HomeReviewsDybbuk review: Honest effort but fails to leave a mark

Dybbuk review: Honest effort but fails to leave a mark

Rating: 2.5/5

Dybbuk is Amazon Prime Video’s new horror-thriller that follows the story of a couple moving to Mauritius and experiencing paranormal activities after the wife buys an antique box and unleashes an evil spirit.

Story

Following the death of Moshe bin Asher, one of Mauritius’ last Jews, an antique dealer purchases an old box that belonged to Asher. The same night, before leaving, he instructs his assistant to pack some stuff and lock the shop. While doing his task, his attendant unlocks the box and is killed by the spirit inside. 

Sam (Emraan Hashmi) and Mahi (Nikita Dutta) are a couple who relocate from Mumbai to Mauritius. Sam is a part of a company that deals with nuclear waste disposal. After relocating, whilst Sam is busy with his official work, Mahi visits an antique shop and purchases an old box, intended to be used as home décor. When she opens the box, all hell breaks loose.

The odd box turns out to be haunted by a Dybbuk, a malicious spirit of the Jewish man named Abraham Ezra. The Dybbuk haunts Mahi at first, but the audience is in for a lot more, including a climactic twist. This film, like most horror films, takes the audience through the backstory of the spirit—through Ezra’s life.

Performances

Emraan Hashmi shines through the film. Seemingly comfortable with the genre of the film, he is still experimental with his role.

Nikita Dutta gives a novice try but still manages to maintain consistency throughout her part and portrays the role of Mahi well.

The supporting cast also delivers a decent performance and suits their part.

Positives

Dybbuk successfully incorporates enough jump scares and cinematic twists, keeping the audience engaged. 

It is seemingly different from other horror films and is an honest effort.

The screenplay throughout the film is well executed. There are no unnecessary scenes with exaggerated screaming and blood all over the place, but rather, everything comes together quite smoothly, and the narrative is well-ordered.

Negatives

The first half of the film is too predictable and takes time to leave a mark on the audience’s minds. The beginning with the couple moving to a new place, the introduction of an antique piece, the husband not believing the wife, etc. seems monotonous and way too generic.

The backdrop behind the twist at the end had minimal usage and could’ve been used to create an even larger impact.

While there are enough jump-scares, they don’t make you scared as such. You get a bit surprised, but they don’t instill fear.

Worth it?

Despite the honest effort, ‘Dybbuk’ is a one-time watch at best. If you’re a hardcore horror fan having ‘The Conjuring’ level expectations, then this might not be the pick for you.


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