Bollywood‘s latest horror comedy Bhoot Police has arrived on OTT. Amid the pandemic, the multi-starrer featuring Saif Ali Khan, Arjun Kapoor, Jacqueline Fernandez, Jaaved Jaaferi and Yami Gautam, skipped theatrical release. In the movie, Saif plays Vibhooti and Arjun is Chiraunji. They are desi ‘tantrik babas’ as in ghost busters who are hired for a job on a haunted private estate. Upon watching the film, one can’t shed off the feeling how this Bollywood movie borrows scenes from Hollywood horror films that have been released in the past.
The spider walk scene in The Exorcist
The Exorcist (1973) is a genre defining film in horror. Its spider walk scene is iconic where a possessed Regan (Linda Blair) descends down a flight of stairs bending over backwards. It is instantly recalled whenever it is re-used in other movies. In Bhoot Police, when Maya (Yami Gautam) is possessed by Kichkandi, she does the famous spider walk.
The state of trance in The Conjuring
When Maya is first discovered by her sister Kanika (Jacqueline Fernandez) in a possessed state, she is slowly smashing her head on a door. Kanika approaches her in a scared state and discovers Maya is not normal as her face is revealed. In James Wan directorial The Conjuring (2013), Cindy is seen smashing her head on the cupboard in a state of trance. Later, it is revealed that she has been possessed. In 2013 film Dark Skies, a similar scene is there.
Body contorting and sound modulation in The Exorcism of Emily Rose
Body contortion scenes to depict a possessed state is very common in horror films. A character contorts their body in weird positions while bone snapping sounds are used for effect. In Bhoot Police, Maya, when possessed, falls on the floor and contorts her body, with sound effects on similar nature. This scene became quite popular in The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005). Other make-up and sound effects from the Hollywood movie have been used in Bhoot Police.
Use of red lighting as in Suspiria
The use of red lighting is a common trope in horror films. In Suspiria (2018), the long climax scene extensively uses red lighting for effect. Everything we see on camera appears red. In Bhoot Police, a similar attempt is made when Kichkandi latches onto Vibhooti and his eyes turn red. Then, when seeing though his point of view, everything appears in red.
The projectile vomit in The Exorcist
When Regan is being worked on by a priest who tries to get rid of the ghost possessing her, she vomits on him. This particular scene has been copied in many films and in Bhoot Police, Maya does a similar thing as she vomits on Vibhooti’s (Saif Ali Khan) face. In fact, a green color liquid as in The Exorcist, is also used here.