Reviews

Demonte Colony: New address for horror

A still from Demonte Colony  

Demonte Colony is a fitting outcome for the efforts that go to reinvent horror in a commercial context. While the clichés come to good use and ensure familiarity, the director Ajay Gnanamuthu packages a consistently gripping narrative with numerous surprises in timely intervals. The lack of familiar faces and the low key execution are an equal measure of a blessing, given it’s always the story that takes the centre stage.

The history to the street, after which the film’s named, supposedly grappling with fear brings to life, a terrific back story. Predictably , there’s an underlying deceit too. There’s a little hint of a meta film unfolding when an aspirant director among the three protagonists narrates a script for a horror film set in the same street to a struggling producer. The supposed ‘brotherhood’ moments of the trio don’t extend beyond necessity.

Even as you see the logic here, it’s commendable that it does stick to a regional setting. The world of the bachelors is identifiable though limited to astrology predictions, insufficient money, a couple of drinks at a bar and their room. The use of the spirit game, fire and rain is executed to perfection in this context too.

Despite the disclaimer suggesting Telugu is the language spoken in Chennai, it’s tough to disagree that the reworking is mostly on the lazier side. With the strong content in the film though, these minor skirmishes take a backseat.

Taking a cue from the better examples of horror in the recent past, akin to the detailing associated with a fluid in Vaishali, the deliciously constructed thrills in the Pizza series, the result barely faces any distractions from the seed idea in the crisp couple of hours. This is to a large extent a realisation coming from the director’s perspective about his story limitations. The film’s second hour is its strength and the ending, with a touch of class, manages to leave a chill in your spine.

The background score, boasting of a majority of rock-music origins is one of its major plusses. The cast, led by Arulnithi, does a neat job. The cinematography and special effects don’t go over the top either. Every now and then, you need a film that breaks norms and stands tall among the rest. While it was Rahul Sankrityan’s The End for the last year, Demonte Colony should ideally seize the honours for now.

Cast: Arulnithi, Ramesh Thilak

Director: R. Ajay Gnanamuthu

Genre: Horror thriller

Plot: Three friends decide to explore a haunted house on a night and pay a huge price

Bottomline: Enough thrills on display


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Printable version | Jan 23, 2022 3:43:27 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/cinema/cinema-reviews/demonte-colony-new-address-for-horror/article7460642.ece

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