Hisss (2010)

October 15, 2011 - 7:38pm | FrighT MasteR
  Tags: creature, creature feature, hindi, hisss, india, Irrfan Khan, Jennifer Lynch, Mallika Sherawat, nagin, nagmani, POS movie, snakes

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Jennifer Lynch
Irrfan Khan, Mallika Sherawat, Divya Dutta, Jeff Doucette, Raman Trikha

A joint production between US and India, this is said to be the first Bollywood creature feature by an American director. I haven't seen many Bollywood films, but the ones I've attempted to watch I simply couldn't finish. I'm not a fan of musicals, and since a majority of Bollywood movies contain a lot of random singing and dancing, I just can't get into'em. Luckily, Hisss doesn't really have any of that. There's one scene where a large group of people are dancing outside, but it's during some sort of festival, and I'm glad to say there wasn't any singing (aside from one brief scene). However, I don't think singing or dancing would've made the film any worse than it already is anyway.

The flick starts off with a crazed (and badly acted) American suffering from brain cancer, who believes that he can gain immortality from a Nagin (female snake turned human), but has to kidnap the snake's mate in order to bring forth the goddess. So, after capturing a male snake it's not long before we witness a woman slowly slither and peel away her reptile skin to reveal a very beautiful Mallika Sherawat. The naked (though her bits are conveniently covered throughout) woman clumsily makes her way to the nearby city in search of her mate and killing evil-doers along the way.

Apparently the studio and director Jennifer Lynch (David Lynch's daughter) didn't see eye-to-eye on the movie and she wasn't allowed in the editing room. So while Jennifer wanted this to be a "romance" the studio wanted it to be a more straight-forward horror flick. In the end, it just fails in all aspects. I try to avoid purposely watching bad horror films (unless they're from the 80's - our most forgivable and decade), so it's been several years since I last saw a movie this awful.

Aside from the obviously ridiculous premise, one of the biggest issues I had would have to be the atrocious computer effects. One scene in particular really stands out that involves the Nagin going from human form to a giant snake, and aside from some decent practical effects work from the great Robert Kurtzman, we're forced to watch some horrible SyFy-grade CGI. In fact, the whole movie seems better suited for the SyFy channel.

Then, we have the shoddy editing, where some scenes will seem almost completely random. Like one where the snake woman climbs up a light pole and begins to cry when she reaches the top, WTF?? And another scene featuring one of the worse on-foot chase sequences I've ever seen. Going from one poor, trash-filled back alley to the other, the most "tense" part of the entire chase was probably when each character jumped over some little boy taking a shit on the ground. You heard me!

The acting is also horrendous, with the exception of the lead detective, played by Irrfan Khan. Everyone else was pretty bad, even Mallika Sherawat (the snake woman), who doesn't even have any lines! All she does is look around wide-eyed the entire time and she can't even get that right. I'm not sure if this is a common thing in India, but the dialogue changes a lot from English to Hindi, which I found annoying. Characters would often start saying something in their native tongue, then mid-sentence start speaking in English, then revert back to their own language. This proved more confusing than anything, especially when I'd sometimes have a hard time understanding what they said in English.

Lastly, another big aspect the movie fails at is the human drama. I found the whole sub-plot involving the detective's infertile wife and the mother suffering from dementia uninteresting and tacked on for running time purposes. Although some of it proved semi-important by the end, I just found it a waste of time for the most part. Next to some of the underused practical effects, the only positive the film offers is actress Mallika Sherawat, who although is horrible in this, is a treat to look at. Before I end this review I'd like to make note of the completely WTF scene towards the end where the Nagin sexes a male snake. While still in human form!

If the filmmakers set out to make a shitty movie then they most certainly succeeded with Hisss. This is a flick that fails in all aspects, and proved to be one of the worst modern horror films I've seen in years. If you like SyFy quality material then you may find some entertainment from this, but if you're looking for any sort of decent creature feature then I'd suggest avoiding this crap entirely.

Author Information

FrighT MasteR's picture
FrighT MasteR is an avid horror fan / monster hunter extraordinaire, who created and has been running UHM since its inception, way back in 1999.




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