Horror in Cinema: The Legacy, The Filmmakers and Films that Defined the Genre in Hindi Cinema

On this auspicious occasion of Halloween, wishing everyone a very happy, safe, cheerful Halloween and keeping your horrors specifically at home. The genre of horror in Hindi cinema on most occasions has frequently been risen from the ‘dead’, it’s a genre that almost has almost has or hasn’t been existent over the years. Defining the idea of horror – going back to our dictionary definition is the ‘an intense feeling of fear, shock, or disgust’ but similarly the idea of ‘the happening of an unnatural cause or the paranormal’.

The idea of ‘horror’ in itself has a vast definition, in the world of cinema, binds over from a feel to a gaze. In Hindi Cinema, usually we get drawn to a certain emotion, the idea of ‘scare’ comes with the notion moving people in their seats – but also the horror also implies the unnatural – something that is at an uneased point for the spectator. For example, Raj Khosla’s Mera Saaya is a film that toys with the idea of the unnatural in its narrative, death and the unknown later being explained in the latter as a point of turning. The level of spectatorship is visible when the deed is done in which makes the totality of the film.

Visibility and shock, a spectator’s therapy in which Hitchcock once said “I just bring a complication of happenings to the viewers, once edited, in a way that only they would jump, because they won’t see it coming, and the value of entertainment simply lies there”

Its hard to place the genre, the idea of a ghost come into play with the genre or does a shock therapy have to contemplate with the viewer? The Hindi film Horror genre is built on certain on certain aspects right from its inception, how it worked or how it didn’t as a genre but certainly what it spoke about.

The Haveli, The Rich and the Mysterious Girl

Post-independent India, now gathering its clutch of its content for filmmakers in Bombay – it wouldn’t be wrong to say that the makers at the time who were already in such guidance of certainty, now were not under-influence of filmmaking but at the same time a sense of independence became a school of thought.

Mahal (1949)

The genre of horror established with Kamal Amrohi’s Mahal, the first to bring genre and of the rich ‘zameedar’ or proprietor and the Mysterious girl. Ashok Kumar’s character, an outsider with disbelief – purchases a huge bungalow later knowing it is possessed by a restless spirit. Mahal had very many of firsts. Ashok Kumar’s first film as producer, Madhubala’s first film an actress, Kamal Amrohi’s first film as director, Lata Mangeshkar’s first playback and first Hindi Horror film. The film worked for every making Madhubala an overnight star and Ashok Kumar career gaining a new lease of life. Mahal had influenced many filmmakers over the years, including Amrohi’s fellow colleagues like Bimal Roy and Raj Khosla who later took acid tests into the genre.

Amrohi’s approach to the genre was less consistent on scares but had a strong essence of romance, reincarnation and the longing of history of separated lovers. Without giving too much away, Amrohi didn’t concentrate on the idea of ghosts and ghouls or any of the western horrors had placed in their films – his idea was more of the scare of loss. Ashok Kumar and Madhubala’s grieve over what has been lost while one of them is on the verge of losing everything. Amrohi’s film still so many years later holds the audience member still today in knowing how the film unfolds.

As one could see a sense repeat in the genre which later continued – and the similar stance appeared also in Madhumati (1958) and Woh Kaun Thi (1964).

Madhumati (1958)

Many are unaware but this Bimal Roy gem was almost on the verge of never being released. It happened that Bimal Roy had shot most of the film outdoors, most films due to technicality and budgeting purposes were shot in studios with sets created. Roy had shot most of the film on real locations only later to notice the ‘fog’ included in most shots made most of the actors unrecognisable meaning he had to take the entire film to a studio in order to reshoot the entire portion. Dilip Kumar and his influence with distributors at the time helped Bimal Roy with his financial difficulty in completing the film.

Madhumati was a film that was always known for its ‘scare factor’ and it was remembered as being the earliest film for the generation to scare people in the audience which wasn’t common for the Indian audience. Dealing with similar scenarios as the other horror films at the time, Madhumati worked more as film in the totality. Great writing, melodious music, the smooth screenplay and of course the towering performances by Dilip Kumar, Vyjantimala and Pran. Madhumati became a benchmark film where in the future had influenced several other filmmakers as it stood as a towering example when it came to the topic of reincarnation.

Bees Saal Baad (1962)

During the period when colour films were becoming common, Biren Nag, even though had the choice of making his film in colour with the support of his producer Hemant Kumar – Nag felt he wanted to go with idea of Black/White as he felt the essence and the gothic feel to the film will be enhanced better. Bees Saal Baad is loosely based on Arthur Conan Doyle ‘s novel The Hound of the Baskervilles and some even have touted to be another Mahal, as the film deals with a similar premise of the Haveli and the mysterious girl. Bees Saal Baad deals with an ancestral curse and how members in the family were murdered by a demeaning spirit, now the newer generation member (played by Biswajeet) is out to defeat the curse and get to the bottom of the mystery.

