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Times of India
A WELL EXECUTED HORROR FLICK; GRIPPING!
: Neurosurgeon Krishnakanth and his wife Lakshmi lead a perfect life in the Himalayas but everything turn upside down when the D'Costas move into the house next door.
A young, happily married couple finds themselves embroiled in inexplicable domestic circumstances caused by their next door neighbours. Krish (Siddharth) and Lakshmi (Andrea Jeremiah), however helpful and social, cannot wrap their heads around the bizarre series of recurring incidents at the D'Costa household and get entangled in them in more ways than one.
Horror is an underexplored genre in Indian cinema that may not excite the audience, given its shoddy record, but this one is surprisingly gripping and scary. Other than a few out-of-place scenes including those with awkward falls, The House Next Door has rendered complete justice to the theme and the storyline of the film. It keeps you at the edge of your seats, believable VFX, coupled with some splendid performances by the entire starcast and not to mention, breathtakingly beautiful locales of the Himalayan valley.
The story comes across as an amalgamation of a few classic Hollywood horror flicks — such as The Exorcism of Emily Rose and Insidious—but full credit goes to director Milind Rau for weaving the paranormal encounters and shock elements into an interesting plot. It works partially because the cinematography (VFX included) is at par with its Hollywood counterparts. One noticeable feature of this film is non-existence of songs, typically used as a tool to 'scare' the crowd in almost all the horror movies made here.
Siddharth as a medical prodigy is a treat to watch on screen, and walking shoulder-to-shoulder with him is Andrea Jeremiah. In all the shots, from steamy, passionate lovemaking to being scared to death, these two are naturals. Theatre-trained Atul Kulkarni as the powerless patriarch of the D'Costa family is a perfect fit. Hats off to the casting director — one actor who steals the show is Jenny (Anisha Victor) as a troubled, rebellious Goth girl. If poorly executed, her role could have turned the film into another run-of-the-mill Hindi horror flick.
If you are looking forward to watching this film only for the laughs, think again. Despite a stretched second half, The House Next Doorim is one that compels you to look over your shoulders.
Our overall critics rating is not an average of the sub score below.