[For your pleasure I have not corrected this hilariously bad translation. Thankfully, the subtitles were a lot better!]
"SSSSHHH ...IS AN EDGE OF THE SEAT MURDER MYSTERY THRILLER SET IN THE WINTER 2002
THE CALM OF A BEAUTIFUL TOWN IS BROKEN WHEN A LOCAL GIRL MALIN GUJRAL (SIMONE SINGH) IS BRUTALLY KILLED ONE NIGHT. MALINI'S GRUSOME DEATH HAS A TRAGIC EFFECT ON HER BUBBY YOUNGER SISTER MAHEK (TANISH) WHO GOES INTO A SHELL AND CANN TSEEM TO COME TO TERMAS WITH THIS TRAGEDY
MALINIS FRIENDS THE PUSHY AND POSSESSIVE GEHNA (SUVARNA JHA) THE FILM BUFF RAJAT (GAURAV KAPUR), THE BIKE FREAK NIKHIKL (KUSHAL PUNJABI AND HIS NOT SO SMART GIRLFRIENDS RIYA (GAURAV KAPUR), TRY VERY HARD TO GET MAHEK OUT OF HER SEJLL ALSO TRYING TO CHEER UP MAHEK IS HER CHILDHOOD PAL THE LOUD AND EXTROVERT BREAT ... ROCKY (DINO MOREA) ... WHO DEEP DOWN INSIDE HAS MORE THAN SOFT CORNER FOR HER. BUT MAHEK SEENS RO VEER MORE TOWARD THE NEW BOY IN COLLEGE SURAJ (KARAN NATH) WHO IS SOFT SPOKEB ABD AN INTRIVENT. MUCH LIKE SHE IS NOW AMDST LIFE WITH HER SIX FRIENDS MAHEK'S WORLD GOES INTO A TIZZY WHEN THERE ARE REPEATED ATTEMPS ON HER LIFE BY SOME ONE INA JOKER'S MASK
BUT EACH TIME SHE MANAGES TO ESCAPES SOMETIMES WITH THE HELP OF FATE AND SOMETIMES THANKS TO FRIENFS LIKE SURAJ WHO IN A DRAMATIC FIGHTR WITH THE ASSASSIN MANAGES TO DROWN THE JOKER IN THE RIVER BUT DESOTE THE JOKERS SUPPOSED DEAH MAKE STILL HAS NOGHTMARES OF THE JOKER ATTACKING HER
THIS IS WHEN EVERYONE REALIZES WHAT MAHEK NEEDS IS A CHANGE A HOLIDAYS THIS COUPLES WITH EVERONE PERSONAL RESOND SEES THIS GROUP OF SEVEN HEAD OFF FROM THE FOGGY LOCALES OOF SHIMLA TO THE SUNNY BEACHESD OF BANKOK THE IDEAL CHANGE!
IN THAILAND TIS ALL FUN AND GAMES FOR THEM FOR A WHILE EVEN AS THE LOVE TRIANGLE INTENSIFIES BETWEEN ROCKEY MAHEK AND SURAJ
THEV GET THERE BUT LITTLE DO THEY KNOW THAT MANY ... OR MOST OF THEM WILL NOT COME BACK!"
Yes, roll up, roll up, it's another Bollywood bad boy: a film that wants to be a whole lot louder than just a plain sssshhh.
Mahek (Tanisha, the sister of top Bollywood star Kajol) is a popular and pretty student at 'Simon College', an exclusive university set in a bizarrely Swiss-like village, nestled in the mountains. Despite seeming to have it all, she is still in grieving for her older sister, Malini (Simone Singh), who, along with her boyfriend Sunny, was murdered by a knife wielding, clown masked maniac the year before (in a surprisingly tense scene that takes place in a deserted sports hall). Not exactly helping, she picks up a ringing phone in a local hardware shop only to be taunted by the killer (she's nicely framed in a shot by the knives in a mechanised display seeming to jab at her). Freaked out, she makes a break for it, only to spot a young man, Suraj (Karan Nath) standing (suspiciously) by a public phone; to Mahek's horror he corners her, leering with a knife, only to realise she's seeing things - he was actually returning her handbag (time to get new contact, methinks).
Next, we're introduced to Mahek's friends: Ghena (Suvarna Jha) (her brassy best friend, who blames her neurosis on fellow students, "Anything for cheap thrills. Bloody boys!"); Rajat (Gaurav Kapur) (the geeky, emo'esque nerd); Nikhi (Kushal Punjabi) (the motorbike riding cool guy); Rhea (Teena Chodary) (Nikhi's ditzy girlfriend) and Rocky (Dino Morea) (Mahek's childhood friend, who secretly loves her). Thrown into the mix is Suraj - the new kid on the block - who Mahek is now secretly taking a shine to. Well, she would be if she wasn't being taunted by the secret killer, who takes to berating her on the school tanoy, meaning that although she's all alone in the loo's everyone in the whole school hears his taunts. Mahek is even more freaked when these threats become all too real and a teacher is stabbed to death when she discovers the killer lurking in the girl's toilets.
