Bollywood horror movies don’t seem to come anywhere close to the horrors depicted in Hollywood horror flicks or psychological thrillers. Recently, newspapers reported that an elderly gentleman died at a movie theater in South India that was showing Conjuring 2!
In the 1980s and 90s, Bollywood horror movies relied on poor makeup, bad acting, and bad scripts to churn out hilarious horror movies that nobody actually watched.
However, we have seen the emergence of Bollywood horror movies that gives us the right combination of horror in a romantic setting! The plots are getting intelligent, A-grade actors don’t seem to mind taking the risk of acting in horror movies, and special effects are a lot better.
What better was to cuddle up with your partner on a romantic Halloween date night than to watch Bollywood horror movies? We have lined up 8 Bollywood horror movies that will certainly make you want to run for the daylight in a crowded place.
1. Talaash – A complex love story of a cop and a dead prostitute.
Talaash is a complex movie that doesn’t dish out gory antics and refrains from the sudden shocks that you can expect from a horror film. This is more of a thinking man’s supernatural thriller and takes you on an emotional journey of a cop grieving the death of his young son in an accident and investigating a mysterious car crash.
2. Pisaasu – A supernatural love story of a violinist and a teenage girl
Pisaasu is a Tamil supernatural drama film that is perfectly paced with stunning music and a thought-provoking plot. This is a typical film where an upcoming violinist comes across an accident of a teenage girl and is traumatised by the whole episode. He then realises that the spirit is trying to help him find the girl’s murderers.
3. Ek Thi Daayan – A supernatural love story that focuses on black magic
Ek Thi Daayan tells the story of a top magician whose life falls apart because of his dead little sister. He is forced to seek psychiatric help because of hallucinations. Towards the end, when asked if everything that happened was magic or witchcraft, the magician realises that everyone has a little of both good and bad, but they themselves have to choose which side they are on.
4. Murder 3 – A psychological thriller and a love story
Murder 3 is a thriller that deconstructs love and questions its very existence in the world of today’s relationship crimes. A fashion photographer who is dumped by his girlfriend forges a new relationship with a barmaid. The ex-girlfriend who disappeared without a trace returns to hound the lovers.
5. Bhoot – a supernatural horror love story of a possessed wife
Bhoot is a horror story of a couple who move into an apartment where the previous tenant committed suicide. It leaves the wife possessed by a ghost. The husband disbelieves the notions of ghosts and bad luck, but strange things happen that rudely challenges his scepticism.
6. Mahal – One of the great romantic Bollywood horror movies!
The movie was a groundbreaking thriller and one of the earliest known films dealing with reincarnation. It paved the way for Indian gothic fiction.
7. 1920 – A well-made romantic horror movie
What do you get when you combine an old, a large mansion, an atheist who takes up an assignment to convert the mansion into a hotel, and the love of his life who he marries against the wishes of his family? You probably have a cliched horror/love story.
Surprisingly, 1920 comes up trumps in the special effects department and the sheer artistic touches in every frame of the movie! One of the Bollywood horror movies where the producers have left no stone unturned to churn out a good quality film.
8. Raaz – A thriller with chemistry
Raaz is the first in the trilogy of three horror movie series. It is based on the story of a couple trying to save their failing marriage. However, the wife is haunted by a spirit who reveals some dark secrets about her husband and his past. Raaz was the highest grossing film among Bollywood horror movies in 2002 and has spawned two other sequels with the fourth one on its way! Watch it for Bipasha!
9. Raaz 3 – A sinister love story of a movie starlet using black magic
Raaz 3 is a hit movie that revolves around black magic, and it tells the story of how a starlet at the top of her game is challenged by a younger actress. She resorts to black magic to bring down her competitor. Raaz delivers the message that people forget everything and run behind fame – however, the only thing that remains is love, not for ourselves but others around us.
10. Ragini MMS – A sensuous paranormal film
Ragini MMS is a Hindi horror film, partly based on the real story of a Delhi girl named Deepika. Out to relax and have fun at a farmhouse, Deepika and her boyfriend experience horror at the hands of an unknown entity. In a songless film (a rarity among Bollywood horror movies), the background music has been used effectively to create the right atmosphere. Warning! The film mostly relies on its sexual stuff more than the horror!
