Director: Milind Rau
Cast: Siddharth, Andrea Jeremiah, Atul Kulkarni, Anisha Victor
At a time when Tamil cinema is flooded with clichéd stuff in the name of horror comedies, here comes two former associates of ace Mani Ratnam, director Milind Rau and actor/co- writer Siddharth who have teamed up and offered a brilliantly made real horror flick Aval.
Said to be based on real-life incidents, the film is set in the 1930s on the hillside of Himachal Pradesh. We are introduced to a Chinese family, which includes a father, a mother and a daughter. Tragedy strikes them.
Cut to present, we see Krish (Siddharth) a surgeon and his wife Lakshmi (Andrea), lead a happy life in their huge lovely house situated under the mountains. All goes well for the couple until Paul (Atul Kulkarni) buys their neighboring house and moves in with his family comprising of his daughter Jenny (Anisha Victor) and others. The two families get along well. However, Jenny starts encountering weird experiences. And sequences of paranormal incidents occur and begins to affect the people around. Apparently, ancient spirits haunts the house. Meanwhile, Krish and Paul take the help of an exorcist Joshua (Prakash Belawadi) and a psychiatrist (Suresh) to bring the situation under control. Did they succeed? Watch Aval for more.
Though Aval follows the routine horror genre template of back-stories with revenge seeking ghosts replete with a lonely bungalow (where these types of stories are normally set), what makes it stand out is its slick presentation combined with sufficient twists and turns that really terrifies. The writing is smart and the detailing has been done meticulously with the sole intension of scaring the people. The first half is spine chilling sans the songs or inane comedy.
Siddharth in a complex role (for that matter most of the characters are complex in nature in their own ways) does his part with lot of conviction and shines throughout. Andrea as Lakshmi is equally impressive. The on-screen chemistry between the lead pair is terrific. Atul Kulkarni is aptly cast but it is Anisha Victor who walks away with all the laurels with her alluring performance.
On the technical front, the film is aided well by superb music by composer Girishh and Shreyaas Krishna's brilliant cinematography that is on par with international standards. On the whole, a well made horror flick that should not be missed!