Aval, with sumptuous twists and turns, becomes one of those spine-chilling horror flicks where you’d crave for an interMission. This is never your routine ‘pei padam’ – Thumbs up. Aval does leave a lasting impact when you end up getting Nightmares, hope it’s just for last night. The whole film is treated with the unchanged level of weightiness, and there’s never an incline in the tone. Aval not only prospers in dodging the usual clichés linked with the genre but it’s also genuinely scary.
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. The camera captures a particular moment – of the young daughter stepping out of a well and hugging her mother. This portion of the story unfolds in the 1930s.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 neighbouring 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. The rest forms the crux of the story. Mind-blowing aural experience staged with excellent technical finesse make the movie a highly intense, gripping horror-psychological thriller.
Aval keeps an unattractive tone throughout the length which in turn adds up to the plus factors. Apart from brilliant acting we also see decent character sketches. Not one character in the movie is in the frame for the sake of being there. For the most part, films that are projected to panic the viewers at greatest offer instants of dreadfulness. However, Aval succeeds to produce the kind of situation that’s very different from the horror ethos in Tamil cinema. The scariness is erected steadily and the build-up to the film’s best bit, which discloses a few minutes before the interval, is nothing short of exemplary, leaving us sincerely panicky.
Siddharth is convincing in the role of an adventurously assertive surgeon who unexpectedly realises his world sinking apart, as is Andrea as his wife. Anisha plays the ghostly teenager to the hilt. And Atul Kulkarni is the highlight, as the scared dad who can only watch as unexplainable psychosis falls away on his family. The script is smart and the detailing has been done meticulously with the sole intension of scaring the people. 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!