Tag Archives: Yaavarum Nalam

Movie Review: 13B (2009)

13b212.5 Stars (out of 4)

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13B provides plenty of chills, without the gore that has become the hallmark of Hollywood thrillers.

As far as haunted houses go, apartment 13B is pretty tame. Curdled milk and unflattering digital photos are the most common complaints. But the apartment has one nifty feature: a TV set that shows the futures of the people who live in 13B.

Each day at a specific time, a soap opera airs on the TV, featuring characters analogous to members of the family currently living in the apartment. When the brother on the soap gets a raise, so does the brother in the real-life family. Manohar (R. Madhavan), the family’s patriarch, is the only one who understands the correlation, and he becomes determined to figure out who — or what — is behind it.

The movie is more of a thriller than a true horror film. The atmosphere in the apartment building is creepy, adding to the tension as Manohar waits for each day’s episode to show him what new dangers his family will face.

There are a few technical hiccups early in the film, such as badly-synced sound effects and subtitles that are hard to read against a light background. And the film’s two musical sequences seem way out of place.

But the film succeeds as a satire of TV viewing habits, particularly obsessive soap opera watching. The women in Manohar’s family are amused by his sudden interest in their favorite soap, even as they fail to grasp its true meaning.