Raaz 2: The Mystery Continues (2009)

An artist comes to realize that the woman he has been been painting is real, and that she is being haunted by a ghost out for revenge. 

REVIEW: I love a good horror movie, regardless of its country of origin. The fact that I also love Bollywood movies make Bollywood horror movies a perfect match for me. I recently watched the first Raaz (roughly translated in English to mean 'Mystery' or 'Secret') and with Halloween coming up after the weekend I figured this was a great time to watch Raaz 2: The Mystery Continues.

Like with most Bollywood horror sequels, Raaz 2 has nothing whatsoever to do with the first movie, other than it shares a similar theme and plot progression. Sequel-in-name-only movies used to bother me a lot when I was younger but as I've grown up and gotten used to seeing them around (especially in the American B-Movie market and when it comes to India's Bollywood horror flicks) I now more-so look at these types of situations as simply being an anthology series, with each movie tied together, loosely, by a similar theme or idea but that's about it. And along those lines, the plot here is actually half-similar to the first movie, just set in a bustling city with more going on in the story instead of alone in a house out in the countryside.

I actually liked the plot of the first movie better. Not to say this one was bad, actually it was really rather good and engaging, and I was legitimately invested in seeing how the mystery of this haunting unfolded, but liking the first movie's plot more is really just personal preference, as the fact that there was really only two or three characters at this out-of-the-way location made it easy to feel a strong sense of isolation and uneasiness, which by the nature of now taking place in a city, is certainly lacking from this one. Actually, even though there is still some decent haunting related stuff going on in this movie, I found the haunting scenes in the first way scarier than anything that happens in this movie. That's not to say there wasn't any good scenes of unease and suspense here all the same, as there was, I just preferred the stuff done in the first movie and found it way scarier than pretty much any of the horror scenes in this one.

Where Raaz 2 really pulls ahead of the first though is with pretty much everything else. This one had much better acting, and the characters that those actors play are much more engaging and likable. I actually cared about how things turned out for these characters, and as I said above about the haunting itself, I was really invested in seeing how all this played out. With the first movie it was more-so the story that kept me watching, and I really didn't care for the characters themselves, but with this sequel while the story is certainly serviceable, it was the characters that kept me watching. Even the music numbers performed by said characters, were a lot better here than in the first movie. It was still not the type of Bollywood music I personally enjoy but it was definitely a big step in that right direction, and at least somewhat catchy at times as opposed to the first movie where I just found all the old-style songs to be annoying and grating.

At the end of the day, while there are a couple things I liked more about the first Raaz movie (mostly when it comes to the level of fear in the haunting-related scenes, and its main location), Raaz 2: The Mystery Continues, overall, is a much better-made and more engaging movie, and it's rare, for any country in the world, to produce a sequel that surpasses the first.

8/10 Rooms in the Psych Ward



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