Jebin, a struggling writer, tries to sell off a villa belonging to his dead father but strange events happen inside the place. Will he be able to solve the mystery before it is too late?
First things first.
isn't a sequel to
but as the second film in the
franchise, it uses certain tropes from the earlier film for a similar yet different plot. You have the haunted house motif, a final twist, some of the cast members (Jayakumar, Veera Santhanam), and technicians (composer Santhosh Narayanan and editor Leo John Paul) from the first film...
But the tale here is different. Jebin (Ashok Selvan), a writer, is pressed into a financial trouble after the death of his comatose father Marshall P Jones (Nasser). He learns of a villa in Pondicherry that belongs to his late father and goes there with the intention of selling off the place even though his girlfriend Arthi (Sanchita) believes it will be a good luck charm for him. Meanwhile, Jebin realizes that there is something eerie about the place when he stumbles onto some hidden paintings of his dad that seem to predict the future. With the help of his friend Prathap tries to get at the root of the mystery.
is a competently-made film that shows that horror, as a genre, will click with audiences if done right. Yes, the scares here are really few but the film works more as a slow-burning supernatural thriller. Deepan's initial set-up is decidedly ambiguous; we are first introduced to three separate plot threads — one involving a psychic, another about a construction worker and the third with Jebin. After the first few scenes, the focus shifts to Jebin's story and we wonder how the other two tracks will meet this one, and the director brings all three together in a fairly convincing way. The performances are solid, the score is suitably eerie and visually, the film has a painterly feel, which goes very well with one of its plot elements — paintings.
However, comparisons with
are inevitable and that is when
's cracks become evident. For one, this film is less fun and more moody. That playfulness which characterized the first film is strangely absent here as Deepan goes for a sombre mood. With
, we always knew that we were being conned and part of the fun was in trying to outguess the twist but this film plays with a straighter face — even the final twist feels less of a twist and more of a denouement. The lead characters too aren't as endearing. In contrast, we had a cute romantic set-up in
that made us feel concerned about the fate of the lead pair. Also, a young man trying to uncover the mystery behind a haunted place isn't as scary as being trapped inside a haunted house with apparently no chance of escape.