THE HOUSE NEXT DOOR Full movie review

Viacom18 Motion Pictures and Etaki Entertainment’s The House Next Door (A) is a horror film.

Dr. Krish (Siddharth), a brain specialist, lives in a bungalow with his wife, Lakshmi (Andrea Jeremiah), whom he loves dearly. There is another bungalow opposite theirs. Paul (Atul Kulkarni) and his family move in into the vacant bungalow. Paul’s family comprises his second wife, Lizzy (Bhawana Aneja), elder daughter, Jenny (Anisha Victor), younger daughter, Sarah (baby Khushi Hajare), and Lizzy’s father (Victor Banerjee).

Strange things start happening to Jenny who often behaves weirdly. Since Dr. Krish is their neighbour and a brain specialist too, he takes command and tries to cure her. Jenny’s case is then transferred to Dr. Krish’s colleague, Dr. Prasad (Suresh). It soon becomes clear that there are spirits in the bungalow in which Paul and his family have moved in. Despite being a doctor, Dr. Prasad solicits the support of a pastor (Prakash Belawadi) who is also convinced that Jenny is possessed by spirits who want Paul and his family to leave the bungalow. Dr. Krish, Dr. Prasad, the pastor, Paul and everybody present are convinced beyond doubt that spirits are behind Jenny’s weird actions. While trying to ward off the spirits, the pastor is grievously injured and has to be hospitalised.

Dr. Prasad refers to old books and arrives at the conclusion that the bungalow of Paul has an eerie history dating back to many years. An eyewitness, now an old lady (Farookh Jaffer) but then a little child, tells them about a Chinese man having sacrificed, on a solar eclipse day, his own little daughter years ago in the bungalow so that his pregnant wife would deliver a baby boy. The distraught wife had then killed herself and her unborn baby.

Even as Dr. Prasad and Dr. Krish get to know all about the spirits, Dr. Krish’s wife, Lakshmi, now pregnant, has an encounter with the spirits.

What happens thereafter?

Milind Rau and Siddharth have penned an interesting and engaging horror story which sends several chills down the spines of the viewers. The story is quite logical and moves at a fast pace, giving the viewers no time to think. The duo’s screenplay is very engaging and also entertaining. Several sequences catch the audience unawares because of the suddenness with which they come. Dialog­ ues, written by Chandan Arora and Siddharth, are realistic.

Siddharth is charming and does a truly fine job as Dr. Krish. While he is very good throughout the film, he is excellent in the climax scenes. Andrea Jeremiah is restrained and delivers a fine performance as Lakshmi. Atul Kulkarni is lovely as Paul, the worried father of Jenny. In the role of Jenny, Anisha Victor makes a fabulous debut. She is so natural that her acting looks effortless. Anisha Victor is a welcome addition to the list of leading ladies and she has a bright future ahead of her. Prakash Belawadi lends excellent support as the pastor. Bhawana Aneja makes her presence felt as Lizzy. Baby Khushi Hajare is cute in the role of Sarah. Suresh provides superb support as Dr. Prasad. Avinash Raghudevan leaves a mark as the psychic. Victor Banerjee, Yusuf Husain, Mandakini Goswami, Angeline Khangembam, Peter Wong, Joanne Chang, Farookh Jaffer, Dr. Agnelo Chong, Natarajan and the rest lend fair support.

Milind Rau’s direction is praiseworthy. He has maintained the horror element and has managed to keep the viewers thrilled and terrified all through the drama. Girish G.’s background music is pretty effective. His music is functional. Lyrics (Shakeel Azmi, Vayu Shrivastava and Siddharth) are okay. Shreyas Krishna’s camerawork is splendid. R. Sakthi Saravanan’s stunts are very good. Special mention must be made of Preetisheel G. Singh’s prosthetic designing. Siva Shankar’s art direction is very nice. Lawrence Kishore’s editing is sharp.

On the whole, The House Next Door is an entertaining horror thriller with good box-office prospects but they seem to be completely marred due to lack of promotion, marketing and, therefore, awareness among the public.

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