Many film historians over the years have also argued that the film deals with the politics of the thakurs and the village peasants at a ‘reversal’ take on oppression. Again, the haveli and its symbolic meaning of how its draw is towards the rich, how Biswajeet’s character is attracted to the haveli because of its stance but the blood history of his forefathers now will have to be paid by generation next. Bees Saal Baad worked wonders at the box office at the time and still remembered for its music and performances by the lead pair.

Woh Kaun Thi? (1964)

Raj Khosla had given an entire trilogy with the theme of the mysterious girl and Sadhana being the central character. After the heats won with Woh Kaun Thi, later moved to Mera Saaya (1966) and Anita (1967). The high-octane value in Khosla’s thrillers was the audience believing the existence of the central character being non-existent, or possible living in the supernatural world. Many argue, that neither these films do come under the horror genre but Woh Kaun Thi, personally I would feel does.

During the film once the things have begun to be explained during the build-up, there are some unexplained moments in the film. Khosla had purposely let this be in order for the audience members to have their own interpretation on the on-goings in the film, several people over the years have had their own interpretation of the film’s as a whole but Manoj Kumar was also the writer, had a contrasting opinion to Khosla’s vision – hence how many see the film can be seen from either Khosla’s or Kumar’s direction.

The repeated themes of the similar bungalow/haveli, the Mysterious girl and the tense of occasionally the protagonist to be rich – or even the city living educated man who came with disbelief in such happening often wondered why such characters and themes were repeated – or was a certain mould set by Amrohi that many didn’t want to risk outside? Maybe. But scholar Aditi Sen, of Queen’s University mentioned “Key elements in the films such as oppression was the fear that lived in the mind of post-colonial Indian, first the British had conquered society and oppressed women for years – now the rich were the British Raj supporters. The British leaving behind assets and the school of thought to these high-held stature men”

Sen’s argument was the idea of fear and why ‘a bungalow and the rich’ became crucial plot points for these films as they played represented what fear meant to the general public at the time – Sen later goes to argue that the ‘ghosts’ of the pasts in films someway spoke of the filmmakers, their past trauma and observance of the future.

The Ramsay Tantrik

In later years the genre had shifted, very few makers had become interested in the genre till along came the Ramsay brothers. The Ramsay’s horror so-called genre where we often began to refer to them as ‘Ramsay ka horror’ or ‘Ramsay ki film’ became an established ‘McDonalds-like’ factory of producing horror films in a certain format. The Ramsay production house was established by seven brothers. Tulsi Ramsay (eldest), Shyam Ramsay, Gangu Ramsay, Kumar Ramsay, Keshu Ramsay, Kiran Ramsay and Arjun Ramsay. The brothers worked together for most of their careers and divided the various departments of filmmaking amongst them to produce movies, each Ramsay majored in a particular department either it being scripting, directing, edited etc. The Ramsey’s took their first toll with Do Gaz Zameen Ke Neech (1971), despite having little experience in production – the Ramsay’s had worked on their films with two strategies – shoe-string budgets and smart efficient promotion.

Their films were shot with a production crew of 15-20 people (most of which were the Ramsay brothers or their associates) which kept the budgets low and schedules on time. On release, The Ramsays would come up with promotion innovations together as a team, innovations such as promoting their film on midnight Radio shows to create curiosity for their new release.

Do Gaz Zameen Ke Neeche (1972)

The seven Ramsay brothers had come together, casted not-so-known actors and restricted themselves on the budget in order for this film to happen. In order for the film to happen, they had a small crew, everyone stayed in a government guesthouse and didn’t create any sets. The budget was close to a 3.5 lakhs, which at the time wasn’t close to the standard film production budget.

All seven brothers worked hard at the film’s promotion and on release the film made a whopping 45 lakhs at the box office. This formula after taking the gamble, worked for years as it became the ‘Ramsay Formula’, tight budgets, real locations and less-known stars made the formula work. Do Gaz.. during the time of release had scared many actors and filmmakers who were then children, later it becoming a cult. Do Gaz… was also the first Hindi film to use the creature format in the horror genre, similarly gore and violence, becoming the graphic-kind of horror film.

