'Betaal' review: No chills and zero entertainment
On any given day, deciding to make a zombie horror show in India is a brave choice. But that's perhaps the only step the makers of Betaal took right in this direction. The final product, streaming now on Netflix, is a mockery of the genre. Created by Patrick Graham, Betaal offers zero chills and very little entertainment. Here's our review.
A battalion of soldier-zombies rises from the dead
The high-profile Baaz squad of the fictional CIPD force is hired to relocate the tribals of a remote village, to make way for an ambitious highway project. But the locals oppose, for the fear of something greater. When the squad officers proceed despite the warnings from locals, they face an otherworldly threat from a two-century old British colonel and his army of zombie redcoats.
'Betaal' is as dead and directionless as its zombies
But Betaal is a lost cause, thanks to its weak and senseless writing. Despite a thoroughly exciting premise on paper, the show manages to bore you to death right from its first episode. The series is as directionless as the zombies in it. It seems that makers were too content about making a foray into the genre. They simply declared themselves winners!
Wait, where was the horror in it?
Midway through the series, you realize that you are at ease, which should clearly not be the case. Because, well, it is supposed to be a horror show. But unfortunately, that happens as well. Despite one or two ridiculously cliched jump scares here and there, there is nothing that may scare you off in the entire series, except the boredom of it all.
Warning: Characters come with serious face and zero depth
The characters in Betaal are not too different from the undead army of zombies. All of them come with a serious face and zero depth. And everyone seems so out of place. Even though there are hints to their troubled past, the writers did not bother to divulge much into the details. Perhaps, they wanted the viewers to do all the thinking, right?
The performances are confused, at best
The performances from the lead lot, Vineet Kumar Singh, Aahana Kumar, and Suchitra Pillai, playing officers of the CIPD, seem confused, to say the least. Throughout the series, the actors seem to be trying their best to make sense of the outlandish script and setup. But sadly, they just did not have a lot going on in their favor.
To watch or not to watch?
For those seeking some good scares, drive far away from Betaal. But, whether or not you have a thing for horror, Betaal does not have much to offer anyway. The show fails to do justice to all its departments, from writing to execution, and even its talented set of actors. Betaal is a colossal disappointment. It can be safely avoided. Rating: 1/5 stars.