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Krishna Bhatt’s 1920: Horrors of the Heart Lacks True Horror – TheFantasyTimes

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By Jitin Gambhir

1920: Horrors of the Heart | Krishna Bhatt’s 1920: Horrors of the Heart has no horror at heart

1920: Horrors of the Heart is the latest addition to the franchise, featuring Avika Gor in her lead role debut. Gor made her name on television with Balika Vadhu, while the director of this film, Krishna Bhatt, has taken over the mantle from her father, Vikram Bhatt.

The story centres around Meghna (Gor), who is devastated after her father dies by suicide. She discovers her father’s diary, where he blames her estranged mother for his death. Meghna moves in with her mother and stepfather to take revenge, creating a haunting environment for her father’s spirit to inhabit the house. However, the film fails to deliver on its promise of suspense and supernatural elements, relying heavily on horror cliches that have been overused for years.

The horror treatment in 1920: Horrors of the Heart feels dated and almost a decade old. The jump scares are predictable and lose their effectiveness after a few times. The secluded mansion, bluish haze, creaking doors, mirrors, and flickering candles are all cliched horror elements that have been overused. The atmosphere is flat and lacks imagination in set design and cinematography. The ghostly apparitions and supernatural occurrences are poorly executed and more laughable than scary.

The characters in 1920: Horrors of the Heart are underdeveloped and cliched. Gor’s Meghna is a damsel in distress with a predictable storyline and a lack of agency. Her love interest, Arjun (Danish Pandor), is a brooding figure with no discernible personality. Barkha Bisht and Rahul Dev try to do as much as possible with their limited characters.

The soundtrack of 1920: Horrors of the Heart is forgettable, with the exception of the song Lori sung by Shreya Ghoshal. Vikram Bhatt is known for his outstanding music, but this film fails to deliver on that front.

The fifth instalment in the 1920 film franchise, 1920: Horrors of the Heart marks the debut of two women — its lead actress Avika Gor, who had shot to fame on television in and as Balika Vadhu, and its director Krishna Bhatt, who has taken on the filmmaking mantle from her filmmaker father Vikram Bhatt.

While the plotline holds the promise of a blend of suspense and supernatural, the film ends up cobbling together horror cliches that neither make the family drama angle engaging nor give you a good fright.

The story centres around Meghna (Avika Gor), who is devastated after her father dies by suicide. Consumed by grief, she embarks on a journey to uncover the truth and stumbles upon her father’s diary, where he pins the blame on her estranged mother.

Driven by anger, Meghna decides to take revenge on her mother Radhika (Barkha Bisht) and stepfather Shantanu (Rahul Dev). She moves in with them under the pretence that she has no place to go and creates an environment for her father’s spirit to inhabit the house, leading to eerie events that compel Meghna to confront a chilling hidden truth.

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The treatment in 1920: Horrors of the Heart makes you feel like you are watching a horror film that is at least a decade old. The film relies heavily on jump scares, a ploy that is dated and which loses its effectiveness after the first few times.

Then there are those horror elements that you have had enough of over the years — secluded mansions, bluish haze, creaking doors, mirrors and flickering candles. The atmosphere, which should have been the film’s strongest point, falls flat from lack of imagination in the set design as well as cinematography. The ghostly apparitions and supernatural occurrences are so poorly executed that they make you laugh rather than stiffen in fear.

The characters in 1920: Horrors of the Heart are underdeveloped and cliched too. Avika’s Meghna is a textbook example of a damsel in distress. Her every action is predictable and her lack of agency is simply infuriating. She has a love interest, Arjun (Danish Pandor), who is supposed to add emotional depth to her story but is nothing more than a brooding figure with no discernible personality. Barkha Bisht and Rahul Dev try to do as much as they can given the limited scope their characters have.

Vikram Bhatt’s films are known for their outstanding music; remember the soundtrack of Raj? 1920: Horrors of the Heart has a forgettable album, save the song Lori sung by Shreya Ghoshal.

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