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‘Shaitaan’ Review: Atmospheric and unsettling

Directed by a newcomer to the genre, Vikas Bahl, the film promises an unsettling journey into the depths of black magic, where the line between reality and nightmare blurs.

Shaitaan Poster

By: Mohnish Singh

Fronted by Ajay Devgn, R Madhavan, and Jyotika, Shaitaan is a supernatural horror thriller film. An official remake of the 2023 Gujarati horror film Vash, Shaitaan weaves a tangled web of supernatural intrigue that grips the audience from the outset.

Directed by a newcomer to the genre, Vikas Bahl, the film promises an unsettling journey into the depths of black magic, where the line between reality and nightmare blurs.

Kabir (Ajay Devgn), his wife Jyoti (Jyotika), daughter Jhanvi (Janki Bodiwala), and son Dhruv (Anngad Raaj) decide to visit their farmhouse in Dehradun for a brief holiday. On their way, the picture-perfect family happens to meet Vanraj (R Madhavan). In no time, Vanraj possesses Jhanvi by making her eat sweets. By the time, the family reaches their farmhouse, Jhanvi is completely possessed. Soon, Vanraj also turns up at their door to make things worse for the entire family. What happens next forms the crux of the story.

The character of Kabir is played with conviction by seasoned actor Ajay Devgn, but the standout performance undoubtedly comes from the antagonist, portrayed with sinister allure by supremely talented R Madhavan. He casts a palpable sense of dread over every scene he graces. His manipulation of Jahnvi through hypnotism serves as the film’s central conflict, driving a wedge between the father and daughter and plunging them into a nightmare from which they may never awaken. Seasoned actress Jyotika, who returns to Bollywood, after several years, does her job well, but Janki Bodiwala is fantastic is every scene.

Shaitaan succeeds in creating an atmosphere of tension and suspense, but it occasionally falls victim to predictability. The twists and turns, while effective in building suspense, may feel familiar to seasoned viewers of the genre. However, this is mitigated by strong performances and a visually striking aesthetic that keeps the audience engaged throughout.

The cinematography of the film by Sudhakar Reddy Yakkanti is commendable as it expertly captures the eerie beauty of its supernatural elements. From the hauntingly lit farmhouse to the shadowy depths of the antagonist’s lair, every frame is steeped in atmosphere and intrigue.

In a nutshell, Shaitaan is a satisfying supernatural thriller that delivers on its promise of drama and suspense. While it may occasionally veer into predictable territory, it is redeemed by strong performances, striking visuals, and a sense of unease. For fans of the genre looking for a spine-tingling thrill ride, this film is sure to deliver.

Stay tuned to this space for more updates, reveals, and reviews.

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