Cast: Jai, Anjali, Janani Iyer
'Balloon' is a horror flick that narrates like a life story. It’s a bit self-referential, and just as debutant director Sinish might have ventured out to produce a realistic film that became a horror project, the chief character here too seeks out Ooty for some terrifying inspiration for his next enterprise. Adapting generously from popular Hollywood flicks (and even acknowledging as much,) Balloon is a solid entertainer that utilizes the most satisfying tropes of today’s horror filmmakers.
A youthful chap and an aspiring filmmaker Jeevanandham (Jai) goes on a road trip to Ooty with his wife Jacqueline (Anjali), his nephew Pappu, and assistant directors Arockiyam (Karthik Yogi) and Panda (Yogi Babu). At the behest of his producers, Jeeva had decided to forego his realistic script and instead had sought out a house among the hill station that is noted to be haunted. Most of you by now would have guessed the drill - paranormal activities, possessions, a mysterious ‘doll’, and flashbacks from the past! Eventually, they realise that all these events are tied to Jeeva.
'Balloon' has a no-frills approach that would put the weary moviegoer at ease. Yogi Babu brings in much needed laughter to ensure that this isn’t a dry affair. Jai, Anjali, their little nephew too, and Janani do their part well. While the first half has been presented in a racy manner, post interval it becomes slow. The director has also made sure to have a competent technical crew to back up his debut venture. Cinematography by R. Saravanan is very pleasing, and the sound crew consisting of Hariharan and Sachin Sundhakaran play a key role in elevating the surprise factor. Yuvan Shankar Raja chips in with a frightening theme and a couple of songs.
Horror is an extremely tough field to be inventive as most components of a frightening flick have been tried and tested in all possible ways. For this reason, 'Balloon' doesn’t bring anything novel to the table. Still, a worthy effort that is definitely enjoyable.