After reality television, movie sequels seem to be the next American habit we are really keen on. Though this film isn’t exactly a sequel, it retains the central idea of landing a group (a film crew) in a creepy looking guest house and a creeeeeeeeeepy killer in a creepy mask out to kill EVERYONE. And before any of us can point out the rip-off from Friday the 13th the writer-director put up some text at the end saying so. What the text missed is the word cheap or amateur somewhere in between.
With this film Sekhar Suri makes a proper entry to the Slasher club, though his previous films belonged to the genre, the gore was avoided. However, inspite of staying true to its genre rules, the loosely woven, highly unconvincing plot and a cast that wouldn’t get it right even if a real life psycho-killer is let on them brings it down to a prolonged and predictable night in the woods.Not entirely predictable for an audience not familiar with the original, but, not engaging enough for anyone to give a damn.
A group vacationing in a guest house in the Dandeli forest is murdered by an unseen force. All but Aravind (Sri) are missing, believed to be killed. When arrested and interrogated about it, Aravind claims to have no idea of what happened. One of the interrogators is Pooja’s father (a girl in the missing group) and he helps Aravind get bail because he knew Pooja liked Aravind.
A mayor’s son was also in the missing group and some biker henchmen are out to get who they believe is the killer – Aravind. Trying to get away from the bikers in a sequence that lacks continuity Aravind arrives at a movie shooting on a beach. The director on the beach (Srinivas Avasarala) is having casting trouble because his second lead bailed on him. With just one look at the tensed Aravind he offers him the part and Aravind accepts once he learns that the filming location is the Dandeli forest.
And the killing begins…
The antagonist – the masked killer is portrayed as the seemingly indestructible killing force where guns or even trucks running right into him can’t kill him.It seems so on most occasions not because of the killer’s actions, but, the inaction of the characters being hunted.
Except for the underutilised Avasarala Srinivas and the debutant Adonica, the casting is the film’s biggest downside.
If Slasher films are such a major part of their film watching and making experience, the first thing our imitators need to imitate is the running time. In an age when commercial mainstream is cutting it close to 2 hours, the Slashers need to be smaller, tighter and can do with some acting talent. At 150 minutes,this one fails at scaring, repelling or engaging you.