The kind of horror movie you will probably watch as a teenager. Not likely to be the next PANANORMAL ACTIVITY but certainly MONA_DARLING is something novel and eerie in the social media scare genre (a rare phenomenon on Indian screen).
More interesting and engaging than the weird title inspired from Bollywood's potboilers celebrated villain Ajit's girlfriend MONA DARLING (the sequence involving the famous villain in the backdrop is finely done). The Shashi Sudigala penned and helmed venture starring LSD (LOVE, SEX OR DHOKHA fame) Anshuman Jha in the lead bears a tiny leaf of similarity from Simon Verhoeven's teen horror flick FRIEND REQUEST but effective enough in providing chills and dares to be different in its approach to a considerable extant.
A smart and creepy enough beginning with a quote ''All good stories start on a Monday' begins the proceedings, its wee hours of Tuesday and a technology school located at a remote place somewhere in India by the name Indian School Of Technology witnesses four students been brutally killed by something.
The common link between the killings of the young lads is the acceptance of a friend request sent by the poplar college hottie Mona (Suzanna Mukherjee). After the murders Mona goes missing forcing her BFF Sarah (Divya Menon) seeking help of an apple eating and dhoodh (milk) drinking comp-geek Wiki (his wish to be spelt like this not mine, played by Anushman Jha) who leads the investigation by his own 'clicks' and tricks.
Meanwhile the local police and the dean of the Institute (Sanjay Suri) figure out the link between the boys killing and the mysterious killings of some village woman happened recently.
What follows is a series of chilling moments that maintain the interest of a teen horror flick nerd. Logics take a back seat but we are not complaining either, Shashi Sudigala shows his flair and seems to be 'possessed' with that light and shade tone plus the to and fro narration format. The inspiration of the classy FRANKENSTEIN is obvious and a good thing to note.
Manish J. Tipu music is fine, the background score is imposing, Aasif Pathan's editing is crisp. Performance by Anshuman Jha is piously natural and convincing. Suzanna Mukherjee is fine. Divya Menon gives proper justice. Sanjay Suri is competent.
Though it's unbelievable to understand why Shashi Sudigala after this smart builds up does a suicidal wind up that almost kills the fear but last minute sequence saves the good attempt in the end.
Looking for a rare social media scare this weekend, MONA DARLING is the fare that a teen horror geek in you would like to dare.
(An extra for the effort)