It clearly is the horror season with Halloween just having gone by and with release of the horror-comic flick ‘Aval’. This movie, directed by Milind Rau and co-produced and co-written by actor Siddharth, released in Tamil, Telugu (Graham) and in Hindi (The House Next Door) on November 3. The movie is set in a town in the scenic hills below the Himalayas where newly-married Krish (Siddharth), a neurosurgeon, moves with his wife, Lakshmi (Andrea). The D’Costa family, who have two daughters, move in next door.

The elder daughter Jenny (Anisha Victor) takes a fancy to Krish. At a dinner party, Jenny suddenly tries to commit suicide and Krish saves her. Things start to take a turn from then on and Jenny starts to behave more strangely. Jenny’s father Paul (Atul Kulkarni) and the family is extremely worried about the events that the place in their house. Is Jenny hallucinating or is she possessed? What is going on in Krish’s neighbour’s house? How does it start to affect Jenny, Krish and the others?

At the beginning of the movie, we are told it is based on a true story. In fact, the movie is reminiscent of numerous English horror films we have seen like The Conjuring and The Exorcist. So there is a sense of déjà vu for the audience. Seasoned and talented actors Siddharth and Atul Kulkarni are definitely assets to the film and help take the story forward. But it is the performance of Anisha Vincent which stands out as she is quite brilliant as the girl who is possessed. Andrea is apt for her role as Siddharth’s wife.

A major highlight of the film is the music by Girishh Gopalakrishnan. The BGM for a horror movie is vital in conveying the emotions ranging from fear to shock and Girishh has done an excellent job in this flick. Siddharth returns to Hindi cinema after fours years with this film. Though his last few Tamil films may not have struck gold at the box office, ‘Aval’ has the potential to. It may not be new to the audience but it’s a good horror flick to catch this season.