Dybbuk: an intriguing mystery with good performances, but lacks the chill factor

Dybbuk: an intriguing mystery with good performances, but lacks the chill factor

New Delhi, December 1, 2021

The sounds of creaking of doors, sight of ghastly spirits in the mirror and strange happenings in the house -- these are some of the elements that have formed a part of many horror movies or supernatural thrillers in Bollywood over the years.

Dybbuk, being streamed on Amazon Prime Video, is the latest in the series of horror films coming from the Bollywood stable with an element of the supernatural thrown in between to add to the mystery in the story. However, while the story of Dybbuk makes for an intriguing mystery, it fails to lend a chill factor to the proceedings.

The story of Dybbuk revolves around an antique Jewish box purchased by a newly married woman Mahi (Nikita Dutta), married to a nuclear scientist Sam Issac (Emraan Hashmi).

Sam and Mahi decide to relocate to Mauritius for his new job. Mahi, who is trying to get over her miscarriage, visits an antique shop where she buys the Dybbuk box.

However, shortly after, the couple begin to experience paranormal activities in their home. They soon realize that the box which they have purchased is a dybbuk box containing an evil spirit. The couple then seeks the help of a rabbi (Manav Kaul) to unravel its mystery. The film is about efforts by the couple, with help from the rabbi, to help them survive this ordeal.

Dybbuk, in Jewish mythology, is a malicious possessing spirit believed to be the dislocated soul of a dead person. It supposedly leaves the host body once it has accomplished its goal, sometimes after being exorcised.

The premise of the story is interesting and had the potential for a good supernatural horror film. The screenplay of the film is engrossing and lends an element of mystery to the proceedings.

However, director Jay K fails to evoke chill among the audience, which is the most essential element of a successful horror film.

The creaking of doors, the appearance of spirits and other paranormal activities in Sam and Mahi's household are unable to create a scare among the audiences. The goosebump moments in the film are few and far between.

As Sam Isaac, the nuclear scientist who decides to relocate to Mauritius to help his wife Mahi get over her miscarriage, Emraan Hashmi comes across as impressive.

As Sam's wife Mahi, who is delirious about happenings in the house, Nikita Dutta looks genuinely scared. Manav Kaul comes up with a impressive performance as the Rabbi who helps to exorcise the malicious spirit from Mahi's body.

My rating; 2.5/5


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