By faithfully following the dictum “If it bleeds, it leads”, The Village does itself the biggest favour. In Milind Rau’s Tamil-language series on Prime Video, about a series of mysterious disappearances in a rural part of Tamil Nadu, heads are detached from torsos, guts ooze and scary monsters lurk.

The horror-themed show marks leading Tamil actor Arya’s streaming debut. Arya plays Gautham, a doctor married to Neha (Divya Pillai). During a road trip, Gautham, Neha, their cute daughter Maya (Aazhiya) and their beagle Hectic, take a detour through the Kattiyal village. Viewers already know what awaits Gautham and his family.

The people who abduct Neha and Maya are linked to Singapore businessman Prakash (Arjun Chidambaram). Prakash orders a mercenary group led by Farhan (John Kokken) to extract a precious substance from Kattiyal.

Prakash forces his employee Jagan (Thalaivaasal Vijay) to accompany the group – Jagan is among the few people who knows Kattiyal’s macabre secrets. Meanwhile, a frantic Gautham seeks help in a neighbouring village, managing to recruit Shakthivel (Aadukalam Naren), Karunagam (Muthukumar K) and Peter (George Maryan) for his rescue mission.

(L-R) Muthukumar K, Georga Maryan and Aadukalam Naren in The Village (2023). Courtesy Studio Shakthi Productions/Prime Video.

The Village has been adapted from the graphic novel of the same name by Asvin Srivatsangam, Shamik Dasgupta and Vivek Rangachari. The six-episode series has been written by Rau, V Deeraj Vaidy and Deepthi Govindarajan.

The ample gore, apart from providing momentum, is a valuable distraction from some of the hard-to-ignore plot holes. The place where Gautham finds his benefactors has experienced Kattiyal’s wrath in the past. Didn’t anybody see it fit to place a “Take this short-cut at your own peril” sign?

Farhan’s unit follows military credo and packs mean-looking arsenal. Yet, when faced with their adversaries, this crack commando group proves to be quite ineffective.

The efficiently performed show never lacks imagination, even if the budgets don’t quite match ambition. Preetisheel Singh’s make-up is a major contributor to the overall vibe of creepiness. The nightmarish beings behind the kidnapping are symbols of the theme of unethical corporate practices.

Despite no lack of incidents, there’s an episode too many. Whenever the show sags, there’s a bouquet of crimson innards or a misshapen creature to keep attention from wandering.

The Village (2023).