'Dybbuk' review: The curse might be real but horror isn't
Writer-director Jay K remade his Malayalam horror flick, Ezra, in Bollywood with horror genre veteran Emraan Hashmi in the lead. Titled Dybbuk: The Curse is Real, the OTT release is nearly a frame-by-frame recreation but with more jump scares. We get a spooky tale immersed in Jewish folklore and curses. Nikita Dutta and Manav Kaul make up the lead cast. Here's our review.
Hashmi (Sam) and Dutta (Mahi) are a married couple who move to Mauritius because of Sam's project. He works in the nuclear waste disposal sector while Mahi is an interior designer. In a bid to decorate their new house, Mahi visits an antique shop and ends up bringing a dybbuk box home. We learn Jewish people used to entrap evil spirits inside such boxes.
The spirit that seeks revenge is set free by Mahi. And, now the ghost wreaks havoc in our protagonists' lives. This havoc sadly also transcends to the script. As the trailer suggested, makers have used almost every horror movie trope known to us to throw us off. But these jump scares can't fix the holes dug by the discontinuity, loopholes, and illogical turns.
Horror movies do not need to have scientific logic and reasoning but the line of events has to be justified, no matter which genre a movie belongs to. At 112 minutes, Dybbuk is so haphazard that you just stop caring by the second half. You just blindly take everything because nothing makes sense anyway. Significantly longer than its remake, Ezra was notably more engaging.
Released in 2017, the Prithviraj Sukumaran starrer had lesser horror elements but more authenticity and drive toward holding sequences together. As both the versions are available on OTT platforms, I would say you can skip the Hashmi starrer streaming on Amazon Prime Video and watch the OG. Kaul as a rabbi deserves a special mention for his spirited performance. Verdict: The movie gets 2/5.