Let me tell you right at the start that Parthan Mohan's 'One' is no 'Blair Witch Project'. It's an experiment all right, but there is nothing inventive about this gore fare that is generic to the core.
Rosin, Vishnu, Vinod, Devika and Sau - five techies by profession - head out to a sinister looking manor on a hilltop, a few kilometers off the city. They drag along with them their boss (Jagadeesh), who is struggling to get over a personal tragedy.
With that huge backlog of Hollywood horror thrillers and RGV films behind you, anyone can, and should spot a spooky house from a mile away. It's surprising that these men and women walk straight into it, even as the house seems to be screaming 'I'm creepy' all through!
Fine. You do decide to walk in and almost all those horror film prerequisites are lying around abandoned. How do you fail to notice them? The creaky iron gate, the slamming doors, the dusty interiors, the cobwebs, the dangling red curtains, the disconnected telephone, the swing, the still pond and the tree with the red bandanas or ribbons or whatever - everything is right on spot, and if you still decide not to flee for your life, you deserve to be eaten alive.
So here are these young men and women (except for the slightly older boss) who get caught in the mansion that locks itself the moment they are in. And then there is the elimination process like you get to see in one of those reality shows, and one by one they get bumped off.
They tell me that this is based on some real life incident that happened in Scotalnd years back. And that except for one, the other bodies were found. There seems to be no news of the missing body or the person. Which leads us to the safe conclusion that barring the basic premise, everything else is fictional.
There is no real suggestion of an evil spirit lurking around in the film. Or perhaps there is, when you think of those bed sheets being pulled down or the eerie voice that whispers 'Bless You' into the phone. I'd still like to believe that the final survivor was just a maniac who had devised a plan to lure her victims into the house.
This doesn't mean that I'm all against spirits. I like them better when they frighten me or at least make me twist around in my seat. When they put me to sleep, I pretend that they do not exist, and try to find relief in some sensible logic instead.
The acting is pretty much even, though after a while it all happens in the light of a flash torch. Rosin Jolly does come up with a convincing performance and so do the other actors. Jagadeesh looks terribly miscast.
It's either still or shaky as far as the camera goes. For the first hour, it remains static letting the actors move in and out of its focus, and at times shows no intention of ever moving, as the characters check out snapshots on their mobile phones or have pointless conversations. And then it stars getting all shaky as it assumes a special eye through the scenes being shot by Sau on her handycam.
'One' offers solid proof that one could be really tired waiting to be scared. Believe me, I'm exhausted!