Horror films are mostly synonyms with the dark. Be it the dog barking or the moon being covered with dark clouds- all spooky things usually happen only in the night. But director Wilson Louis in a radical and rather bold move has decided to defy all odds by coming up with this day horror flick, KAALO.
Having directed HO SAKTA HAI, MALLIKA and now KAALO, Wilson Lewis has made his love for horror pretty lucid. Apart from being a day horror film, KAALO also claims to be India's first creature film.
In the 18th century, a witch named Kaalo used to kill numerous young girls to become immortal in the village of Kulbhata. For the same reason, she was killed and buried by the villagers. Years later, stories of Kaalo returning scared the hell out the villagers and Kulbhata was vacated overnight. A bus carrying eleven passengers has to pass through Kulbhata, where Kaalo is on the hunt.
Wilson tries to build the suspense by not revealing Kaalo almost till the end of the first half. It is just shown that some underground creature is responsible for the killings, something akin to the Hollywood film, TREMORS. When revealed, the witch Kaalo appears to be more of a man with huge bat wings.
The basic drawback of Kaalo is the shabbily created witch character, which doesn't evoke any eerie feeling. The portion leading to the climax is very abrupt and full of continuity lapses. There is no explanation given as to why the character played by Aditya Shrivastav gets inside a jeep with Kaalo following him. The scene just ends hastily. Also, it's ambiguous why Kaalo doesn't kill Aditya's character in the end.
The sound and camera angles are immensely important when it comes to horror films. Wilson uses sound well to create tension. But there aren't many chilling moments in the narrative. The scene in which the witch captures the driver is nicely done. Pushpank Gawade's cinematography captures the desert well. Rahul Ranade's background music is too loud at times.
Swini Khara plays her part well. Aditya Shrivastav (CID fame) gives an earnest performance. Paintlal is decent. All the other characters do a fair job.
With not many engaging and chilling moments, day horror film KAALO turns out to be a day nightmare.