Siddharth’s Gruham may not be the best horror movie ever but it certainly does what it sets out to do. It does a pretty good job delivering those chills down your spine. Be it spooky silences or jump-scares, the mission is accomplished.
Jump-scares. Hmm. Now, as much as I would like a few jump-scares in my horror films, I would much rather prefer horror originating from the story and the narration itself. The thing with jump-scares is that the effect they have on you is mostly temporary. The next time you watch the film, you know exactly where to hold your breath (or look away if you’re faint-hearted 😛 ). There’s hardly any repeat value for jump-scares. Horror ingrained in the narrative, on the other hand, gets to you every time you watch the film. Take Conjuring, for instance. Fewer jump-scares (pretty good ones at that) but there’s spookiness of class written all over that film! Closer home, Gruham tries to mimic the look of such Hollywood blockbusters, what with all the posh, wooden homes and a very icy, chilly setting and basically a very polished, sophisticated feel to it. The texture is what the film gets right spot on! The content however, although brimming with potential, is under-utilized.
This is not to say that the end-product is bad. In fact, I enjoyed watching Gruham more than I thought I would. But off the top of my head, I can think of at least two ways in which the film could have been tweaked here and there to make it a better one. The film takes some time to establish characters. Siddharth is Dr. Krishnakanth, a neurosurgeon. Andrea plays his wife Lakshmi with ease. Suresh as psychiatrist Prasad is a friend of Krishna’s. All things start to go down south when a family moves into the house next to Krishna’s.
The interesting thing about Gruham is how it puts two men of science, Krishna and Prasad, in a situation where they may have to reconsider their beliefs or their lack thereof. It’s here that I hoped the neurosurgeon angle would take more prominence. But it didn’t. It’s a road worth exploring, but the movie would have been largely different had that angle been explored. Interesting nonetheless.
Newcomer Anisha Victor as Jennifer aka Jenny delivers a earnest performance. It’s too early to say anything but from the looks of it, this actress holds promise. Siddharth is his charming self for the most part. In the penultimate and ultimate scenes, he surprised me, honestly. Andrea is flawless and sleepwalks through the role. Suresh fits the bill. Atul Kulkarni, sadly, doesn’t get much scope. The Chinese actors are alright. Background music is good but louder than necessary at places. Some spooky subtlety here could have helped.
Overall, Gruham is definitely worth watching. I’m going with 3.25 out of 5!
PS: All the images are screenshots from the movie’s official trailer on YouTube.