Winter could make excellent content material for 'How to make a Horrid Horror Movie for Dummies'. Perhaps in theory it was intended to be real eerie, but on screen, it's slack, sloppy, and most shamefully without a single, honest scare.
Dr. Ram (Jayaram) is on the lookout for a new home with a play yard, since his daughter has been diagnosed of depression arising out of claustrophobia. The moment they walk into a spooky mansion sited on some sheltered space away from the hustle-bustle of the city, his wife Shayama (Bhavana) senses something wrong.
The scariest thing about the film is its horrifying script. Winter is determined to have you jumping out of your boots every now and then. Sadly it doesn't have any twists or turns in its tale, and some really scary instances to accomplish what it badly wants to. So it retorts to ringing a shrill doorbell on your ear repeatedly until you go totally berserk in frustration. It also utilizes the man-behind-you-as-you-turn-around kinda scare for as long as it can survive on it.
Apart from the decrepit script, if there's something else that's bloodcurdling it's the horrendous art direction. Probably on account of all the conjuring up that has to be done, the house looks like it has been freshly put up for a wall paint ad. Asking for a house that looks like its being lived in could be a bit too much, I know, but it would have been better if we could at least see something that looks remotely believable.
So the fright element is infinitely low, so much so that it isn't frightening at all. It isn't even creepy for that matter. There are plenty of things that the horror man needs to take care of, before he attempts to frighten someone out of his wits; like the suspense, the mood and the atmosphere, none of which works in Winter.
Every time the kids move about on the frame, you are reminded of Alejandro Amenabar's 'The Others', a gripping thriller woven around tenets of mysticism. Amenabar's film badly makes you want to believe in ghosts while Deepu gropes around in the darkness, unsure as to what he himself believes in.
There's nothing suggestive of Winter in the entire film, except the odd woolen that Bhavana drapes around herself. On the contrary, summer seems to have set in big time, with the summer flowers in full bloom, and the sun strappingly shining all through.
When a couple of hours had finally passed by with neither the chill nor the thrill, I decided to seek some advice from a dear friend and popped the question. Why Winter? He gave me one hard look, and curtly replied - It has to have some name, for Gawd's sake. He pretty much summed up the whole thing for me.
Just to keep you in the swing of things, hey look, who's that standing behind you with a burnt out face and eyes popping out of the sockets? Gotcha!
NOW PLAYING | MOVIE REVIEWS