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Horror across the globe: Pari

With Halloween creeping up, horror movies are all the rage. Watching classic horror movies like  “Scream,” “Insidious” or “It” is a staple of the impending spooky season. The horror genre is often considered unique as it transcends cultural boundaries and can be appreciated by international audiences. Movies like “Pari” incite fears and intricately weave true stories and superstitions together. 

Pari, released in 2018, has since won eight awards and been nominated for 12. Its notable actors include Anushka Sharma and Parambrata Chatterjee, both recognized and praised for their performance in the film.

“Pari,” literally translated to “angel” in Hindi, depicts the story of a man trying to help a woman who he believes to be a victim of abuse. After being so generous as to allow her to live with him, the man observes her strange demeanor and slowly discovers that she possesses a dark secret. 

The story draws heavily from the tales of the Islamic demon Ifrit and a satanic Bangladeshi cult that worships him, Aulad Chakra. The cult has a history of giving kidnapped women so the demon can impregnate them with offspring and continue his bloodline. Through the 1990s, murdered children were found in the Satkhira district of Bangladesh. At the same time, scores of women went missing in an event later denoted “Missing Girls of Bangladesh.” The unsettling coincidences between the two are widely believed to be true, and Pari attempts to depict the theories in an entertaining yet informative manner. 

In the movie, Sharma plays the role of Rukhsana, the troubled woman, and sells the character incredibly well, which adds heavily to the thrilling mood of the film. Her fear and distress are felt clearly through the screen. 

Rukhsana falls in love with the safety and kindness of Arnab, a man who feels pity for the young lonely girl and takes her in. Played by Chatterjee, the character does a remarkable job of portraying a wide range of emotions from empathy to guilt. He is empathetic toward Rukhsana as she deals with PTSD while he is also filled with guilt for cheating on his fiancé with Rukhsana. 

While these emotional scenes give the audience a chance to develop connections with the characters, these attachments drive the movie towards tragedy rather than  horror or thriller. 

The movie has its share of jump scares and spine-chilling moments, but overall progresses slowly through the plot. The romantic subplot was completely unnecessary and distracted from the horror of the story, manipulating the ending and failing to stay true to the original folk story. Overall, we agree with the mid-range ratings of Pari online. 

Final rating: 3.45/5

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About the Contributors
Deeksha Raj
Deeksha Raj, Business Manager
(she/her) Deeksha is a senior. During her free time she enjoys taking naps, watching tv, and playing sports. Her favorite sports to play are tennis and basketball. Other hobbies include traveling, hiking, and cooking. Deeksha loves psychological thriller movies and TV shows.
Vidushi Upadhyay
Vidushi Upadhyay, Staffer
(she/her) Vidushi loves being a part of the Epic and is excited to write movie reviews this year! She's a dedicated swimmer and loves dancing for the school team. In her free time, she obsesses over Formula One and her favorite TV show at the time.

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