Hindi Horror Movies – Scary Bollywood Movies

Friday, July 16, 2010 at 1:23 pm

Hindi horror movies are far different than what American audiences are used to. For starters, most feature a number of musical numbers, something entirely alien to fans of Jason, Freddy, and Leatherface. Romance also plays a big part, and most films tend to conclude with a happy ending. But there’s no denying the popularity of scary Bollywood films. Indian crowds flock to see them, and the most successful go on to be international hits, as well.

The following list is intended for anyone who has an interest in Hindi horror movies. Along with classic examples of the genre, I’ve also included recent hits from the last 10 years. You can rent the films on this list from Netflix, the world’s leading online rental service.

Krishna Cottage (2004) – This Bollywood movie from debuting director Santram Varma focuses on the themes of true love, reincarnation, and obsession. Sohail Khan plays Manav, a college student recently returned from the United States. He and his pals at J C College all have a grand time, and Manav is happily engaged to the lovely Shanti (Natassha). That’s when Disha (Isha Koppikar) appears at the school and soon joins the circle of friends. She seems especially interested in Manav, and, while his heart still belongs to Shanti, he finds himself drawn to this beautiful young woman. As the story progresses, occurrences of the supernatural becomes increasing common, all leading to a thrilling climax with revelations of murder and visitations from beyond the grave.

Nagin (1976) – In English, the title translates into “Female Snake,” and that perfectly describes the basic idea of this Hindi horror film. With an ensemble Bollywood cast comprised of Reena Roy, Sunil Dutt, Jeetendra, Kabir Bedi, and Feriz Khan, the plot centers around the myth involving snakes of a certain age being able to take human forms. When a male and female snake undertake such a transformation, the male is killed by hunters after changing back into his serpentine guise. This doesn’t sit well with his mate, and she spends the rest of the film trying to gain revenge on those responsible. If you’re interested in some of the more historic Hindi horror movies, this one is a no-brainer.

Bhoot (2003) – Another terrific Bollywood ghost story, this time from director Ram Gopal Varma. Vishal (Ajay Devgan) and Swati (Urmila Matondkar) are married couple looking for an apartment in Mumbai, and they have the misfortune to rent a flat where the previous tenant murdered her child and then jumped to her death from the balcony. Swati becomes increasingly obsessed with these stories, and it’s not long before horrifying events begin to take place, including murder and possession. Containing no musical numbers–unlike most scary Bollywood movies–Bhoot is an excellent place to start for Americans looking to experience Hindi horror movies.

Gehrayee (1980) – Inspired by The Exorcist, this Hindi language stars Padmini Kohlapure in a the role of a possessed little girl, a la Linda Blair. Amrish Puri, best known to American audiences as Mola Ram in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, has a guest appearance. Filled with an eerie atmosphere and several disturbing sequences, Gehrayee is the best of the many Bollywood films patterned after The Exorcist.

Raaz (2002) – Meaning “secret” in English, Raaz is the Bollywood version of the Harrison Ford thriller What Lies Beneath. Bipasha Basu plays a wife who moves with her husband (Dino Morea) to a new home in the hills of Ooty. But the house is haunted by a ghost intent on revenge, and the increasingly desperate housewife must try to appease the spirit before it’s too late. Nobody expected much from Raaz, but it ended up being the second-highest grossing film in Bollywood that year. The lovely Basu–“Bips” to her legion of fans–was especially lauded, even receiving a Best Actress nomination at the annual Filmfare Awards, the Hindi equivalent of the Oscars.

Jaani Dushman (1979) – Hollywood has blockbusters, and Bollywood has superhits. This horror flick starring (among others) Sunil Dutt, Rekha, Reena Roy, Vinod Mehra, Shatrughan Sinha, and Amrish Puri falls into the latter category. On his wedding day, a groom realizes that his bride-to-be is carrying on a relationship with another man. He kills them both in a rage, transforming into a terrifying werewolf-like monster in the process. After that, the creature roams the landscape of India, killing any bride he can find on her wedding day. And even if the monster is destroyed, he simply possesses the body of the one who killed him. Another legendary entry in the annals of Hindi horror movies.

Darna Mana Hai (2003) – The rare Hindi anthology film, Darna Mana Hai collects six tales of terror and slowly weaves them into a single narrative as a group of stranded friends amuse one another with scary tales. A box-office bomb, the film is nonetheless daring and innovative, especially for the Bollywood horror genre. Stars include Saif Ali Khan, Aftab Shivdasani, Vivek Oberoi, and Shilpa Shetty.

Red Rose (1980) – Rajesh Khanna, the first superstar of Hindi cinema, stars as Anand, a wealthy businessman who falls in love with a department store employee, Sharda (Poonam Dhillon), and marries her. Sharda thinks she’s married into a dream life, but unsavory revelations from her husband’s past quickly turn it into a nightmare. Known of playing heroes and romantic leads, Khanna took a major chance by portraying the twisted Anand. Feminist groups in India were not played with the misogynistic character, organizing protests in both Delhi and Bombay. While it does falter in spots, this scary Bollywood movie is worth seeing for the performance of a legendary screen icon in India.

Veerana (1988) – When a witch begins creating havoc in the nearby woods, a pair of brothers help to see to her demise. But unfortunately for the brothers, a black magician steals the witch’s corpse and vows to find her a new vessel. As the years pass, it becomes clear that one of the brother’s daughters is the intended host for the sinister witch, and the body count slowly begins to rise. Produced by the five sibling team known as the Ramsay Brothers, who were also responsible for such scary Bollywood movies as Purana Mandir and Bandh Darwaza.

Bhool Bhulaiyaa (2007) – Combining elements of the thriller, horror, and comedy genres, Bhool Bhulaiyaa is a remake of the 1993 Malayalam film, Manichitrathazhu. Taking place inside an ancestral palace haunted by the spirit of a Bengali dancer, the film features a bumbling psychiatrist (Akshay Kumar), a mad priest, and plenty of supernatural scares. If you like Hindi music, I would also recommend the film’s soundtrack, as the title track became a monster hit in India.

That concludes our look at Hindi horror movies. Keep in mind that many of these films can be rented from Netflix, and Amazon always stocks a wide selection of Bollywood movies. We do get a commission of you make a purchase, but it all goes right back into the site (and doesn’t cost you anything extra).

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This entry was posted on Friday, July 16th, 2010 at 1:23 pm and is filed under Good Movies. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

11 Responses to “Hindi Horror Movies – Scary Bollywood Movies”

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August 14, 2010

hint filmi izle

good article :))

November 16, 2010

Eustolia Saintignon

I’ll follow your captions always, thank you

February 10, 2011


which was the movie in which , the girl was christian and the boy was hanuman ji’s bhakt… and the aatma went into the girls body,.. and then the boy said hanuman chalisa to make the girl free from that aatma..

Which movie is that???

February 15, 2011


@netss-the movie name is 1920….n it was a superhit….horror..

February 18, 2011


it was 1920

March 9, 2011

Best Horror Movies

Hi there! Thanks so much for this article. I was just googling for Bollywood horror and came across this article. I’ve been a fan of Japanese horror movies for years and my friend told me I need to check out the horror from Bollywood too.

I’m going to watch the movies you suggest, especially Bhoot, which sounds totally my thing.

I love your site. You have a new regular reader!

May 15, 2011

Can’t Say

I really think that the old make of Bhool Bulaiya, is much scarier then than the new one… but I still htink that Bhool Bulaiya, is still scary!


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