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Aiyai: Wrathful Soul Review

April 2, 2021 | Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz
Aiyai: Wrathful Soul
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Aiyai: Wrathful Soul Review  

Aiyai: Wrathful Soul Review

Kabir Singh– Kiran
Tahlia Jade Holt– Sara Martin
Richard Huggett– Albert Fisher
William Wensley– Darren
Ozzie Devrish– Tom
Pennyanne Lace– Amy
Vinod Mohana Sundaram– Felix

(check out the rest of the cast here)

Directed by Alan Ilanthirayan Arumugam
Screenplay by Alan Ilanthiryan Arumugam, Charles Benedict, and Mukund Ramanan

Distributed by Film Regions International

Not Rated
Runtime– 90 minutes


Aiyai: Wrathful Soul, directed and co-written by Alan Ilanthirayan Arumugam (Charles Benedict and Mukund Ramanan also participated in writing the screenplay), is a fascinating supernatural horror thriller that succeeds on just about every level. While the general story at play isn’t necessarily something horror movie audiences haven’t seen before (the movie has some quirks that are its own but “vengeful spirit” stories have been rampant since the inception of cinema), Aiyai: Wrathful Soul will still freak you out and get under your skin a bit, which is what all good “vengeful spirit” movies do.

Aiyai: Wrathful Soul stars Kabir Singh as Kiran, a sort of down on his luck university student in need of a new job (he gets fired from his restaurant job in the movie’s opening sequence after a kitchen brawl involving Kiran and some raving derelicts that got inside after closing). Kiran’s buddy Felix (Vinod Mohana Sundaram) manages to get him a job at a sprawling cemetery/funeral home complex that seems as though it’s out in the middle of nowhere. Kiran’s new boss, Albert Fisher (Richard Huggett), seems like an okay guy, but his direct supervisor Darren (William Wensley) is kind of a dick. Kiran will do what he’s asked to do at the funeral home, though, as he needs the job.

And so Kiran learns quickly what he’s supposed to do while on the clock; clean things and stay out of the way of mourners. The toughest thing to clean is the furnace in the crematorium. It’s a creepy machine as it’s where the funeral home burns bodies, and it’s often super full of dust. But, again, it’s a job that Kiran needs so he’ll do it and do it to the best of his ability.

So then one day, on the way to work, Kiran breaks up a street fight involving various homeless criminals who are in the debt/employ of asshole drug dealer and all around piece of shit Tom (a hilarious Ozzie Devrish). Kiran manages to save a woman, and for his trouble he is then beaten, too. Kiran manages to escape and heads to the funeral home for his shift. On this particular shift, a series of incredibly strange things happen. Chairs and other objects start moving around all on their own. Blood comes out of the sink (there’s also an abundance of ants all over the place eating/doing whatever it is ants to do with blood). And when Kiran finishes his shift (he only sees a few of these weird things happen but he doesn’t draw any conclusions about anything because he’s too preoccupied with getting his work done) a smoky ghost watches him leave the grounds. Where the hell did a smoky ghost come from?

The next day, Kiran shows up for his shift at the funeral home and the building as a whole is in total disarray. Darren’s office is now a complete disaster and there’s something wrong with the cremation machine. Kiran tries to contact Darren about the condition of the grounds but Darren won’t answer his phone/seems to have fallen off the face of the Earth. Darren does, eventually, answer Kiran’s calls for help and heads to the crematorium to figure out what’s wrong with the machine. While messing around with the machine, Darren is attacked by various objects in the room and is then set on fire.

Set on fire? What the hell is going on in this funeral home?

So then some stuff happens, Albert shows up after the cops call him in, and Kiran is whisked away by paramedics and then questioned by the police. Is it possible that Kiran killed Darren in a fit of rage? Albert tells the cops that he has no idea what happened. And he’s generally right; he has no idea what happened. The audience knows what happened, though, and who is responsible for Darren’s death. It was Kiran, but not in the way that you think. There are other forces at work. Dark forces. Sinister forces. Forces that demand revenge at all costs. The audience doesn’t know why any of it happened, though, at least at first. The audience will find out by the end of the movie. That’s what the last third or so of the movie is all about. Finding out why all of this weird stuff is happening.

The audience also gets to experience what Kiran experiences while being connected to all of this hooey and it is not pleasant in the least. I didn’t fully grasp what was happening to Kiran until the very end of the movie, when all of the plot dots are connected and we find out what’s really going on. I won’t say specifically what’s going on, but you won’t be surprised by most of it. The origins of the vengeful spirit that figures into all of this is probably new (it certainly feels newish), but it isn’t anything horror movie fans haven’t already seen. It’s all done so very well, though. Even though you’ve seen it all before, it still messes with you.

How does the movie mess with you? Part of it is how what’s really going on is slowly revealed in the last third of the movie. What the heck happened in the funeral home? Why did Darren get set on fire (a fabulous “man-on-fire” moment)? What does Albert have to do with any of this? And what’s the deal with Tom and his low level criminal empire? Why is Tom and his team of homeless criminals in the movie at all? You’ll find out. The other reason the movie messes with you is Kabir Sigh’s physical performance. Singh goes through some of the most hellacious looking body contortions and weird as hell physical moments that you will question, in the moment, if Singh is acting or if something sinisterly supernatural is going on with him. It’s amazing to witness.


