The House Next Door is a 2017 Indian horror film co-written and directed by Milind Rau. The film stars Siddharth in a lead role, with him also working on the film as a co-producer and a co-writer. The film simultaneously shot and released in three different languages as Tamil, Telugu, and Hindi; and the film is receiving a surprisingly positive response from the audience even after the publicity like nothing. This film has made its mark among the very few Bollywood’s best horror films after Raaz(2002), 1920 (2008) etc.
In an opening scene, the film gives the glimpse of 1930s era in the British occupied India where a happily living Chinese mother and daughter is shown, and quickly the film traverses at the present time to the happily married couple Krish (Siddharth), a neurosurgeon, a loving husband and Lakshmi (Andrea Jeremiah), caring and loving wife. Not so long into the film, a new Catholic family (D’Costa) consisting a grandfather, a mother, a father/Paul (Atul Kulkarni) and their two daughters Jenny (Anisha Victor) and Sarah move into their neighboring house. The two families being very supportive and caring neighbors, they get along well. A sudden incident at a housewarming party at D’Costa’s house horrifies everyone including Krish and Lakshmi. Following the series of terrifying and thrilling events and unstoppable horror in the first half builds up the solid suspense which does not let the audience take eyes off the screen and continuously makes the story more and more intriguing. These events leave Jenny possessed by the demonic entity in the house whose identity is uncertain which is first recognized as the psychic case but soon leads to her exorcism by Father Joshua (Prakash Belawadi). Who is that demonic entity? What is it’s purpose? What path of hell both families has to walk to battle against these supernatural powers? what are the deadly and violent secrets hidden behind all this? These are the questions which makes a movie much more engaging and serves the purpose right.
There are some really intense moments which can make a viewer disturbed and uncomfortable. As compare to the family of horror films in Bollywood the performances of the leads are just right, supporting cast have not much to serve so those can be neglected. Along with performances the horror elements like scary visuals, camera work, and the jump scare sounds are well utilized and that’s what elevates the film’s entertainment value, and those will definitely send the chills down to the viewers’ spine. At some places, these horror elements overlap each other and it feels like a mess, and sometimes those are overdone. Even after these little drawbacks here and there, this film with very fresh and convoluted but strong plot surpasses the expectations.
Before the opening scene, the film gives it’s sincere thanks to the God and the Devil, which makes people in the hall chuckle but has its own genuine meaning. This film has the potential to be the benchmark for horror genre family films, and yes it literally makes the audience remember Insidious (2010) and The Conjuring (2013)films in smaller details, even in one scene Jenny is seen reading the classic Hollywood horror film The Exorcist’s (1973) novel, what a treat!
Verdict : Horror genre lovers should not miss this at any cost. Go for it, and get haunted.
Rating : 3.5/5