The die-hard-followers of Bollywood have loved the ‘masala‘ in the films since the start. For instance, whether it is Rajesh Khanna’s romance, Dharmendra’s action, or Dilip Kumar’s smile on the screen. Other than these, the biggest masala fans love to follow is the Horror. This genre has grown over the years out of its Gothic inheritance through experimentation in the form, structure, and narration.

A sinister spin to everyday objects along with elements of supernatural powers makes horror movies scary. It makes them exist outside the realm of logic and rationale. But through the years, there has been the emergence of new genres from the societal problems that have shown patriarchial abuse along with sexism, racism, etc. Earlier, horror films did not enjoy the patronage of blockbuster actors, heavy production, big-budget studios but over the years, the film industry has witnessed its potential and has started investing in this genre.

Here are some horror films throughout the years, that have made impression on the audience of Hindi films.

1. MADHUMATI (1958)

Madhumati is a paranormal romance, directed and produced by Bimal Roy, written by Rhitvik Ghatak and Rajinder Singh Bedi. The film stars Dilip Kumar and Vijayanthimala as leading roles along with Johnny Walker and Pran in supporting roles. The film is actually a tale of unfulfilled love in the guise of a noir thriller. The beauty of the film lies in the exquisite black and white frames. Bimal has used the big mansion elegantly as a prop. The miniature shots of the mansion have impressed the audience.

The album of the film contains 11 songs composed by Salil Chowdhary and penned by lyricist Shailendra. The songs of the film have added to the lure of the film through its folk-inspired composition. Shailendra’s lyrics have taken out the mood of the songs so beautifully with the symphony of the storyline. Each song depicts its own beauty.

Madhumati is the biggest hit in Bimal’s career. It has ‘have-it-all’ commercial elements of mainstream cinema, promising storyline. The film bagged the Best Film in Hindi award along with nine Filmfare awards of Best Film, Best Director, Best Music Director, Best Cinematographer, and others.

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2. RAAT (1992)

Raat is Ram Gopal Varma’s bilingual horror film. The film stars Revathi as the main lead of the film. This film was Varma’s attempt to bring horror into mainstream Hindi Cinema. The film is a blessing to the eyes because of the great cinematography and subtle camera movements acting as a second person have made the audience jump from their seats.

While every other 90s directors were busy making glamorous movies with songs and dances, Varma’s this film has no song which made it more compelling to watch. The sound effects and the background music made it more authentic and spooky.

Revathi, being too old for the role has still managed to play the teenage girl perfectly. Along with her Om Puri playing as the holy man has taken over the film in the few scenes that he is in.

RGV has been successful in making the film more frightening without depending too much on graphics and gives the audience creepy vibes which have turned out great.

3. MAKDEE (2002)

Makdee is a comedy horror of Vishal Bhardwaj, starring Shabana Azmi, Makrand Deshpande, Shweta Basu Prasad, and Vijay Raaz. The film revolves around a young girl and her encounter with an old witch living in a big bungalow believed haunted by the local people living there.

Makdee was the 90s era’s most spooky and entertaining film. The film created a big buzz among the kids of the 90s.

The film followed the traditional Bhardwaj style of adaptation. It was inspired by a story called ‘The Boy Who Cried, Wolf‘ and Bhardwaj delicately transcended it according to India’s superstitious bent and rural life set up.

The whole credit of the film has to go to the great actors, Shweta Basu Prasad who played both roles Chunni the notorious kid, and Munni the sincere and rightly one authentically, giving two faces of personalities of same age kids. On the other hand, Shaban Azmi, who played a 500-year-old witch.

The film held its screening at the Critic’s Week section at the Cannes Film Festival 2003 and won second prize at the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival. Also, Shweta Basu won Best Child Artist at Indian National Film Award 2003.

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4. PIZZA (2014)

Pizza is a horror film under the direction of Akshay Akkineni starring Akshay Oberoi, Parvathy Omanakuttan, and Dippanita Sharma. The film also stars Arunoday Singh, Rajesh Sharma, and others in supporting roles. This film is a remake of Tamil horror Pizza, released in 2012. The 3D and 2D approaches made the film more effective to watch.

All credit solemnly goes to Akshay Oberoi who took the film on his shoulders. Though the storyline of the film is not been much appreciated and liked by the audience and critics, it still made a mark from the acting and performance of actors’ point of view.

5. TUMBBAD

Directed by Rahi Anil Barve, Tumbbad is a period drama supernatural horror film with Anand Gandhi as a Creative Director and Adesh Prasad as a Co-Director. The film stars Sohum Shah in a leading role.

The film has a great depiction of allegory about ambition and greed. Barve has authentically blend mythology with the tale of horror and teach life’s most valuable lesson. The film has helped the Hindi Cinema to take an ingenuine paradigm shift towards intelligent movies. Tumbbad revolves around the curse known as greed. The film marks back Gandhi’s warning, ” The world has enough for everyone’s need, but not for everyone’s greed”.

With a guild of 4 writers, a creative director along co-director, Tumbadd is an intensely collaborative and enchanting layered work. The cinematography by Pankaj Kumar, production design by Nitin Zihani Chaudhary with the visual team has created a masterpiece that is hard to forget.

6. PARI (2018)

Starring Anushka Sharma in the lead, Pari is a supernatural horror directed by Prosit Roy in his debut. It also stars Parambrata Chatterjee, Ritabhari Chakraborty, Rajat Kapoor in supporting roles.

Pari is unlike any other horror film with no jarring background score, scary jumps, and irrelevant conversations and possessed with evil spirit cliche acting. The film is anything but a fairytale which the audience may perceive from the title.

This is Anushka’s third film under her production house, starring herself and other actors doing justice to their roles, ensuring the show does not fall flat or bore the viewers even the story is at a slow pace. Anushka has exposed herself as emotional, fierce and strong. Likewise, from his acting in Sujoy Ghosh’s Kahaani, to Pari, Parambrata has again impressed the audience.

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7. STREE

Stree is a comedy horror directed by debutant Amar Kaushik starring Shradha Kapoor, Rajkumar Rao with Pankaj Tripathi, Aparshakti Khurrana and Abhishek Banerjee.

The film is trying to score feminist points in soft and fun way. The insecurity, fear, lack of safety, everything has been imposed in the world of men. The dialogues of the film has used satire as tool to hit the patriarchal society at its best.The fear of stree has not only created a fear among the men but also is used as a metaphor against male dominated society and oppression over women. Through the film, director has authenticated the feeling of what women has been facing throughout the year in the society by men.

To a great extent, the phenomenal cast has made the film the real McCoy. Rajkumar’s cuteness stole the show. His innocence in the film has made his role more memorable and light. Shradha Kapoor looks beautiful with her looks and acting. Both, Rajkumar and Shradha’s chemistry has played off in the film. Another gem of the movie is Pankaj Tripathi, who was being missed in the first half but made great impact in second half. Along with them, Aparshakti Khurrana and Abhishek Banerjee has played their goofy bestfriends role really well.

8. BULBBUL (2020)

Released on Netflix, Bulbbul is a thriller film, written and directed by Anvita Dutt and produced by Anushka Sharma. The film stars Tripti Dimri in the lead alongside Avinash Tiwary, Rahul Bose, and others.

Under Anushka Sharma’s production, this film also hits the core of patriarchal society. Based on Bengal Presidency of the year 1881, has shown the feudal Bengal with big mansions and lonely women suffering living life with unfaithful aristocratic husbands with spookiness and supernatural. The addition of variant color tones of yellow, red, and pink made the film vibrant and aesthetically pleasing.

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