Director – Jennifer Chambers Lynch
Cast – Mallika Sherawat, Irrfan Khan, Jeff Doucette, Divya Dutta, Raman Trikha, Mahmoud Babai
Release Year – 2010
Reviewed by John of the Dead
When the opportunity to view this flick presented itself to me I immediately planned on turning it away, but I was a bit intrigued because I am an avid fan of reptiles, especially snakes, and animal horror films have always interested me as well. However it was when I noticed that this came written and directed by Jennifer Chambers Lynch (Surveillance) that I thought “Hm, she’s good so this probably won’t suck at all”, and boy was I wrong.
Based on the Far East myth of a shape-shifting female cobra able to take human form, we follow George States as he seeks a cure for the terminal brain cancer he is experiencing – a cure only obtainable by catching “Nagami” from the female cobra. When he kidnaps her lover in hopes of luring her to him he opens the door to a raging woman who leaves a blood-soaked path behind her as she searches for her captured lover.
When someone with assumed talent, in this case Jennifer Chambers Lynch, gives you a film experience you usually expect it to be pretty good right? That was how I felt going into this piece, a flick I thought would suck before I saw her name attached. I did learn my lesson with this one, and it did not take long. From the opening sequence I was exposed to absolutely beautiful cinematography, which I was not surprised to see from a usually positive director, but then the horrible CGI kicked in and I thought “Ah crap, this is just a well-shot Sci-fy movie!”. Lynch’s direction continued to suffer at the hands of this horrendous CGI, which came in heavy doses due to her usage of scenes shot farther away to fully employ the massive size of this snake woman and really hurt the chances of me enjoying this experience. Her execution of the woman was fairly good as she executed her and everything involving her in a very sensual and erotic fashion (no nudity so don’t get your hopes up), but her usage of George States was absolutely pathetic as he was horrible in every way possible, and in what I believe to be in unintended fashion. The gore was fair at times and we were given some pretty cool kill sequences that were only held back by the stupid-looking CGI employed by the filmmakers.
Sadly the story written by Lynch is equally bad, blending too many different things going on at once. There is the plot regarding the snake woman, another one involving a detective, and then the one following George States, all of which eventually tie together at the end, but the ride to the end was not worth it. While I enjoyed the kills written into the film I really was not interested in everything else going on, which partly relates to Lynch’s direction but her writing assisted in that as well. There are just too many uninteresting things going on in this piece, usually regarding the woman, which I guess Lynch figured she could fix by simply casting a beautiful woman. I must note however that Jennifer Lynch has since disowned this film, stating that during the editing process the producers for the film took over creative control and turned this more into a horror film than the love story she wanted. Regardless, the end result of this Bollywood film is a bad one.
Overall, Hisss is a flick I should have known better than to assume it could end positively, but seeing a fairly good director’s name on the credits blinded me and I paid for it. Her cinematography is great and she kills were enjoyable, but the storyline is bland and her execution of everything else is uninspired and often soiled by horrible CGI.