This was a movie that was surprisingly good. In recent years, Tamil cinema has made it to death the comedy plus ghosts genre. Santhanam himself has acted in quite a few of them and it had become repetitive and boring. But Director S Prem Anand has managed a winner with this one, which you can watch with your family and have a good time. Dare Demons Returns (2023) gets a Ripe from Mangoidiots.
Yes, there is an old bungalow, some European ghosts, and the hero and his friends get themselves stuck inside the place. Those were the routine parts. But, the screenplay went with it in an interesting way. The game show in the film borrows inspiration from Squid Game and casinos, but it has been tailored well for the context. The library chase scene, filmed in the historic Madras Literary Society library was logical, a rarity in this genre.
There are three gangs trying to outwit each other and the hero in between. The first hour of their introductions and the chases in the French colony in Pondicherry were humorous. Munishkanth and Mottai Rajendran were hilarious, even the annoying Redin Kingsley and Lollu Sabha Maaran make you laugh. If you notice I have not mentioned the hero Santhanam so far, and there is a reason, instead of making his every film as his monologue Santhanam limits himself to his part, talks less and lets the other comedians around him shine in this one – this alone increased the odds for this film.
When the team wins, everyone wins. When the hero shares the spotlight with everyone else, the film gets a chance to become a winner.