Bollywood horror movies, more or less, have a not so horror repute. They are often compared to their Hollywood counterparts. However, there are a few films where the filmmakers have gone creative. Instead of trying to emulate the west; they’ve taken inspiration from the Indian folklore, superstitions, black magic and what not.
Here, we present to you the 19 best Bollywood Horror Movies that’ll give you some sleepless nights.
Manohar and his family move into a newly purchased flat. Strange similarities between a television serial and the everyday life of family take place. Things turn eerie when everything that’s wrong in the serial starts to happen to Manohar and his family. Do watch the film and more importantly think twice before you purchase a new flat.
2. 404 Error Not Found
404: Error Not found is a psychological thriller film. A rational Abhimanyu is assigned a hostel room believed to be haunted by the student who committed suicide. His rationalist views change when some unusual stuff starts to happen in the room. It is a masterpiece of a horror film in India as it makes us ponder about what really happened.
It is a story of a married couple living in a haunted mansion in Indian the year 1920. The film is loosely based on, “The Exorcist”, a 1973 horror film made in Hollywood. The premises of the film is built upon treachery by an Indian soldier during the 1857 revolt. The film is a horror masala; tales of love and revenge; espionage versus trust; faith versus fear.
4. Bees Saal Baad
Bees Saal Baad is one of the earliest Bollywood horror movies. It is based on Sir Author Conan Doyle’s third novel The Hounds of Baskervilles and remotely on Nishithini Bivishika, a novel by Hemendra Kumar Roy. The film is best known for the song, Kahin Deep Jale Kahin Dil. Despite being a black and white film, we see very fine use of camera work to build the suspense and tension, by the use of sihouettees, shadow and light effects. It was one of the biggest box office hits in 1962.
How do you imagine an Indian ghost to be? A women in a white sari holding a lamp who also happens to walk on the road preferably at midnight? Watch this film and you’ll be convinced that ghosts have come a long way too. They dress modern and can haunt the hell out of you in the comforts of your home!
Ghost is one of the best Indian horror film that you’ll ever watch, because there is nothing extra- ordinary in this film and that’s what stands out. The sound track and use of everyday objects are used to create horror in this film.
6. Darna Mana Hai
Darna Mana Hai is a story of a group of friends. They get stranded on a highway at night and take a shelter in an abandoned house. To kill the time they tell each other ghost stories. As they take turns, the stories become spookier and one by one they go missing. This is your typical horror storyline with twists that are completely unforeseen. The main story has many unusual and spooky stories which create horror.
7. Ek Thi Daayan
Ek thi Daayan is based on a short story called Mobious Trips. The dark and thriller narrative is built up of suspense, occult and black magic. And yes, Ekta Kapoor! Watch the film to discover how a single mistake carved a path to a ‘Daayan’s’ entry into magician Hobo’s life time and again.
8. Haunted 3D
Haunted 3D is yet another spooky tale from Shimla. Rehan arrives in Shimla to prepare a mansion for sale for his father’s realtor business. The spirit of its previous owners’ haunts the mansion. Would Rehan be the next victim? Can he do something about it? Who is the mysterious rag-picker who helps him unravel the story of the house?
9. Horror Story
Horror Story is based on Stephen King’s short story 1408. A group of friends who unite to bid farewell to one of the them who is leaving for abroad. They decide to spend the night at a haunted hotel. The film has no big stars, no sex scenes or songs that spook you out. It keeps you engaged till the end and give you the chills and thrills of horror.
Mahal is one of the Bollywood’s earliest film in the horror genre. It stars Madhubala and Ashok Kumar and is a suspense drama based on reincarnation. When Hari Shankar comes to live in abandoned palace, he learns of the incomplete love of the previous owners. There is an eerie semblance between him and the previous owner. Watch the film to know more!
Rukhsana, a chained up victim of abuse, is rescued by Arnab. They fall in love. But, that’s not all about the film. Pari revolves around a satanic cult, Auladhchakra. With powerful performances, a refreshing storyline and soundtracks it is a perfect concoction to elicit fear.
Phook is a horror flick based on vengeance, superstitions and black magic. It captures a certain events in the protagonist’s life that turns him from an atheist into firm believer of god. After the success of Bhoot( 2003), Phook(2008) is yet another marvel from Ram Gopal Verma’s library.
Raat, released in 1992, is a horror film that was way ahead of its time. The storyline bear’s Ram Gopal Verma’s trademark: a family moves to a ‘haunted’ house and one of the members get possessed by an evil spirit. However, what is remarkable is that it instills fear through impeccable performances of the cast, sound tracks and minutely detailed plot line. Watch the film and let us know if it makes to your list of best Bollywood horror films?
Sanjana and Aditya’s marriage is going through a rough patch, they decide to mend things for once and for all. They go to Ooty to mend things and take a break. True to its name, Raaz, the film is a horror flick full of suspense, thrill and secrets.
15. Ragini MMS
Ragini MMS is based on Paranormal Activity, an American horror film. This film is nothing like the ones you’ve ever seen before. It’s dark, dingy and daunting. The film was shot with 6 cameras and had a footage of 2.5 Terabyte!
16. Bhool Bhulaiya
Bhool Bhulaiya is one of its kind film : a comedy horror. When it comes to making us laugh, it makes us laugh hard. But, when it is about fear the film haunts us and our imagination in the most frightful manner.It is an official remake of Manichitrathazhu, a 1993 Malyali film. The film has an interesting subplot wherein rationality and superstitions are at loggerheads, accentuated by the main storyline through diversity of characters, carefully etched scenes delivered in alternating comic and serious tones.
Film director and writer, Rahil Anil Barve, completed the first draft of the film in 1997. The film went into the production three times, but nothing materialized. It was first shot completely in 2012. However, after the edit the director and editor weren’t happy. So, it was written again and re-shot. The story is a visually rich folklore of how greed turns a sane man into a monster. It is undoubtedly one of the best bollywood horror movies of all times.
18. Vaastu Shastra
Vaasu Shashtra is an ancient Indian science which people refer to while purchasing a new house to keep things auspicious. Jhilmil and Virag were no different. Their new home was in accordance with Vast Shashtra except the fact that it housed a haunted tree. The film illicit fear, through and through. To think of it, where would you go if Vaastu Shashtra fails you?
Kohraa is based on the novel, Rebecca (1938), by Daphne du Maurier. The film is about lovers Rajeshwari and Amit. Rajeshwari marries Amit and moves in to his house. The spirit of Poonam, Amit’s first wife, haunts the house. Rajeshwari is unaware of this until she has an encounter. Watch the film to know what happens after!
How many of these Bollywood horror movies have you watched? Do let us know in the comments below.