Nayanthara's Connect Review: An eerie video chat with few buffering moments

(This article is authored by Alar)

Once upon a time, Tamil horror movies were scary, but now they're just another generic ghost story with a family backstory and tonnes of flashbacks explaining how the ghost got to be a ghost in the first place. But  Ashwin Saravanan's latest film, Connect, seems to be an attempt to buck the current trend of horror films in Tamil cinema. The film is a short, terrifying journey that lasts just 99 minutes and depicts an attempted exorcism during a period of quarantine, but couldn't help the thought that he drew ideas too heavily from Hollywood's gory flicks.


The movie begins with a happily ever family, Nayanthara plays the lead role the mother, Vinay as a father, and Haniya Nafisa as a daughter. When Haniya attempt to bring one of her family member after the loss, she unfortunately made a wrong call. Bad evil enters the house, and when Susan, played by Nayanthara notices the changes in the behavior of her daughter, it became too late to fix.


The crew behind  the cameras deserves praise. The effective use of lighting and camerawork contributes to the effectively unsettling atmosphere. In this one-of-a-kind take on the video chat genre, Manikantan Krishnamachary's eye behind the camera is a major plus. There are a lot of jump-out-of-your-skin moments in the film, but if you're a fan of Hollywood horror movies, you might not be too startled by anything that happens. Prithvi Chandrasekhar expertly handled the score in the background, making sure not to distract from the film's serious tone.

Saravanan’s Connect is a straight-out horror movie, an aspect that it shares with his previous attempts Game Over, and Maya. Incorporating strategic camera work, especially in the form of video call interactions and close-ups, the film creates an engaging and suspenseful viewing experience. At swift speed, the movie shifts from terror to hope quickly. Ashwin got high marks for the scary story, but not for the 'Connect'ed family melodrama. 

Despite the fact Susan (Nayanthara) wants her daughter to be free from the spirits, she seems disconnected. In some scenes, it feels like they both living in the house like room mates, rather than delivering a parenting feel. Anna (Haniya) grandfather's played by veteran actor Sathyaraj, had a true to life performance, and he went above and beyond in the scene where he finds out that her grand daughter Anna is possessed.

Newcomer Haniya’s acting need a huge round of applause for her top-notch performance as a possesed daughter, and a strong teenage daughter in her first debut film. In a brief but pivotal scene, Anupam Kher, playing a pastor, moves the plot in an intriguing direction as the only hope the family has.

The director stands out for his focus on the protagonist and the use of technological media in the telling of the story, rather than on establishing new locations and clogging up them with secondary characters. Like most of his past works, - Game Over took place primarily in the protagonist's home and centres around a video game. Maya's plot followed by the protagonist's pursuit to watch the movie in a theatre, and then the plot go deep. It looks like Susan from Connect, like in the same vein, she needs to get rid of possessed demons from her daughter through a video call.

Fans of English horror, exorcism stories, and the experimental narrtive style of shooting will enjoy Connect. Eventhough the film lasts for 99 minutes long, the last ending portions were the connection begins to buffer and the momentum fades.