Alt Balaji should change the horrex genre to sex first, then horror. Ragini MMS Returns 2 (ALTBalaji and ZEE5) is not really scary, for sex seems to dominate the entire proceedings. Agreed, horror keeps lurking in the background, but till episode 4 that we have watched, it has not yet got our jugular. Online audiences have been exposed to international level spooky stuff like Conjuring. Need I say more?
In attempt to push the sex envelope, there is a lot of girl on girl talk (vanilla man-woman sex is so passé) and action (it takes guts for actresses to do such scenes). Also, nowadays, men equally do the eye candy bit.
The story is not much to write home about. Paranormal expert Meena (Sunny Leone) wants to explore a British-era haunted place called Victoria Villa where she and her boyfriend Rajeev (Navdeep Pallapolu) are killed by a nude ghost (goodbye white sari).
Producer Ekta smartly brought back the original Ragini for a song and dance routine, to get the eye balls.
The story then takes a decade leap. Welcome to the girl gang, where you have Random Ranbu (Thea D’Souza), who does not even wait for the man to climax, but leaves him high and dry as she needs to take off for on all-girls bachelorette party for Varsha (Sneha Namandi).
The lead girl is Ragini (Divya Agarwal). All the girls are dressed in low neckline tops and hot pants. They arrive at an empty hotel, where the horror starts. Ragini sees them all getting hanged. The early twentieth-century spirit is quite adept in using the internet and sends Ragini false pictures to entice her to come to Victoria Villa.
Soon, the hotel manager and owner Rahul (Varun Sood) enters, providing voyeuristic pleasure to the girls.
There are a couple of other guys, who, wanting to get hold of the haunted property, try to record the spooky goings-on (lots of sex, lies and videotape stuff). Methinks, what will they do with the haunted premises?
Varsha’s to-be groom Harshit (Gaurav Alagh) decides to gatecrash his fiancé’s party with his sex-crazy pals, Sandy and Virgin. So, all the dirty talk that guys casually have in the washroom/WhatsApp chats follows.
The latter’s shagging scene with the above two was a bit gross.
Interestingly, Varsha had a thing with her friend Kirti (Navneet Kaur), who wants her back. Kirti turns her on and then leaves her, forcing her to video chat Harshit to finish up.
Ragini has a thing going with Varun and she seems to attract the horror part, having a past-life connection.
Even Harshit had a thing with Kaamna, but is being forced by family to marry Vasha. Are we having a horror saga or love stories?
There is one more honeymoon couple, that seems to make a lot of noise while at it.
Rather than having typical heterosexual rivalries of yore, here you have bisexual elements in the battle for love, with Varsha unsure of which side she swings.
Yes yes, you might ask where is the horror?
Coming to the horror element, it is quite less. You still don’t know what the real deal is and neither is
it clearly manifested (till the episodes we saw). There is no wanton killing, except in the first episodes (till we saw). There is the usual planchette talk of death, but that is so last century.
Audiences who like horror will surely get turned off by the lack of spook and too much wham, bam, thank you mam.
Hope subsequent episodes raise the horror pitch. Alt Balaji dramas always pick up in time. Initial episodes are always just to whet the appetite. Coming to the actors, I am sorry to say that Varun is very wooden. OK, for the eye candy bit, but not emotions. He can’t bring out the fear of investing in an unknown property. Divya, on the other hand, is much better as Ragini. Her fear quotient is quite good.
We would surely want to see what Hiten Paintal and Rakshanda Khan do down the road.
The other girls/guys are just used for the sex scenes.
Last but not the least, Jayati Bhatia is doing a good job as the local old lady Jamnabai, who holds the keys to all the drama. Ideally speaking, this series should have been wrapped up in 8-10 episodes. But it is has been stretched to fourteen, thereby leaving a lot of space to be filled with sex, taking away from the tautness of the horror genre.
In real horrex, the sex needs to be part of the horror, but here it is the other way around. Reference to male body parts lightens the atmosphere too much.
Having said that, the horror element is good and so is the eerie music.
Director Ankush Bhatt has executed the given story well. Had the horror been well-written, we could have seen much better.
We rate Ragini MMS Returns 2 with 2 stars