Dybbuk Review: Scary? No. Story? Yes.

As per popular beliefs, a good horror movie must make you so scared that after watching it, the only thing you want to do is grab a blanket and wrap yourself to sleep. Oh, did I forget to mention you are allowed to sneak in your phone to calm your nerves in the Insta-Snapchat driven world?


Upon learning a horror film, starring Emraan Hashmi and Nikita Dutta, was releasing on Prime Video, it didn’t feel too exciting. However, the dynamics completely changed as I rolled my eyes over the title, “Dybbuk”. Doesn’t it sound like the name of a now obscure programming language? Well, it did to me, however.

Though there was still no excitement, the urge to decode why “Dybbuk”, and why not “Ruby,” “Julia,” or, let me make it trivial, “Python,” had a fair amount of influence on my decision making. But shouldn’t have I just googled it? Hell yeah!

Enough of my poorly crafted introduction (just using reverse psychology to make you utter, “no no, it was funny”), I should quickly get to the traditional way of reviewing a film.
Wait… did I tell you the time of the day (in fact, night) when I streamed Dybbuk? 1:30 AM! No, it wasn’t because I didn’t want people to say, “Dude, you should have watched it in the peak hours of the night to get the real feel.” Come on, bro!

Synopsis
Starring Emraan Hashmi and Nikita Dutta in lead roles, Dybbuk is a supernatural horror film directed by Jay Krishnan. Its story revolves around a couple that shifts to a new base and is soon engulfed by a spirit in the guise of a Jewish box called Dybbuk.


What works?
Well, it would be unfair to say that the story is entirely unworthy. There are moments when you feel like believing in the concept. Makers even go to the extent of showing Sam (Emraan) search “Dybbuk” on Google (that’s when I regretted not doing it on my own… duh!).

But, on a serious note, when was the last time you saw a Hindi movie character, literally, using “Google” for a search query? For me, this was the first. I am used to seeing “Koogle”, “Poogle”, and even “Hoogle”.
Needless to say, Emraan did a great job, so did Nikita, Manav Kaul, and others. But that’s not exactly a plus point, for they are actors, and it is their job to be great at acting. However, performing well and getting acknowledged for it are two different things. Peace (with a V-sign).

Graphics are average, but it’s not that they don’t work. However, the background score only finds the rhythm in bits and pieces (no, please don’t compare this to the Sanjay Manjrekar and Ravindra Jadeja fiasco). The screenplay is also acceptable, considering the story they had at hand. However, there’s a whole lot of stuff that didn’t work.

What doesn’t work for “Dybbuk”?
Sometimes, I wonder whether films or other forms of creativity should be judged based on what they had or what they should have had. In the case of Dybbuk, it has a storyline when it should have had a captivating storyline. It has a below-average background score when it should have had an enthralling one, considering the Awin horror genre.

Moving forward, the biggest drawback of the film is it is NOT SCARY AT ALL. Even a faint-hearted man like me could easily survive it in a late-night premiere. There are almost zero chills. The plot might not be bad, but it isn’t intriguing either.


As the curtains fall and the credits roll, you can proudly brag, saying, “Eh, Dybbuk, you couldn’t scare me. Not even a pinch compared to C++”.

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