Imagine a peaceful valley amidst beautiful mountains. A quaint villa on top of a hill is owned by a mysterious woman. A young man walks into her life and realises that the place is haunted and she is battling with the ghosts of her past. That is the plotline of Khamoshiyan. Bipasha Basu’s latest flick, Alone, wasn’t too different either. Neither was Creature or Aatma. While horror and sex have forever been the favourite combination of B and C grade film makers (remember the Ramsay brothers?), in the last few years, it has found favour in mainstream Bollywood. And trust the Bhatt brothers to scoop up anything that titillates and make it their pet project. After their last DIY, Emraan Hashmi, went astray (he is busy making intelligent films now. Oh the woe), they have been sniffing around for a new protégé.

Ali Fazal, Sapna Pabbi and Gurmeet Chaudhary are the Bhatts’ Students of the Year. They have some acting experience (Fazal is a regular on stage and did a cameo in 3 Idiots; Pabbi and Chaudhary are TV celebrities) but lack the movie star status, which helps them shed their inhibitions with lesser fuss. Khamoshiyan is a sizzling delight and would score brownie points if it were just a soft-erotic romantic drama. What fails is the horror end of the deal. Scenes have been copied to the T from foreign films as recent as Annabelle and no, the film is not scary at all. Alone has competition now for the funniest film of the year award.

India has never been good at horror and interestingly, it is the foil of erotica that is keeping the genre alive. If recent rumours are to be believed, Khamoshiyan was supposed to feature a threesome, but the scene was cancelled because Pabbi backed out at the last moment.