A short film about a single mother and a crying baby in a cradle instantly evokes Roman Polanski’s horror classic Rosemary’s Baby (1968). The tribute is more than evident in Poojitha Prasad’s six-minute Laali. The challenge, then, is to move away from comparing Laali to Polanski’s terrific film.

Roopa Rayappa plays the unnamed single mother who is deserted by her husband (Sujith Shetty). Their relationship was severed by her obsession with her crying baby, whom the husband thinks is a figment of her imagination. Which of the two is of unsound mind? Poojitha Prasad’s use of dim lights, slow-moving camerawork and a lullaby heighten the sense of creepiness and claustrophobia in a house of horrors.

Laali (2017).