The most popular genre in Tamil commercial cinema are horror comedies, which has the highest percentage of success at the box-office.
It works basically because the audiences like the scare factor and at the same time, laugh out loud comedy scenes. This year end horror comedy, directed by Sinish, is Balloon, which will constantly scare and provide chills at the same time.
Balloon follows the horror comedy format to a T, with non-stop fear creating scenes, with regular doses of comedy as well. Director Sinish makes it clear right at the beginining of the film that he has been inspired by half a dozen Hollywood films. He comes clean and acknowledges in the title cards — Mama, The Conjuring, Poltergeist and IT, all have some sort of stake in the film. Sinish has beautifully mixed elements from these films and added local nativity, giving it an all new flavour.
A script writer and an aspiring director Jeeva (Jai), is asked by his producer to churn out a commercially viable horror comedy . He goes to Ooty accompanied by his two assistants (Yogi Babu and Karthik), wife (Anjali) and his young nephew Papu. The idea is that he wants to research a haunted house in Ooty and churn out a horror comedy based “on a true story”.
They rent out a house close to the haunted house, but soon mysterious and strange things start happening in Jeeva’s life.
In the night his nephew talks to a young girl, hot air balloons keep floating around, a life like doll appears along with a lot of weird happenings. Jeeva finds out that his nephew and wife get possessed by a spirit. There is some connection between Jeeva and Charlie (Jai in a dual role), a balloon seller, and a guy who entertains people playing a clown.
In post interval flashback scene the romance between Charlie and Shembagavali (Janani Iyer) unfolds, leading to the twist.
Balloon is fast moving entertainer with the right mix of horror and comedy provided by the hero’s friends. Yogi Babu who plays an assistant director provides all the laughs with his antics and comments on the way Kollywood functions. However Balloon’s USP is its scary scenes which has been cleverly crafted by Sinish, his cameraman Saravanan and his sound designers along with Yuvan Shankar Raja’s creepy background score. The action scenes along with the fear factor in the mortuary has been well picturised . Plus there is enough romance between the rumoured real life lovers Jai and Anjali.
The first half of the film is racy and entertaining, while second half ends with a predictable climax. The songs make sure the film will have a 2 hour plus running time, to keep the viewers happy.
Balloon is a well made horror comedy that provides the necessary thrill needed for the genre.