Aval (English: She) in Tamil is a 2017 Indian horror film co-written and directed by Milind Rau. The film stars Siddharth and Andrea Jeremiah in lead roles, with Siddharth also working on the film as a co-producer and a co-writer. Shot simultaneously in three languages, Tamil, Hindi and Telugu. The film was released on 3 November 2017 to mostly positive reviews in all languages.
The film opens with an ancient Chinese mother and daughter. They seem to spend happy moments with each other with the mother being pregnant. The movie then moves to the present where a happy couple Krishnakanth aka Krish (Siddharth) and Lakshmi (Andrea Jeremiah) make love, bringing in their memories of the times they met and how their love blossomed. They suddenly notice that a new family is moving into the next house. Krish is a neurosurgeon who specializes in deep brain stimulation (DBS) to cure Parkinson’s. He is close to another doctor, Dr. Prasad, who is a psychiatrist.
The two families get along well, with Jennifer aka Jenny, who is the eldest daughter having a crush on Krish. Everything goes well when suddenly during a dinner party, Krish sees Jenny jumping into the nearby well. Informing the family, he jumps into the well and saves her. Lakshmi who got angry on Krish for jumping into the deep well, quarrells with him on that night before Krish forcefully kisses her and both end up in having sex. That very night, Jenny is attacked with seizures and once again, Krish helps her in time. During another dinner at Krish’s house, Jenny panics by seeing a strange figure and her parents forcefully take her home. The people in the house start noticing strange things. The next morning, Jenny, once again without being self-aware, goes towards a cliff to jump, Sarah, who follows her, slips towards another cliff, but is saved by Krish.
When Paul goes towards Jenny to stop her, she herself returns home without saying anything, while still in a zombie state & passes out in the house. Her father then takes her to the psychiatrist on Krish’s recommendation and she reveals two specific things that she thought was abnormal: a voice speaking to her in Chinese and another terrifying incident in the toilet. The psychiatrist feels that something is wrong and visits her room one day with the permission of her father who takes her out. He tries to decipher her mental state by reading the condition of her room, while also finding recent internet searches about ghosts in her tablet, and a book about exorcism lying in her drawer. By seeing all this, he concludes that Jenny must’ve made up an image in her mind that she’s possessed by a spirit. So, he, Krish, and Jenny’s dad plan to administer fake exorcism with the help of a church pastor, Father Joshua in order to bind the spirit. All hell breaks loose in doing so, revealing that she is really possessed by a powerful spirit of the Chinese mother, resulting in Father Joshua getting injured and admitted to the hospital in a comatose state.
Jenny returns to a normal state, but to confirm what is going on, her grandfather calls on to a psychic. But Jenny’s father dismisses him. One night, the servant in the house prepares a voodoo doll to chase the bad spirit, but is scolded by Paul not to do occult in house. The same night, she is hit by the ghost in the same way as the voodoo doll, while being wrapped by her own shawl, impaled on the head by a nail. The next morning, when Paul looks around her room, he finds the Voodoo doll under the bed and what appears to be fingernail marks below the bed frame. Evidently spooked, he tells his father to call the psychic. Using his power, the psychic talks to the spirit, who signals to him that there are not two, but three spirits in the house, with the third one being revealed to actually be a malevolent force which would not let them leave the house.
Lakshmi announces that she is pregnant, but within a few days, she falls off a ladder, while seeing a scary figure on the water tank, who was actually attempting to cause her a miscarriage, but the child survives. Krish gets suspended as he was constantly distracted by these figures, while in the operation theater causing a hemorrhage to the patient being operated. Dr. Prasad, with the help of a local police inspector, starts researching about a family that used to live in that house finding out that there was a single eye witness who knew what happened to the family. Simultaneously, the psychic too, using the comb which belonged to the Chinese daughter, begins to place the pieces of the mystery. When Dr. Prasad and Krish go to see the witness in a village, she tells a flashback when she was eight years old. It is revealed that the house belonged to a rich Chinese silk merchant who lived with his wife and daughter. He wished that his pregnant wife should bear a male child. As he was a Satan worshiper, he had to sacrifice a girl child during the time of the solar eclipse to get a male child.
To achieve this purpose, he kidnapped the then eight year old witness when she was collecting flowers in the garden nearby as usual. The eight year old witness was saved just in time by his wife, which left him with no option, but to sacrifice his own daughter. He hit his wife, until she became unconscious. Luring his child slowly, he beheads her using a sacrificial sword. His wife, regaining her senses, couldn’t bear the sight of her dead daughter on the floor. Cursing her husband, she took a knife and pierced herself in the abdomen, killing herself, and the unborn child telling him that she does not need a male child by sacrificing a girl child. The husband realizing his loss takes away his life by drowning himself in the nearby well.
Coming back to the present, the father orders his family to pack up and leave the house. Lakshmi is being chased in the hospital by the two spirits only to guide her to Father Joshua’s room. Being the day of the solar eclipse, the old woman speculates that the Chinese merchant would return to complete his ritual. Lakshmi calls Krish and tells him that she is discharged and is headed to see Jenny. Krish too comes back from the village at the request of Lakshmi to stay with Jenny. Lakshmi then tricks Krish and locks him in Jenny’s room for impeding him till the eclipse ends. She then reveals what Father Joshua had seen on the day of exorcism. Though Jenny was set free, some other force tried to stop the prayers of Father Joshua in the room. The force was from none other than Krish. When Krish had jumped into the well the other night to save Jenny, the Chinese merchant’s spirit possessed him. Meanwhile, the psychiatrist being in the same room as Krish also figures that the Chinese merchant and Krish have common dates of birth. Krish being possessed, kills the psychiatrist in a gruesome way and escapes through the window.
It was from Krish that the spirits of the Chinese mother and the Chinese daughter were trying to protect the family by frightening them to leave the house. As the eclipse begins, the spirit of the Chinese merchant takes full control of Krish and he begins searching for his target, which is revealed to be Sarah to sacrifice and complete the ritual. Though he lures her and tries to kill her, the family members and the spirits of the Chinese mother and the Chinese daughter fight with Krish by trying to distract him, until the eclipse ends and they finally succeed in removing the spirit from his body.
In the end, Krish and Lakshmi are shown to be settled in Goa. Jenny, along with her dad comes to meet them. When Jenny requests to meet their son, it is shown and revealed to the viewers that Krish, being possessed with the Chinese merchant’s spirit had sex with Lakshmi resulting in a baby actually born of the Chinese merchant instead, which the couple are unaware of. The film ends by showing the camera being panned towards the boy seated in a room, slowly revealing his face & focusing on the iris of his eye which then splits into double iris and the screen cuts to black.
Directed by Milind Rau
Produced by Siddharth
Written by Milind Rau & Siddharth
Starring Siddharth, Andrea Jeremiah
Music by Girishh
Cinematography Shreyaas Krishna
Edited by Lawrence Kishore
Production Viacom 18 Motion Pictures & Etaki Entertainment
Release date 3 November 2017
Running time 137 minutes
Language Hindi, Tamil, Telugu