Trailer Review: The House Next Door

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Trailer Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cb0SLQRt83k

Director: U Milind Rau

Written by Siddharth, Milind Rau (Consulting: Rahul Ramchandani, Dialogues: Chandan Arora)

Sound Design: Vishnu, Sree and Vijay Rathinam

Producer: Siddharth (ETAKI Entertainment)

Music: Girish Gopalakrishnan of Marina fame who is also a student of Lalgudi Jayaraman

‘WARNING’ in red fonts stare at you for a few seconds ‘ … very frighterning imagery…at your own risk…’ – Siddharth’s production studio Etaki Entertainment and Viacom18’s logos welcome you…

Screen goes blank and a metronome clicks away with a background voice calling out to Jenny. (2 Characters already introduced within 8 seconds into the trailer – A hypnosis expert and a victim). Jenny is asked to close her eyes. The metronome wipes out twice introducing ETAKI and Viacom 18 ‘s logos.    Jenny (Anisha Victor who is cast in Rohit Karan Batra’s ‘The field’ which stars Brenden Fraser as well) is asked to concentrate on a ticking sound. A faint background image of a frightened girl (with hair in disarray) is shown diagonal to the metronome. The Italian classical temp markings of ASSAI ALEGRO ANIMATO MODERATO show up. (Strange that in the olden days this Andalusian invention was used for music ad later was used for hypnosis as well!). The Hypnosis expert questions Jenny. ‘Don’t you like this place?’ and then the third character is introduced – ‘The house’ itself surrounded by snow clad mountains. The score slowly increases its tempo in the background. Mild wind chimes continue to add to the horror element! ‘Do you want to go back to your old house?’ He asks.

Sound Design and background score are the key elements to leave a viewer at the edge of the seat and the spine cold – The Trio of sound designing in this movie have achieved this!

Now this is where the editing finesse shows up. The transition from the exterior of the house to a large backlit cross in a room which is dark and then comes the ‘Thumping Knocks on the door’ which blends into 2 soft feet moving backwards in what looks like a toilet. Wooden Door continuously being battered. The camera moves from the feet to show us the first character – A girl finding it difficult to breathe, panting and walking backwards from the door. Then the door and then the girl now supposed to be sitting somewhere but looking down realising something in horror and looking down and then we see the 4th Character on which the girl has sat down by mistake (The Spirit!) with bleeding tattered flesh skin and bone. ‘She is asking us to leave from her house’ the girl says. For a second, you see a half of the terrifying face of the Ghost with a noise which makes you jump out of your seat (Mind you I was in my earphones! Still can’t get it off my head)

Again an awesome transition from the Cross to a festive backdrop when a flood of characters are shown among which we spot the celebrity cast of Siddharth and Andrea in their wedding (Based on a True Story flashes in between!).  A bit of lovemaking and then the scene changes to Siddharth sitting on a breakfast table reading ‘The Hindu’. Behind him is ‘The House’ which is the house next door. Andrea talks about new neighbours and will they be interesting. Siddharth sports a stubble which suits him very well. Andrea as usual at her stylish choice of house wear!

Andrea opens the door to a bright snowy day and a Girl (The one introduced to us in the first scene) stands at the door with a kid all tucked into a winter jacket. A couple of pictures on the wall show Siddharth and Andrea to make it look like their house naturally (Black and White!). The girl introduces herself as Jenny and the kid as ‘Sarah’. It is cold outside (A bit of snow) and she says ‘We have just moved in next door’.

The next scene shifts to a night scene where Siddharth asks Sarah what she is looking at and we see Sarah staring at something from the window. Siddharth sees Jenny standing at the rim of a well. She turns, looks at Siddharth and jumps into the Well. Again an editing cut back to the Cross with Titles and a baffled  Siddharth and Andrea look through the window and intrigued as to what is happening in that house.

Then a series of convoluted movements which remind us of The Exorcist, Atul Kulkarni is introduced holding on to Jenny which Siddharth tries to pacify her and then a metal spoon is placed between her teeth to prevent her from biting her tongue perhaps! You can see a silver fern tattoo below the earlobe of Jenny at this moment – not sure if it was on purpose or has some significance to the story. And then again the same scream which we here when the half face of the ghost is introduced is head when Jenny throws her head back and screams.

Siddharth is in an operation theatre getting ready to perform an operation, being ‘suited up’ when he explains that he is a neuro surgeon and is sure 100% that Jenny is not possessed. A piano with a ghastly hand dripping with blood is seen playing the background score. Jenny is wide awake in bed with Sarah hugging her in sleep. Someone feels she has started making up stories and thinks they are true (Sounds like the actor Suresh). We see Suresh, Siddharth, Atul Kulkarni and one more person standing near a graveyard and discussing something. Then a night scene where Jenny is staring out of the window and the Ghost reappears in a fast spine chilling impact on the glass window

They talk of a fake exorcism which is a kind of treatment when Atul Kulkarni asks if there is not treatment for this situation. But the pastor/priest confirms it is not Jenny and something has possessed her. Convolutions and marks start to appear on Jenny. Siddharth is curious to know why it has happened. An eclipse which turns the moon almost red rimmed, an old lady praying with beads, shaking lights, a sand art showing 2 kids. Then Jenny completely possessed with a disfigured face levitating up in a chair, shattering glasses and the cross drops from the priest’s hand.

The next few seconds try to give you a glimpse of a lot of scenes wrapped into a roller coaster – Beauty of the surroundings, Sarah falling down a slope, Siddhrath at his heels to save her, Jenny  standing on a cliff as if to fall off, clicking background score, Siddharth rushes to help someone by jumping off a wall, a running girl in a hospital, a surgical drill saw filled with blood, intoxicating chemistry between the lead duo, a locket, flying Jenny back again but with more people impacted by her demonic power, a frightened Andrea clutching on to Siddharth which finally ends in the title – The house Next Door’ in Red. Being a Stanley Kubrick fan I can relate to the fact that the colour red leaves a long standing impact.

Finally they show Sarah standing facing a door in the dark and turning to the right when being called by someone and then the stomach churning laugh ends the trailer with the credits.

Be ready to get scared…very scared…very very scared on the 3rd of November (Halloween) when The House Next Door / Aval / Gruham releases in Cinemas near you

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