cat, one is immediately reminded of Adah Sharma's cat eating sequence in Vikram Bhatt's 1920.

Although the film has a few good songs to its credit, but the force injection of commercial factors and resorting to Bollywood’s ideas of horror movies, makes '3AM' another mediocre attempt. You can watch '3AM' but there is nothing new, nothing great or nothing specific to recommend it for.



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