Filmmaker Guru Ramesh has imagined a horror flick around a gigantic snake on the prowl inside a zoo, in which the snake rarely misbehaves: it bites a zoo-keeper on his right shoulder before he manages to escape its clutches. Despite the emotional set-up — four hearing- and speech-impaired children have lost their way inside the zoo with a giant snake — it's a bummer, from start to finish.

It has been conceived along the lines of an old-fashioned, ‘man-vs-deadly-animal’ film, a genre done to death in Hollywood.

Despite the presence of the menacing snake, what the film misses are those gasp-inducing moments where the man-eaters gulp down their victims, the anticipation of the attack, and the constant heightening of tension that made movies such as Jaws, Anaconda and so on so memorable.

However, in this film, tension is almost non-existent.

For example, Enna Satham Intha Neram features a sequence similar to one in Jurassic Park where Dr. Alan Grant (the film's lead character) and the two kids attempt to scale a high electric fence before it is electrified again. The search party anticipates that the kids might try to scale the wall and rush to turn off the electricity.

While the former, thanks to the way it was edited and written, made you lose all your nails, the almost similar sequence in ESIN is so poorly sequenced that it tests your patience. Also, the film feels populated with too many unnecessary characters snuck into the narrative in the hope that they will liven things up: there is a zoo keeper (Nithin Sathya) leading the search party, keen on constantly cracking jokes, knowing well that the four kids are in harm’s way, a couple of funny thieves, an animal rights activist protesting the killing of the snake and, this is getting boring now, a ‘loose, immoral’ female journalist, ready to pounce on sensational news. But the many characters do the opposite: they dilute the drama. It’s a film that had potential on paper, and it could have been so much more. Sadly, it’s all been blown away.

Enna Satham Intha Neram

Genre: Horror

Director: Guru Ramesh

Cast: Jayam Raja, Manu, Adhiti, Aakrithi, Akshathy, Aapthi, Nithin Sathya, Malavika Wales

Storyline: Man-eating snake on the prowl in a zoo with kids visiting

Bottomline: Too many people, too little craft