Cast: Varalakshmi Sarath Kumar, Rao Ramesh, Satyaraj, Tulasi, Avika Gor, Manas, Nandu, Bindu Madhavi, Abhinaya, Rajeev Kanakala, and others.
Producers: Ohmkar, Ashwin, Kalyan
Release: October 17, 2023
Streaming On: Disney+Hotstar
After a significant hiatus, renowned anchor Ohmkar presents his latest horror series, “Mansion 24,” featuring an exceptional cast. This 6-episode series has garnered attention for its captivating promos and a diverse ensemble from South India. Let’s delve into the series and see what it has to offer.
The story revolves around Amrutha, portrayed by Varu Sarathkumar, an investigative journalist on a mission to unveil the truth about her father, Kalidas, played by Satyaraj. Kalidas, an archaeologist, is wrongly accused of stealing an excavated artifact, resulting in his disappearance. With her mother, Tulasi, in critical health, Amrutha embarks on a journey to uncover answers. Her quest leads her to a mysterious mansion, the last place her father was seen. Inside the mansion, the security guard, Rao Ramesh, shares a series of chilling ghost stories that supposedly occurred in various rooms. After each story, Amrutha applies her analytical mind, employing technical, logical, and scientific reasoning to debunk the supernatural elements, revealing that these tales are not ghost stories at all.
In the end, Amrutha unravels the mystery surrounding her father’s actions and his disappearance inside Room No 24, concluding Season 1 with a surprising twist.
Varalakshmi Sarath Kumar portrays the role of an investigative journalist competently. However, if expectations for her character mirror that of a character like Jayamma from “Veera Simha Reddy,” it might lead to disappointment. Her confident delivery of Telugu lines, despite a Tamil touch in her dubbing, injects life into her character. Nevertheless, her portrayal lacks emotional depth in conveying the pain of her missing father and her ailing mother’s condition. She primarily serves as an observer who deciphers the stories, which may not fully connect with the audience.
Rao Ramesh, as the security guard of the haunted mansion, delivers a convincing performance. While his character doesn’t require a wide range of emotions, his delivery of one-liners and narration of the ghost stories is effective. Although he fits the role well, a more substantial character would have allowed his presence to shine even more. Nevertheless, another actor could have also effectively handled this role, not exclusively Rao Ramesh.
Satyaraj’s appearance in the show is limited, with only a few scenes, and he appears rather routine in his role. Nandu, portraying a ruthless conman who targets call girls, has moments of strength in his performance. Avika Gor, Abhinaya, KGF fame Archana Jois, and others deliver acceptable performances. However, their characters are limited to a single emotion—fear. Most of them perform well, but the straightforward storyline doesn’t fully highlight their presence.
“Mansion 24” boasts remarkable production design and cinematography as its standout features. The art pieces effectively capture the mansion’s old interiors and its current state of decay, creating a realistic atmosphere. Manikandan’s cinematography adds another layer of brilliance to the series, showcasing investment in production quality.
The background score and sound effects design by Vikas Badisa, a protege of DSP (Devi Sri Prasad), offer an intriguing dimension. While one should not expect something on the scale of Thaman’s work in “Bhagamathie,” considering both series are of the same genre, Vikas’s efforts stand out. It’s worth noting that more than the visuals, scene composition, or performances, it is the sound design and music by this young talent that infuse the horror and suspense elements into the series. However, there is room for improvement in the scoring.
Despite a significant budget, the visual effects, especially wide shots of the mansion, crows, black cats, and other CG elements, are poorly rendered. They appear fake in most shots, which is a significant drawback in the series, although these elements do not directly impact the narrative.
- Quality visuals and sound.
- Predictability of each episode.
- Routine horror elements.
- Poor story arcs.
On the surface, “Mansion 24” shares similarities with “Bhagamathie,” where illusions are spun within a mansion to convey a vital lesson. In this narrative, those responsible for Amr