Aiyai: Wrathful Soul also has some truly fantastic special effects sequences. I have no idea how many effects are physical effects and how many are CGI (the only one I’m sure is CGI is the swirling dust from the cremation furnace). It’s rare as hell to see a convincing blend of both and not being able to tell which is which. The movie also doesn’t skimp on the gore. I mean, it isn’t a gore fest, but when the sequence calls for it bad stuff happens and it sure as hell looks bad and like something you wouldn’t want to happen to yourself.

Burning man_2

The cast surrounding Singh’s performance is outstanding. William Wensley is one of the biggest jerks in the world as Darren. Even if he’s good friends with his boss Albert, how the hell does Darren still have a job? Why do people put up with his shit? And why does he think it’s a good idea to treat people like crap in the first place? It makes no sense but, at the same time, all in the sense of the world. Darren is a jerk and an asshole, but he also has an odd charisma that explains why he gets away with what he gets away with. I would like to know what the hell the deal is with his hat, too. It’s like a character on its own.

Richard Huggett does a great job as Albert Fisher, Kiran’s boss. He seems like a good guy, the kind of guy you might want to work for, but he also has a shiftiness to him that plays itself out later on in the movie. How the hell did this guy get into the funeral home business? I’m sure an entire movie could be made about that and it would be an uncomfortable but riveting experience.

Tahlia Jade Holt is terrific as Sara, Kiran’s girlfriend. She really doesn’t figure into the story until later on, but when she does become a bigger part of the movie you will pay attention to her. Her final sequence is absolutely heart breaking and unsettling.

Ozzie Devrish is hilarious as Tom, the drug dealing scumbag and leader of a low level criminal scheme. I mean, yeah, he’s a rat bastard and a terrible person, but he’s still funny in a disturbing kind of way. I’m surprised the movie doesn’t have more of him in it being a terrible person. He’s incredibly entertaining.

And Pennyanne Lace, who plays Amy, goes through some of the most brutal stuff. She’s one of Tom’s criminal underlings and she has a serious drug habit. What Tom puts her through is just so terrible, and it only gets worse for her as the story goes on. You will feel for her and then some.

I also want to commend the movie’s score by Jason Fernandez. Some of the best creepy movie music in a good, long time. This music will also get under your skin.

Aiyai: Wrathful Soul is a great supernatural horror thriller. It doesn’t do anything necessarily new within the horror movie world, but it does what it does incredibly well and the movie will unnerve you. It also has a top notch performance from star Kabir Singh (you will remember every aspect of it, especially the final sequence of the movie). Aiyai: Wrathful Soul is an awesome horror flick that you should absolutely see. So see it. You’ll love it.

See Aiyai: Wrathful Soul. See it, see it, see it.


So what do we have here?

Dead bodies: 5

Explosions: A few very small ones.

Nudity? None.

Doobage: A rainy road, human body dragging, hand washing, frying pan attack, attempted assault, mild face wounds, multiple people with serious drug issues, a big cemetery, a uniform, bike riding, cremation furnace cleaning, a weird attempt at peer pressure, face slapping, attempted beating followed by an outright ass kicking, a weird shadow, multiple objects moving around on their own, floor moping, blood eating ants, a blood filled sink, a smoky ghost, swirling dust, truck washing, a very disheveled office, exploding light bulb, exploding fuse box, attack via floating objects, a nifty “man-on-fire” gag, cop interrogation, a worm apparition, some serious body contortions, weird colored eyes, underwear hooey, money colleting, full body impalement, attempted potential drowning, serious spitting, face bashing, a flashback, dead body hooey, spine removal, and a sad ending.

Kim Richards?: None.

Gratuitous: Spitting, walking around, multiple meth addicts, face licking, use of the word “buggering,” a crematorium, a joke about how funeral home workers shouldn’t get into fights with dead bodies, a weird guy that digs graves, weird goings on at a funeral home, a messed up house, a watch out in an evidence bag, what appears to be macaroni and cheese, more spitting, spine removal, and a sad ending.

Best lines: “Just looking for some leftovers, asshole!,” “Where is the money?,” “And you better have our money by tomorrow bitch!,” “Don’t call me sir. Call me Darren,” “Kiran, you all right? Are you off with the fairies?,” “Now this, this is the real deal,” “What is it? Well, this is the place where we send people to the afterlife and hope they never come back,” “Now, the most important thing about the cremation business is that everything we do is well done,” “Jesus, Darren, we’re in the chapel for Christ’s sake!,” “Are you smoking ice with that shit?,” “I don’t like questions,” “Did you see anything out of the ordinary?,” “Dig in,” “Erm, what’s this shit, man?,” “Stop! Stop and be a man you piece of shit!,” “Cheers, Darren. You’re gonna be okay,” “She. Is. Here,” “Give me all your money now!,” “Fuckers,” “Help me,” and “Come on. Let’s get this over and done with.”

The final score: review Amazing
The 411
Aiyai: Wrathful Soul, directed and co-written by Alan Ilanthirayan Arumugam is a fascinating supernatural horror thriller that succeeds on just about every level. While the general story isn’t necessarily something horror movie audiences haven’t seen before, the movie does have some quirks that are its own that work incredibly well, plus the movie has an amazing performance from star Kabir Singh (the entire cast is terrific but I think Singh’s performance will stay with you in a big way). Aiyai: Wrathful Soul will freak you out and definitely get under your skin, which is what all good “vengeful spirit” movies do. See Aiyai: Wrathful Soul. See it, see it, see it.