When it comes to horror as a genre, Bollywood unfortunately has little to boast about. Still, there are some mainstream movies that will restore your faith in the power of storytelling and VFX, and of course, will spook the daylights out of you!
We’ve handpicked eight such films for you to watch on Halloween night or to host a scary movie screening for friends:
1. Jaani Dushman (1979)
Nope, we’re not talking about the ridiculous 2002 Sonu Nigam starrer! The 1979 Jaani Dushman features a huge ensemble cast with the most popular actors of its time (Jeetendra, Rekha, Sunil Dutt, Neetu Singh, many others).
It tells the story of Thakur Jwala Prasad turning into a monster, who kidnaps all brides dressed in red. Despite its unconvincing visuals, it’s a retro horror worth watching.
2. Phir Wohi Raat (1980)
Directed by the famous B-town villain Danny Denzongpa, this film features Rajesh Khanna as a psychiatrist who helps his love, played by Kim Yashpal, as she is haunted by the apparition of a woman trying to kill her.
A spooky murder-mystery with background score by the legendary RD Burman, the movie was a hit in the 80s. Watch it to find out why.
3. Veerana (1988)
Ramsay brothers ruled Bollywood with their brand of horror during the 80s. Veerana is possibly their last yet most powerful film. Unlike their seemingly comic horror films, Veerana packed in some quality acting and a smooth script that was picturised in an authentic manner.
Such was the attention garnered by the female lead Jasmin, that she vanished as a one film wonder, forced to leave India because she started getting calls from the underworld!
4. Raat (1992)
Raat is one of the spookiest Bollywood thrillers. This simple story about a college girl being possessed by the spirit of a dead kitten was depicted brilliantly through restricted use of dialogue, smart camera angles, and Revathi’s chilling screen presence.
5. Raaz (2002)
Making the last attempt to save their marriage, a young couple (played by Dino Morea and Bipasha Basu) moves to Ooty, where the horror unfurls.
Interestingly, just like the movie plot, the shoot at Ooty also saw some eerie developments, giving the Fern Hill Hotel it’s reputation of being haunted. No wonder it’s remained shut for over a decade now!
The movie turned out to be a big hit with songs such as Jo Bhi Kasmein Khayi Thi Humne and Aapke Pyaar Mein.
6. Bhoot (2003)
A married couple (Ajay Devgn, Urmila Matondkar) moves into a haunted flat. The spirit possesses the wife, driving her to madness, while the husband watches helplessly.
Ram Gopal Verma’s trademark camera angles combined with Urmila’s strong acting as the possessed wife, created a fearful impact in Bhoot.
7. Darna Mana Hai (2003)
Ram Gopal Verma’s attempt of putting together six twisted tales of horror was well-received by the critics as well as the audiences and continues to spook till date.
It’s a refreshing change from the mindless horrors being churned out by Bollywood lately, and a reminder that RGV was once a fine filmmaker.
8. Ragini MMS (2011)
Developed on the lines of the popular American horror movie Paranormal Activity, Ragini MMS is the story of a young couple looking forward to an intimate weekend at a friend’s farmhouse. However there’s much more to this plan than meets the eye, unfolding a series of horrors.
The film was released on Friday the 13th in 2011 and is said to be based on a real life story.
What’s your favourite horror movie? Tell us in the comments below.