Plot: Whenever nubile co-ed Anita (Archana Puran Singh) hits the sheets at night, she’s tormented by a recurring dream in which she’s pursued by a scarred killer with bladed gloves. When she awakes, her clothing is torn and her body scarred. If Anita dies in her dreams, will she die in real life?
“Wait, wait!” some might say. “That all sounds like a rip-off of A Nightmare On Elm Street!” To which the Ramsay brothers, the makers of Mahakaal, would likely smile and say, “Yep.” Due to the vicissitudes of international copyright law, Bollywood filmmakers have felt free from time to time to swipe premises and plots wholesale from their Hollywood counterparts. Then they try to find ways to make them their own. This is a Bollywood film, so periodically, the horror stops so the characters can romp around on beaches or at picnics in the woods, where they sing songs that sound oddly Morrissey-ish and thrust body parts chastely at each other.
When trying to be a horror film, Mahkaal is quite good. Sure, it owes a lot to Craven’s film in terms of concept, and its nightmare sequences are surely helped by the presence of the original theme music (from both the first and second Elm Street films), but it’s still effective. Some of the imagery is somewhat original, particularly when it trades in Freddy’s boiler room for a more dungeon and crypt-like environment. The film also doesn’t completely copy the death sequences from the Elm Street series, with the exception of one (which was actually borrowed from part 4). In fact, it should be noted that the movie pretty much remakes the first two thirds of Craven’s original until it begins to borrow aspects from the sequels.
Over 2 hours long with special features including a fan film which is quite creepy. With English subtitles.