Web Series: Ragini MMS Returns – Season 2
Cast: Thea D’souza, Sneha Namandi, Divya Agarwal, Sunny Leone, Navdeep Pallapolu, Aarti Khetarpal, Varun Sood, Gaurav Alagh, Navneet Kaur, Hiten Paintal, Rakshanda Khan, Jayati Bhatia
Director: Ankush Bhatt
Rating: * 1/2
Transferring a successful horrex cinema franchise to a web platform with newbies was a good thing to begin with but extending it to another season for no reason other than to milk the fixated OTT audience is not much of assured strategy for eyeball generation.
Season 2 of the returning franchise directed by Ankush Bhatt has Canada-based paranormal expert Meena (Sunny in all her glory) and her boyfriend Rajeev (Navdeep Pallapolu) heading to India to dig deep into murky truths behind Victoria Villa the most haunted spot, situated in the hazy interiors of Maharashtra.
It’s not long before the two meet their end at the hands of the peculiarly lethal Ghost of Captain Burns...and some decades later, yet another set of party hopping 20-something pretty young things set foot there (renamed Boston Villa) for a fancy bachelorette.
The unmarried women Random Ranbu (Thea D’Souza), Varsha (Sneha Namandi) and Ragini (Divya Agarwal) are well prepared (read skimpily clad) and definitely in the mood for a wild, sexual romp away from home. The hotel manager and owner Rahul (Varun Sood) is more than just a willing bystander. So even before the evil begins to take shape, there’s plenty of sex to be had. Obviously, the series is aping the successful horror franchises of the west where randy teens get in their climaxes before they catch the evil eye. Unfortunately, it all comes across as put-on and wildly exaggerated here. The sexual liberation in India is more imagined than real and what Ragini MMS does is glorify an ideal that is still a far cry from ‘happening.’ Ragini MMS is, is in fact, much more famous for its voyeuristic engagement.
A couple of other guys, supposedly wanting to get hold of the property, engage in voyeurism by recording what is happening in the villa and Varsha’s groom-to-be Harshit (Gaurav Alagh) gatecrash the bachelorette with his sex-crazy pals, Sandy and Virgin. Ample opportunity for a down and dirty, chatty, sexual innuendo laden dialogues and of course – loads of sex.
The staple horror tricks don’t work up much of a scarefest here. The sinister elemental shifts, jump scares, freaky sounds and various other staple, stereotypical horror mechanisms fail to rouse up a devastating haunting. What you get instead is an unending series of sexual peccadilloes, innuendos and romps. Did you really expect anything better?