Aval begins with the flashback that forms the plot of the movie. The director takes his audience to China. The introduction of a Chinese mother and daughter in a flashback at the foothills of the Himalayas is shown in black and white in keeping with the year 1930. Post the brief entry of the pregnant mother and child the scene shifts to the year 2016. The perpetual “erotic” couple Krish, a brain surgeon by profession (played by Siddharth) and Lakshmi (Andrea) are introduced through a song that encapsulates their love life to the present day as a married couple.
Love overflows for the couple until Paul (Atul Kulkarni) moves in with his family comprising of his daughter Jenny (Anisha Victor), his younger daughter Sara, wife, and others to the neighboring house that he has bought. Soon, Jenny starts experiencing weird happenings, and a sequence of paranormal incidents occur. Paul takes the help of Krish. Krish, in turn, seeks the help of a psychiatrist (Suresh) and a Priest Joshua (Prakash Belawadi) to bring the situation under control and to perform an exorcism on Jenny.
The story is a regular fare where a huge house is haunted by the ghosts of the people who have had an untimely death. However, here the scriptwriter has brings a twist. While two of the ghosts are on a protecting mission, the evil one is there to complete unfinished business. The members of the house obviously become the victims. Although you see strains from ‘The Exorcist’, ‘The Exorcism of Emily Rose’ and reminiscents from the Japanese movie ‘The Ring’, Milind has indeed managed to blend it in rather neatly retaining the spookiness.
What strikes the audience is the suspense element with interesting twists, which runs throughout the film, building to an unexpected thrilling climax. Jenny, played by Anisha Victor is convincing as the possessed girl. Music scores high with composer Girishh rendering superb support that adds to the eeriness of the film and Shreyas Krishna’s brilliant cinematography is worth the mention too.
Director Milind in all the horror and creepiness has subtly weaved in a beautiful message for all the male child yearning people- “you don’t have to kill a girl child to obtain a boy child.”After all, this is the objective and the existence of the obsessive male ghost.
Aval has been released in Telugu and Hindi, too. The title for the Hindi version is The House Next Door. The overall experience is “horror-fic”( read positive) and a flick that is worth biting off your fingernails!
Verdict: A well-made horror flick in the recent past that is worth a watch.
Rating: 4 stars.