Jessie: A gripping horror film

Director: V Ashwani Kumar' Cast: Ashima Narwal, Abhinav Gomatam, Atul Kulkarni, Kabir Duhan Singh, Pavani Gangireddy, Abhishek Maharshi

By Author  |  Published: 15th Mar 2019  8:03 pm

A team of professional ghost hunters set out to investigate paranormal activities at a haunted house. These paranormal activities involve two missing sisters, Jessie and Amy. Who are these sisters? Why are they missing? Can these ghost hunters solve the mystery? The quest to answer these questions forms the plot of this gripping horror film.

Unlike most low budget horror films that focus on gore and/or sleaziness, the way the director made this film in a manner that is gripping and entertaining with a healthy dose of surging adrenaline is commendable. It is a plain and simple horror film with a twisted plot and with a heavy focus on actors’ performances and it successfully banks heavily on that to induce the fear.

The first few minutes of the film tend to fall into the ‘reckless characters exploring a haunted house’ cliche but once the flashback kicks in, it ensures the audience is glued to the screen. The jump-scare scenes and the crafty usage of simple props in conjunction with stellar camerawork to achieve the scary effect is where the director’s prowess becomes evident. The first half is scary enough to induce pediophobia even if the viewer never had it in the first place.

The first half focuses entirely on building the mystery and gives a very good build up to the second half. But the second half is where the tempo dies down to an extent when the mystery is revealed. It gets extremely twisty and can thoroughly confuse the audiences, despite the fact that the film redeems itself with explanation of the plot towards the ending. A less convolution of the plot and sticking to the tone of the first half might have been better.

The actors do a decent job, whether it is Ashima Narwal or Pavani Gangireddy or Abhinav. All the actors do justice to their roles but what the film fails to capture is the seasoned actor Atul Kulkarni’s potential. It would have gone a long way if his character was meatier than what has been given to him. The background score by Sricharan Pakala fits the bill perfectly, especially in the jump-scare sequences and adds to the spookiness of the film.

To reiterate, the simplicity of how this film achieves the horror elements by just using simple props and slick camerawork is the best part of this film and is highly laudable. Kudos to the director for proving that a film of genre like this can be made without massive special effects and huge budgets. If you love horror films, don’t miss this film over the weekend.