The name spells it out clearly. '6 Athiyayam' - six chapters. The film is a compilation of six different stories, all strung together using the “horror” or paranormal element. But if you were hoping for a few scares or perhaps for the rush that comes while watching a good horror film, you might want to reconsider this one.
6 Athiyayam has its dose of suspense but apart from making you scrunch up your eyebrows quizzically, it doesn't take you further. Added to it is the experimental presentation of the film where the climaxes of all the shorts are played in the end. Perhaps this sounded very exciting on paper but it doesn't translate so well on screen.
The film begins with the first chapter, The Superhero. Thaman Kumar of Sattam Oru Iruttarai fame plays the character who believes himself to be a superhero and director SS Stanley plays the psychologist who listens to his experiences. Maybe an unusual choice for a horror film but do they actually pull it off? The premise does sound interesting, but it is too brief and doesn't quite pique our interest.
The second chapter Idhu Thodarum goes down the familiar horror route, with a few weak scares, but is brave enough to touch upon a sensitive topic. Child actor Sathanya does a fairly good job with her character.
The next two chapters, Misai and Anamika are a big letdown in terms of story. The execution, too, seems half-hearted and the plots struggle to sustain the element of suspense. In Misai, Pasanga Kishore plays a heartbroken youngster and in Anamika Sanjeev of Kulir 100 degree fame plays a youngster who is scared easy.
If the first four did not bog you down, the fifth one will succeed. This story is a poor attempt at horror-comedy that falls face-flat with its crass jokes on women. It is centred around a guy who is unable to strike a relationship with any woman and seeks the help of a voodoo priest. Who/what seems to be haunting him and why forms the crux of this story.
By the time the last story rolls out, you hope to get at least a gasp - this is a horror film after all. Painter - a breathtakingly beautiful woman - an old legend - death. Play around with these words and voila, you’ve got the plot.
Make-up is a huge disappointment. Surely, the faces could've been painted better. The team has also missed out on another crucial element in horror films - the sound effects. Although the film had a good line-up of small-time actors, their characters are all very temperamental and nobody leaves a lasting impression.
The film, however, has religiously ticked off all the cliches that one could come up with while making a horror flick. You wouldn't miss the sound of anklets, loose hair, white dresses and shadows. They’ve even painstakingly stuck to “female ghosts” only! The film has no songs in it except for the one in the end credits. 6 Athiyayam also has a mix of technicians - five on cinematography, five on background score and five editors. It might have been a challenge for producer Shankar Thiyagarajan (who also has directed a segment) to have handled a diverse technical crew.
The six chapters have been written and directed by six different people - Cable Sankar, Shankar Thiyagarajan, Ajayan Bala, EVA Suresh, Lokesh Rajendran and Sridhar Venkatesan, in that order. Even if you were to appreciate this film for its novelty in making, it still isn't enough to pass off as a good horror flick.
Disclaimer: This review was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the film. Neither TNM nor any of its reviewers have any sort of business relationship with the film's producers or any other members of its cast and crew.