Ragini MMS Returns: ALTBalaji's horror web series is steamy, sure; scary? Not so much
As Alfred Hitchcock once said, “There is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it.” Ragini MMS Returns, ALTBalaji's latest offering, proves the truth of it
The poster (if you can call it that) of the web series, Ragini MMS Returns has the heroine (Karishma Sharma) topless, kissing the hero (Siddharth Gupta), also topless, with his hands tucked inside her hot pants, revealing her lacy blue panties. A black, faceless shadow in a red sari, looms over them, in the background. The tagline says: “They didn’t know it then, (but) it was a threesome.” Steamy? Sure. Scary? Not so sure.
Clearly, Ekta Kapoor’s ALTBalaji is here to make the most of both its Ragini MMS franchise and the censor free Internet. However, the original erotic horror film starring Rajkummar Rao, based on a true story, remains the best of all its installments, including this six-part web series.
MMS videos by their very nature lend themselves to horror of a voyeuristic kind. Ragini MMS Returns stays true to the voyeurism bit and spins an intriguing enough story around a mysterious CD. The plot begins when a college called Mathurdas Magilal Shaktipurwale (MMS, in short) reopens after 20 long years. (Bees saal baad, anyone?) The first episode has two seemingly unrelated plots. The first part shows a wedding preparation at the college, 10 days before the first term begins. A girl called Simran (Riya Sen) dressed in bridal refinery is approached by her lover and soon the two are in bed. Nothing unusual about it except that, two men in another room are watching a couple in a similar position on a computer screen, placed in a strange, spooky corner. The music gets louder and the grey walls lit in pink light, take on an ominous tone. A man with big, bulging eyes, appears out of nowhere and warns the men about something. The woman in the video is suddenly heard screaming, “Stop recording me”. Soon rapid scenes switch to couples humping in the bedroom, and later in a car; they suddenly see blood oozing out of their faces. The bridegroom finds one of his friends dead. Someone says, “Main ganda ladka hoon”; this line is repeated in subsequent episodes.
So that was sex and the horror — Part I. The episode switches to the second plot with a different set of people. We see Ragini and her mom enter their new home on a college campus. Ragini sees an eerie image of two creepy-looking twin girls clapping. Her mother dismisses it as her imagination related to the movie they saw: The Shining. With that kind of reference, our expectations shoot up, waiting for the first goose bumps. Soon enough, we meet the ‘scary twins’ and many more like them, all with eyes done in red makeup. Ragini is not scared of them and neither are we. Not yet.
As Ragini goes on to meet her class mates — the hot Rahul (Siddharth), and the fawning girls — Zya, Aliya and Sonia, along with a mysteriously behaved college principal (Rajat Kapoor), the next few episodes seem intriguing. An entire episode , aptly called “Bikini Special” is amusing with a bevy of girls walking around in hot bikinis, throughout. The focus is on plenty of eye candy, including the object of gloating attention — a muscular Rahul in a towel. The ghost which appears in a scene here, is fleeting in its fear evoking presence.
It is in the third episode titled “Sex can Kill”, that the real action begins. Yes, there is a death in the spooky corridors! More scenes with Ragini (forever skimpily dressed in shorts or sexy nightwear) follow, with some sex scenes and plenty of conversations of a past mysterious incident in the college and a certain CD. The unrelated plot with Riya Sen continues where she is seen hounding unsuccessfully, her reluctant husband in bed. Eventually, when a paranormal specialist (Rakshanda Khan, the only captivating actress here) appears in the college, calling herself a “ghost buster”, she warns the forever horny students about the significance of the CD. “Don’t have sex if anyone has seen the CD,” she thunders with flashing eyes.
And on that forbidden and unintentionally hilarious note, the season ends with plenty of promise for the next one. Hopefully the chills are as much fun as the beautifully shot locations, complete with spider webs.
As Alfred Hitchcock once said, “There is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it.”
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