Ratcheting up the super natural thriller genre through series of eerily build & frighteningly immersive scares, LUPT helmed by Prabhuraj is an uncanny hair-raising saga that unfolds the realms of the unknown and dramatically probes the human consciousness as well.
A controlled freak-out in the genre that never dares to renovate the tropes of those genuinely scary thriller movies but still manages to send shivers.
Harsh Tandon (Jaaved Jaaferi) is a successful businessman, a typical corporate fanatic, indulged in the graphs and figures of sales and acquisitions having seldom knowledge on what’s happening in his household that consists of a caring wife Niki Walia (Shalini Tandon) and two grown up children – daughter Tanu (Meenakshi Dixit) and son Sam (Rishab Chadha). The happiness of a recent acquisition and persistence of his wife Niki, forces Harsh to fetch some time out from his hectic schedule and the family embarks on a road trip from Lucknow to Nainital.
Elder daughter Tanu’s love of her life Rahul (Karan Aanand) joins the trip. A traffic jam makes Harsh take the other route and things start going crazy, wired and frightening for the family in the car. During their journey, they meet a mysterious Dev Shukla (Vijay Raaz) and circumstances lead the family to a remote outhouse in the middle of the jungle and hell breaks loose.
As the title suggest, director Prabhuraj in LUPT (rough translation – engulfing and then absorbing it completely), makes things moody, it doesn’t jump and trigger the gun straightaway, it allows the audience to think and in some part we find a tribute to the great Hitchcockian symphony – the thrill and terror comes out from drama, conversations as well apart from those known tools of eerie surroundings and sudden scares.
Technicalities play a vital part in such genre and Amar Mohile’s background score is just brilliant. Prakash Kutty’s camerawork especially in those portions when the tension rises in the midst of the jungle is terrific. Deven Murdeshwar’s editing is crisp. Manish Kolte’s art direction especially that outhouse creates that haunting feeling.
Performances are of high standards over here. Jaaved Jaaferi excels in his role and later adds nuances to his character. Vijay Raaz is a scene-stealer as always. Karan Aanand as Rahul leaves his mark. Niki Walia is competent. Rishab Chadha as the jovial, happy go lucky Sam impresses, Meenakshi Dixit as Tanu is charming and makes her presence felt. Other supporting cast Rishina Kandhari and Kiearra Soni leave their mark as well.
As said earlier, LUPT takes time, its moody and demands patience, it’s not that creepy horror musical we often get from the Bollywood stable and it has its identity. No baba, mantra, etc. for relief, it’s something else (revealing will be a spoiler).
On the flipside, as you see in the poster, a haunted house, a doll, etc., it begins its journey on the known route and uses the old school tools, nothing groundbreaking in the basic premise/plot but do make a visit, the known route changes its way mysteriously as we come closer and gets immersed.