‘HI’ Review – a short film by Bahaish Kapoor

In HI, what begins as an effective examination of the haunting nature of guilt ends up facing a struggle to really get out of first gear. Telling the story of a young doctor who is plagued by nightmares and visions depicting a girl that she was not able to save, it deals initially in effective, gloomy claustrophobia, but ultimately can’t expand on its interesting premise.

The first exposure we have to the girl whose memory is terrorising our protagonist is an effective nightmare sequence. It tells us all we need to know about what the doctor is struggling with, and relays the devastating nature of the event without dwelling on it or being overly gratuitous. However, it’s after this point that HI starts to derail. As the vision becomes more apparent and ventures into the waking world, the film loses momentum. A disappointingly steep decline ensues: it degenerates into predictable ghost-in-my-house fare that hits an unfortunate low point with a well-worn “behind the refrigerator door” jump-scare that you couldn’t see coming any more clearly if it had been signposted.

There’s no major payoff to HI, a choice that would have made more sense had the film committed to the somber tone it seemed to set out to achieve in the beginning. However, its susceptibility to predictable genre pitfalls ultimately stops it from delivering on its early promise.




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