The police make the earth shattering observation to the school principal, "Your students are not safe!" [Move over Columbo]. Plus, there's much in the way of sideways glances as the cops use the latest in DNA technology when they get certain students to put their boots alongside a bloody footprint, to try and get a match.
Mahek, finds all this hard to take, especially as it brings flashbacks to her sister's death and her Dad walking out on them when she was younger (see where this is going?). She finds it even harder to take when the killer targets her in her home, when her Mother has left her alone for the evening. In a tense scene Mahek manages to escape when she sets the killer on fire, who runs out into the night. However, she's even more surprised, when the police turn up, that she recognises Suraj's watch strap to be the same as the killer's and he is arrested and thrown in jail (now do you see where this is going?!).
By this time, Mahek has fallen in love with Suraj, so not even a frat party (where they only drink Pepsi!) could cheer her up, with her boyfriend in jail. She leaves with Ghena, only to be surprised by the clown faced killer looming out of the fog and causing their jeep to veer off the road and down an embankment and into a river. When Mahek comes to she tries to wake Ghena, who has passed out; failing this, she tries to get help. However, she's attacked by the masked assailant. Before she is drowned, Suraj appears (seemingly out on good behavior), who wrestles with the killer. Before you can say, 'that's a coincidence!', the police conveniently turn up and shoot the clown faced loon, who falls off a reservoir.
Despite another student vanishing, everyone thinks the nightmare is over. Mahek, however, still has bad dreams that the killer is coming to get her. To cheer her up, her friends suggest that they take her on holiday to get away from things. They decide on Thailand, but because of a mix-up with tickets Mahek and Suraj find themselves going ahead in front of the others by two days. Unbeknownst to Mahek, just before the others set off to join them, the killer reappears and slaughters her mother, splattering a canvas she was working on in blood. ... Little do the friends know, their holiday in paradise is about to become a journey into hell!
Yes, it's another Bollywood slasher! Of course, I haven't even mentioned the songs yet. To be fair, SSSSHHH only has four songs (not counting the one during the opening credits, where Mahek is menaced by a prancing figure in black with a big chopper and a dozen whirling dervishes in white), and they are, at least, incorporated into the story. Nor have I mentioned the film's length: SSSSHHH is a arse-numbing 2 and 3/4 hours long. Yes, you read that right. It's almost THE LORD OF THE RINGS of slasher flicks.
Of course, Bollywood wouldn't be Bollywood without the camp-as-tits musical numbers. The good news is that (despite the fact this could have quite cheerfully lost an hour in its running time) SSSSHHH actually delivers in the straight-faced slasher stakes. Sure, there's too much character development (yeah, you read that right) and definitely too much romance (another Bollywood blight), but there are some well crafted jumps and some great cat 'n' mouse thrills. Despite its magpie tendencies (more of which later), there are a couple of standout sequences: the best has to be when the group flee their island paradise on a raft, but find themselves all falling in the water when it comes apart. One of them, who can't swim, sinks to the bottom; the others dive to try and save her, but in the murky water a knife flashes and slits her throat, the wound blossoming into the inky depths.
And, you might have guessed, the central character, Mahek, is channeling Sidney Prescot (apart from the bit when she turns and shouts out at the presumably lurking killer, "Come and get me!", when she's clearly channeling Julie James). In case you hadn't figured it out yet, SSSSHHH takes most of its cues from Wes Craven's slasher hit. We have the opening murder; Mahek lives in a house which looks like the spit of that one in orange county; she has the lone parent; the dueling central male characters (who may be hiding a secret); the killer in the dime-store mask; similar red herrings, and more. Luckily, it keeps it's post-modern quips to a minimum: one character says to another - after a particularly ridiculous plot twist - "You know what your problem is? You watch too many Hindi movies!" (admittedly, I haven't watched enough Hindi movies to get that particular reference!); another victim-to-be says, "In the horror films, it's always the heroine who gets attacked last. It's small fry like me who get bumped off first!" (now, those kinda quips are universal). Now, Bollywood horror flicks are (in)famous for their magpie tendencies, but both KUCCH TO HAI and DHUND: THE FOG (both 2003) are more blatant (and have more songs, too), but, to be honest, despite having the same framework as SCREAM SSSHHH actually manages a few surprises of its own (which I guess you'd expect given that it has to fill almost 3 hours!).
Now, if Bollywood could quit the, er, recycling Hollywood cliches and just come up with some completely fresh ideas it might produce a real gem.
female:5 / male:8
1) Male found dying from stab wounds
2) Female stabbed in the stomach
3) Female stabbed through eye with knife
4) Male found drowned
5) Female stabbed to death
6) Female suffocated
7) Male has his throat cut
8) Female has her throat cut
9) Male found stabbed to death
10) Male found drowned
11) Male shot
12) Male shot through his mouth
13) Male hit on the head with a rock and then stabbed in the back