Adhura review: Slow-paced horror eventually loses its spirit

In Adhura, a high school reunion leads to Adhiraj discovering the dark secrets that have been buried in the school for the past 15 years. The show is now streaming on Prime Video.


Nilgiri Valley School, a prestigious boarding school in Ooty, is hosting a reunion for the batch of 2007, which mostly consists of VVIPs. However, there is something strange going on at the school that has no rational explanation.

Firstly, a tragic incident has everyone on the edge of their seat. Then, a 10-year-old boy, Vedant, who has not been able to adjust to his new school and is bullied by his classmates, is found in a mysterious situation.

Adhiraj, the star student of the 2007 batch, comes to the reunion in the hope of reuniting with his best friend, Ninad. Adhiraj lives in the US and has not been to India for the longest time.

Adhiraj meets Vedant and Supriya, the school counselor who takes care of Vedant, and realizes that something connects him to Vedant. With the arrival of Adhiraj and his former classmates, a supernatural presence unveils the dark secrets of the past.


As Supriya, Rasika Dugal represents those who value rationality above everything, but she also makes her care and concern for her student evident. Additionally, Dugal’s performance makes it clear that her character also has her own burdens that haunt her day and night.

When it comes to depicting Adhiraj’s guilt and anxiety, Ishwak Singh does a good job. However, when it comes to scenes with less intensity and casual conversations, Singh falters.

Shrenik Arora, the child actor who plays Vedant, performs his part well. He manages to highlight the difference between the character of an innocent Vedant and a possessed Vedant, even though the possessed Vedant barely has any dialogues and communicates mostly through glares.

While Poojan Chhabra plays Ninad’s part well, Zoa Morani and Rijul Ray could have performed better. It is the performances by actors in small roles that were not up to the mark.


There are times when the buildup does not lead to a jump scare or a horrifying revelation. Initially, when everything is a mystery, this works in the show’s favor, as it keeps the audience on the edge of their seats at all times.

Apart from depicting the supernatural as the cause of fear, the show also locates horror in human reality through topics of bullying and homophobia. It is human actions that give birth to a terrifying force, which cannot be controlled by humans.

The movement of the camera and the angles explore the setting in a way that hints at the presence of something that cannot be seen. The idea that this presence lurks around is enough to evoke fear.


While the show successfully creates a terrifying atmosphere in the beginning, it stops being frightening when the past comes to light and the supernatural force’s motive is revealed, as it is hard not to side with the ones fighting for justice.

The plot is too dragged out for the show to be frightening or even mysterious till the end. The plot moves at a very slow pace. At one point, the audience gets used to everything that is supposed to scare them. 

The show uses common sounds that are linked with horror in isolated settings, like the tolling of the bells. However, it also associates the squelching sound with the arrival of the supernatural, and too much of that ruins the buildup instead of evoking fear.

Like other Indian horror shows and movies, this one also has clunky dialogues that make the conversations sound very unnatural. A good example of this would be Chandra Prakash and Adhiraj’s conversation about the past.


Adhura is mysterious and frightening in the beginning but eventually loses those qualities because it is so dragged out. If the show did not struggle with pace, it might have been a good horror show.

Adhura review: Slow-paced horror eventually loses its spirit 1

Director: Gauravv K Chawla, Ananya Banerjee

Date Created: 2023-07-06 18:12

Editor's Rating:

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