11. 13B – A psychological horror film
Bollywood horror movies are rarely bilingual and 13B is a Tamil-Hindi film that narrates a series of unfortunate incidents that haunt a man who moves into a new apartment on the 13th floor. When the man’s family gets hooked to a TV serial – the events of which are similar to his own, he unearths a secret that haunts his family. You will look at television in a different way!
12. Phoonk – Superstition and black magic horror
A happily married atheist construction engineer who does not believe in evil spirits comes face to face with evil spirits at his home. It forces him to change his point of view. This movie was a low budget horror movie but had a surprising run at the box office. In fact, there was a Rs.5 Lakh Rupee reward for anyone who can watch the movie alone in a movie theatre.
13. Kohra – More spirits to chill the air!
Kohra is a thriller horror film that narrates the story of a couple. The wife moves into a mansion after marriage (which is a staple requirement in Bollywood horror movies). She learns of her husband’s ex-wife is roaming the mansion long after she died. This film is adapted from Daphne du Maurier’s novel “Rebecca”.
14. Bees Saal Baad – A Bollywood classic
Bees Saal Baad is a drama-thriller film that is based on the story of a man who returns to his hometown, only to be warned to stay away due to a vengeful spirit responsible for killing his ancestors. But he decides to investigate the matter and hires a private detective. The man must decide whether to stay away from his new residence or continue to live there and fear for his life every day.
This film ignited the huge popularity of horror-gene films in the following years and is considered to be among the pioneering Bollywood horror movies.
15. Bhool Bhulaiyaa – Another horror-comedy
Bhool Bhulaiyaa is a thriller horror about an NRI and his wife who decide to stay in his ancestral home, paying no heed to the warning about ghosts. Soon, inexplicable occurrences cause him to call a psychiatrist to help solve the mystery. This movie is based on a hit Malayalam movie and was also remade in Tamil starring Rajnikanth! You should definitely watch this movie for the plot.
16. Shaapit – A horror film about cursed daughters!
Shaapit is a horror film based on the story of a couple who are in love with each other but cannot get married due to a family curse. They approach a professor to seek a solution. The movie high points are the music and the creepy atmosphere. Fans loved it when watching this movie in empty theaters!
17. Haunted – India’s first 3D horror film
The Haunted movie uses the illusion of depth with the modern 3D technology in every frame. It narrates the story of a man who disregards tales about his haunted house and proceeds to Shimla to prepare it for sale. Realizing the stories are true, he is taken back 75 years to the year 1936 by a rag-picker, hoping to rewrite history. Certainly full marks for this new spin on 2D Bollywood horror movies.
18. Darna Mana Hai – A pathbreaking horror anthology
Darna Mana Hai is based on the story of six friends who narrate spooky tales to one another interspersed with the supernatural and horror elements when their car breaks down in the middle of nowhere. They do not realise there is another story waiting to be unravelled! Considered to be a cult classic among Bollywood Horror movies, Darna Mana Hai was a huge hit in 2003. Must watch.
19. Veerana – B Grade horror with lots of coloured gel!
Veerana is a B-grade horror movie that narrates the story of a young, beautiful girl who is unfortunately possessed by a vengeful spirit. She wanders around lonely places to seduce and kill people, thus gradually becoming lost into a dark world of revenge and lust.
Produced by the Ramsay Brothers, known for their penchant for low-budget, sexy Bollywood horror movies, Veerana is surprisingly gripping and entertaining!
20. Horror Story – a haunted hotel
Horror Story is a horror movie based on Stephen King’s short story 1408 that revolves around a few friends who have come together to bid farewell to another friend who is going abroad for higher studies. They decide to spend the night in a haunted hotel, which turns out to be the biggest mistake ever. Only one traumatised survivor made it out of the hotel!
21. Bhoot Bungla – A Bollywood horror comedy
Bhoot Bungla is a comic thriller in which a heiress’s father and uncle die under mysterious circumstances. She investigates the link between the murders and the ghosts haunting her house. The success of this film was due to good quality music! Who said Bollywood horror movies should always be scary?