Right till the 80s when the cinema market had crashed due to VHS piracy, most of the bigger producers were struggling with their productions with no distributors paying money for their films. The industry struggled and most of the producers attempted at cheaper resorts to complete their productions by shifting their locations to Madras and Hyderabad. Already mastering in this formula, The Ramsay’s took their films to Khandala, Alibaug and Mahabaleshwar (all which come under the Maharashtra state- so the travelling was limited) were they found their ‘havelis’ and ‘veeranas’ and to shoot these locations was cost effective.

Purana Mandir (1984)

Purana Mandir had brought some charm back to the cinemas during the lull phase – in fact, it got the audience coming back to the cinemas. Despite their earlier releases, Purana Mandir was a trend setter not only for the Ramsay brothers but even for an industry entirely. Purana Mandir made makers realise that stars, huge productions and lavish promotions are not required in order for a success, but by making even smaller niche products can bring cheer too.

The film made with lesser-known stars at the time, with then relatively new Mohnish Bahl and Puneet Issar – the Ramsay had found their star in Anirudh Agarwal. The tall, deep voice actor known for his intimidating looks had scared an entire nation, where many believed he was their ‘man-in-a-costume’ bur actually a man who looked this way naturally. The Ramsays had again used the same Haveli, Anirudh Agarwal and several other repeated factors in their other films such as Saamri (1985) , Tahkhana (1986), Veerana (1988), Purani Haveli (1989) etc, it was successful formula that worked for years coming.

The basic premise behind these Ramsay films was generally basing the film around a bunch of teenagers, skin-show and the antagonist being a creature or an unstoppable force – leading from the central character’s disbelief in the supernatural to belief with a touch of Hindu mythology as the source of salvation. As years went by, The Ramsay factory began to fall in content and the films no longer found a major crowd in cinemas – so they Ramsay took their format to Television.

The rise of satellite in the early 90s, where most homes were beginning to get multiple channels (after Doordarshan being the prime channel) around the country. Television Networks began to grow and started to invest more into content, more content in channels meant the bigger platform for already-established mainstream filmmakers. Zee TV and Sony TV battling at long heads, where Zee had invested to their first major TV production independently with Zee Horror Show (1993). The Ramsay’s format benefited for the network, low productions costs and high footfalls became the new rage for the television scene – which meant now Horror in India had found its new home.

The Influenced Scare Remake

Remaking foreign films in Hindi cinema had been going around for years and eventually became exposed to the Indian viewer when Hollywood films were getting minimal releases in India in the 1970s. But horror films barely were remade until Ravikant Nagaich’s Jadu Tona (1977) and Desai-Raje’s Gehrayee (1980)

Gehrayee (1980)

This film isn’t often spoken about, or usually mentioned when the greater horror films are concerned but there is a reason why it makes it to this section. Gehrayee was a film that someway broke away from the commercial format of a horror film, it belonged to a section of then called ‘Parallel/new wave cinema’. Gehrayee was made in the ‘art cinema formula’ and even broke away from many stereotypes that often Hindi filmmakers tend to have repeated in the horror genre.

Gehrayee was also the first film that brought forward the horror format that was based on the nuclear family in modernised India. The developing country and the effects of globalisation was evidently present in this Desai-Raje presentation. Despite Jadu Tona (1977) being released a few years ago, Gehrayee was in a sense the ‘beginning of Hindi cinema’s fascination towards William Friedkin’s The Exorcist’. The Exorcist in various different ways and forms has been remade in India, Gehrayee marked the remake that was new to a looming audience, the theme of unawareness in the new global age was established here which was replicated from many other filmmakers later.

As the exposure of the VHS market became more common for the average-ticket buying Joe, the commoner became more exposed to the cinema abroad. As Lalitha Gopalan mentioned, “India now at an ease of technology they drew towards the pioneering VHS. The male gaze on first becoming drawn to uncensorship, later becoming exposed on an entirely different world of cinema – techniques, genres and a newer gaze”.

The VHS even exposed a new wave of filmmakers being influenced by Hollywood’s way of filmmaking – the horror genre was such that drew a few hand-picked directors who perused their influence in horror. Some makers like the Bhatts, Ramsays (of course – still in pursuit), Sippy, D’souza and a few more. Ramsay’s few films began to sank, their pending projects were placed on hold, till Zee had financed their vision through television – to fill in the void were directors remaking Hollywood horror flicks in Hindi. This trend began with Junoon (1992), then followed by Mahakaal (1994) and Papi Gudia (1996), taking basic plot and the scare factor and giving it a ‘Indianised’ makeover.

