Alone isn't as horrifically bad as most Bollywood horror flicks tend to be. But that obviously is not saying much.
No matter how hard it tries, Alone, directed by Bhushan Patel of Ragini MMS fame, cannot break free from the constricted space that the genre allows.
This scare fest is a remake of a 2007 Thai horror film about two conjoined twins who are literally torn apart by jealousy and violence when both fall in love with the same man.
The conflict between the siblings transcends the here and now and takes on supernatural proportions as unrequited love assumes the shape of an angry spirit that returns to haunt the surviving sister and the man that she is married to.
To be fair, Alone delivers enough surface-level chills and thrills to please diehard fans of this form of entertainment.
But those that expect paranormal thrillers to open the doors to deeper layers of experience will find in this film nothing that could capture their imagination.
Sanjana and Anjana (Bipasha Basu) are Siamese twins that are physically and emotionally yoked. Their dependence on each other is deep and they vow to preserve their bond for eternity.
Their love is severely tested when the handsome Kabir (Karan Singh Grover) walks into their lives.
Cupid strikes both Sanjana and Anjana, but the man that they fall for reciprocates the feelings of only one of them.
The sisters are separated, one of them loses her life in the bargain, and the other flies away with Kabir to a life of marital bliss.
Years later, Kabir and his wife return to the family home when the girls' mother meets with an accident.
The spirit of the dead sister confined all these years to a room in the house grabs the opportunity to make her presence felt in ways that can only rattle the married couple.
But does the repeated appearance of the ghost and her malevolent shadow add up to genuine shocks for the audience?
The director, the cinematographer (Prakash Kutty) and the editor (Devendra Murdeshwar) try their best to whip up dread through a mix of dim lighting, spooky silhouettes and sounds, abrupt snips, skewed angles and other horror movie effects.
They do get it right on a few occasions, startling the audience out of the seats.
But once it becomes clear what on earth is going on in the house, the fear factor diminishes considerably and the rest of the film turns into a matter of merely going through the motions.
Especially those that have seen the Thai original will find Alone largely forced, if not entirely off target.
Bipasha is obviously not solitary figure in Alone. She plays both Sanjana and Anjana and has to carry a whole lot of weight on her shoulders. Inevitably, the effort shows all too often.
Her task is made all the more onerous because lead actor Karan Singh Grover, who flashes his well-toned body at the drop of a hat but does not appear quite as adept at conveying emotions, appears to sleepwalk through his role.
Alone is strictly for those that have an insatiable appetite for cinematic concoctions that serve up the dual dose of sex and horror.
Stay away if you have had enough of Bips and her deadly on-screen dalliances with the nether world.