The last time an Indian horror film featuring kids as a driving plot factor that managed to fulfill the expectations of audiences of all ages would no doubt have to be the classic Malayalam smash hit, My Dear Kuttichathan. Sangu Chakkaram released today has surpassed the classic My Dear Kuttichathan.

Jointly produced by Leo Vision and Cinemawala Pictures, this Maarison directorial is a fun watch right from the start till the end. The biggest plus coming out of watching this film would be the positive acknowledgment from kids, who will have enjoyed it a lot.

Directed by Maarison, Sangu Chakkaram starts off with a few kids shown engaged in their daily play time activity. Unbeknownst to them, a plan is being hatched to kidnap one of them by kidnapper Dhilip Subbarayan and a cop. The cop in order to gain the trust of the children masquerades as a doll seller and lures them into a big house that is in shambles.

Meanwhile, a real estate agent wants to get the house sold and seeks the help of a Hindu priest. On the other end, the uncle of one of the children has his own ambitions and wants to kill one of the children to inherit a property. The story then converges at a common point where the children are saved by a Malar, a child ghost, portrayed by Monica. Subsequently, we are introduced to Angaiyarkanni, the mother of Malar, played by Punnagai Poo Gheetha.

As Monica comes to the rescue of the children, we are shown how even a ghost's mother wants her child not to interact with humans. In the meantime, seeing that the Hindu priest has not yielded any successful results, the real estate broker brings foreign priests to get work done faster. And, they get right to the job and it is at this point when the mother and child themselves fall under their trap and it is a battle for survival for them as well as the kids when each of them fall under separate traps. The safety of the children once again befalls on the ghosts, but that hinges on how the ghosts are set free first. How the children are rescued and what happens to all those who wanted gains of their own forms the rest of the plot of Sangu Chakkaram.

The film doesn't take much time to establish is plot with characters being introduced and motives revealed at the right junctures. Not only is the plot engaging till the end, there are many factors that are working in favor of this film. The biggest strength of Sangu Chakkaram is in its performances by each of its cast members. Be it the histrionics of each of the children or stunt choreographer Dhillip Subbarayan's acting mettle, they have done an exceptionally charming embodiment of the respective characters bestowed upon them. Punnagai Poo Gheetha too needs a special mention for taking up such a role that many would generally decline considering it is a mother character.

The interaction between Monica the child ghost and the other children is a major highlight for all who watch the film. The innocence shown in the scenes featuring the children will make us smile wide throughout the film's duration.

Usually, in a horror film, filmmakers ideate a plot that includes a flashback portion for any of the supernatural elements. This film doesn't tread down that path and has achieved to bring to the table a fun-filled kids fantasy horror that keeps us hooked till the end in a successful manner. Hats Off to the creators for spottening a smart move.

Another additional aspect that elevates the film is its dialogues which are unexpectedly enlightening. Dialogues such as "why God doesn't exist in a haunted house" and "how God won't help bad people when He refrains from coming to those in need" are eye-opening. Other wonderful dialogues include, "Logic exists in the lies that have been made to believe" or Gheetha's explanation to her ghost daughter on why they cannot transcend to the real world as "there is a far more terrifying horror in the real world - money" leave us thinking the state of reality that we are inhibiting.

Music by Shabir is in right proportions as necessary for the narrative which doesn't have any songs while the art direction by Jeyachandran is to a tee. Cinematography by Ravikannan and editing by Vijay Velukutty have had a hand in hand role in the film.

Director Maarison needs to be praised for taking up a subject that includes many daring aspects. The film is a horror kids fantasy and combining all these details in a single plot is a difficult task. And, he has pulled it off in a fulfilling manner. A special shoutout to producers Rajkumar and Sathish, who have supported the filmmaker in delivering us this film that serves its purpose - to leave us entertained. The ending especially throws light on many current day events from the perspective of children as well as the ghosts.

Thumbs Up

Fun-filled kids fantasy horror film without a negative ending - a first-of-its-kind
No flashback portion for the ghosts
Interaction between Monica and the kids
Engaging plot till the end
Dhillip Subbarayan's acting skills come to the fore

Thumbs Down

Kids will not bat an eye on the VFX, but adults, who have been exposed to Hollywood films might have experienced this earlier

Verdict - A film that children will enjoy the most and a hilarious ride for adults too.