Kaali Khuhi

A dark story that revolves around a cursed village, a horrifying past and an unhappy spirit.

This supernatural horror film thrives on its superb atmospherics and its well meant message.

Cast – Shabana Azmi, Satyadeep Mishra, Sanjeeda Sheikh, Riva Arora, Leela Samson, Rose Rathod

Director – Terrie Samundra

Writers – Terrie Samundra, David Walter Lech, Rupinder Inderjit

Cinematography – Sejal Shah

Plot

Little Shivangi (Riva) travels to her ancestral village with her sparring parents Priya (Sanjeeda) and Darshan (Satyadeep) to visit her ailing grandmother (Leela Samson).

Unknown to them, the village has been experiencing unfortunate inexplicable deaths and eerie sightings.

In the village, their next door neighbours are Satya Mausi (Shabana) and little Sakshi (Rose) who is mysteriously scared of even entering the premises.

Shivangi discovers that Satya mausi has an old dairy and some dark secrets about a horrifying past.

As the dark ominous spirit looms closer, Satya must tell Shivangi about the curse and what the spirit wants from Shivangi and her family!

Analysis

The strongest aspect of the film is its excellent atmospherics that creates an intense feel of dark and eerieness.

Terrie Samundra and Sejal Shah have used the rural backdrop and real locations extremely well with a perfect use of light, sound and camerawork to create impressive visual effect that enhances the foreboding feel. They appreciably do not give in to the lure of horror tropes or jump scares.

Shabana Azmi, as always, stands out with her portrayal of an aged woman carrying secrets, fears and angst of the past.

Sanjeeda and Satyadeep lend in a good support.

Special mention for little Riva who has the lions share of the frames and gives her laudable best. And so does Rose in her small role.

While the film can be appreciated for using atmospherics to keep the audience high on gloom and intrigued till a certain point but it falls short of terrorising moments that horror buffs could be left wanting for. Towards the fag end, when moments were supposed to get more terse they seem to have lost the frightening hold.

Though not high on scare quotient, the film is worth a watch for the horror buffs for its skilful atmospherics and well meant message.

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