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Mansion 24 review: Ohmkar’s horror show is unimaginative and stale

The star-studded lineup, from Varalaxmi Sarathkumar to Sathyaraj and Rao Ramesh, can’t salvage a shoddy script

Mansion 24 review: Ohmkar’s horror show is unimaginative and stale

Mansion 24

Last Updated: 01.54 PM, Oct 17, 2023



Kalidas, one of the most revered archaeologists in the country, is missing. He is labelled a traitor for revealing confidential information to neighbour countries. His daughter Amrutha, an investigative journalist, takes it upon herself to trace his whereabouts and restore his legacy. She is headed to a haunted, abandoned mansion to find answers. Where does this lead her to?


Continuing director Ohmkar’s tryst with the horror genre, Mansion 24, his first on OTT, borrows a leaf out of Raju Gari Gadhi, the first part of his own popular horror comedy franchise. The horror elements are deceptively packaged to conceal the larger truth while the show is filled with multiple subplots to distract the viewer. On a conceptual level, Mansion 24 has a juicy, captivating premise.


Within the first episode, the director builds a solid emotional foundation for the viewer to invest in the story. There’s a strong motive for the protagonist to enter the mansion - to find her father and prove his innocence. Through the gatekeeper’s tales, Ohmkar wants us to believe that the mansion is haunted and also highlights the protagonist’s intelligence.

The core idea of the show is smart and the episodic format is a good choice for the narrative. Even within the subplots, the director focuses on the ghosts within us and says how our response to a situation can invite peril into our lives. Yet, Ohmkar struggles to translate his ideas onto the screen. On the technical front, the execution is devoid of any originality.

The tried and tested tropes of the horror genre dampen the storytelling. The characters hear strange sounds, a soothsayer with long beard wears unkempt, torn clothes and mouths Sanskrit slokas, the lights keep flickering, the ghosts don white gowns and their faces are covered with ash. The characters are poorly fleshed out and many situations look derived from popular horror films.

The hurried editing doesn’t give any substantial time for the director to develop his characters or pique the curiosity of the viewer. The twists in the final episode salvage the show to an extent, but the resolution feels too convenient. The sequence where Tulasi recovers after a health setback is melodramatically staged. It’s unfortunate how Telugu filmmakers disrespect the need for nuance and better writing in the web medium time and again.

Mansion 24 proves that you may have the best of acting talents (from Varalaxmi Sarathkumar to Avika Gor, Sathyaraj, Rao Ramesh and Jayaprakash) and quality technicians (cinematographer Rajasekhar, art director Ashok Kumar), they can only be as good as the story you want to tell. Also, Telugu digital space truly needs to go a long way in understanding the horror space better.

Varalaxmi Sarathkumar
Varalaxmi Sarathkumar

Among all the backstories surrounding the mansion, Rajeev Kanakala and Abhinaya’s segment stands out, where the helplessness of a mother in rescuing her troubled family is established well. Varalaxmi Sarathkumar and Rao Ramesh hold the show together with their strong screen presence while Sathyaraj, Jayaprakash, Avika Gor, Bindu Madhavi, Sriman, Nandu are wasted in uni-dimensional roles.

Archana Jois truly makes an effort to lend an earthiness to her portrayal. The cinematography and the production design are among the show’s high-points, but the unimaginative situations don’t give the technicians much scope to prove their worth.


Ohmkar, after the Raju Gari Gadhi franchise, distances himself from humour and explores horror on a deeper level with Mansion 24. While there are a few smart ideas, not all of them translate well on the screen. The writing, characterisation lack nuance and the show is devoid of a strong emotional connect. Varalaxmi Sarathkumar, Rao Ramesh, Archana Jois play their parts with conviction.


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