The desi-versions of these films were formatted to make them digestible for the Indian public, for example Junoon had been adapted to tell the tale of an ‘Ichadari Sher’ rather than a cursed Werewolf from the original An American Werewolf in London (1981). As in Papi Gudia, in the original Child’s Play (1988) the protagonist is a mother of the child, in our Indian remake the character is changed to the sister of the child – this change of course was done for maintaining the commercial viability of the film.

Sen, even argued on gender roles “The mainstream hero always saves the day. The female protagonist no matter how strong morally will always need the strength support of the hero when commercial action is applied. The female character is always naïve, vulnerable in such situations”, Sen’s argument applies with how Karisma Kapoor’s character in Papi Gudia in contrast to Catherine Hicks’ character had to be changed – in which placed forward the character of Avinash Wadhawan instead. On adapting these films had to be commercially viable, where Indian films tend to focus on the male protagonist has to be the definitive ‘hero’ in order to gain acceptance from the Indian public. Either way – Junoon and Papi Gudia failed to make any impact with the audience.

The RGV Reinvention

Ram Gopal Varma, debuted into the Hindi film industry with his film Shiva (1990), after it becoming a game-changer down in the south, RGV remade his film and won the applause of the movie-goers in the Hindi cinema region. RGV was a director with no filmmaking experience, in fact he learnt filmmaking simply from watching films from the VHS library he owned in Hyderabad (again, applying to the idea the influence of the VHS). After making Shiva, RGV decided to make his first-complete Hindi film with Raat (1992).

Raat (1992)

The year 1992 was a complete turn-around for the genre, with both Raat and Junoon releasing in the same year, both had brought back the genre in contrast to the prior films and new in style. Raat followed a basic narrative, in totality, but it was what RGV had explored with that made Raat work. Raat about was the nuclear family battling with the unknown – it still had the young, pop-culture following characters, it still had a tantric, in fact it won’t be wrong to say Raat bared resemblances to Desai-Raje’s Gehrayee (1980) so what made Raat work as film? It was RGV’s way playing with technique, the sound – the silence to the background score and his use of scares – just like in the Cinema scene. RGV brought a new dimension to the genre of Horror, he didn’t use anything muddled and that seemed cheap. His budgets were not far off to the Ramsay productions, it was his sense using the smallest moments in the right value.

In technical aspects, many comparisons can be made to RGV’s last outing Shiva (1989), in terms of the use of the camera, sound, visual and the frequent use of dark colours made Raat a rage for the viewers at the time making it’s a new horror experience visually. After Shiva was termed a success, RGV demanded some fellow producers that his next film would first be a cinema release worldwide – the VHS held to a release at a later date – these conditions were kept before production and many producers had dodged the question, but it was Boney Kapoor, who at the point had signed RGV for two films to make simultaneously (Drohi had released at the end of the year) and the results had impressed.

After changing his genres at every next venture, RGV returned to horror with Kaun? (1999)

Kaun? (1999)

Its been debated over the years that Kaun is touted as a physiological thriller – but you cannot ignore the supernatural elements in the film – especially the ending. Only RGV could pull off and make something as convincing as Kaun?, where the entire film is based in one house with only three characters apart of the narrative – that too songless in 90 minutes. Kaun?, like many, even myself, have seen the film as very peculiar. Film Historians over the years since its release have argued, and for those who have seen it many times, that many mysterious elements that take place which are still unanswered – who in the end was Malhotra, who was Urmila’s character?

Anurag Kashyap in the original screenplay wanted to expand on certain elements – for example, in the original after climax before the end credits roll, there was a brief explanation about the on-going events of the film and even threw some light onto Urmila’s character. These were edited just a little before the release. Also, as the credits roll, a voice over of a newscaster was placed explaining the fold of the events in the climax and the police have found etc (without giving too much information). RGV removed both of these touches feeling he wanted the audience to leave the cinemas with tons of questions and live with the mystery – till they could. Hence, why many have argued that RGV and Kashyap’s versions were both different in some way – Kaun? still for many is left as an open book.

Later RGV had made Bhoot (2003), which followed the opening of his ‘then’ production house ‘RGV Factory’ which he produced several horror films with newer or less known directors including Darna Mana Hai (2003) – which started a franchise of telling short horror stories in 2-hour narrative with an ensemble cast, the franchise continued with Darna Zaroori Hai (2006).

Journalist Kush Varia once mentioned in their journals “RGV is a director who introduced the idea of ‘jumping out your seat and hiding behind your sofa’ to Indian cinema. A filmmaker who moves in the shock value department of in-expectancy and films like Kaun? – will move you physiologically. His notion of understanding how to move the audience member is sheer brilliance and its sad to see such a filmmaker losing his grasp”. RGV’s Factory took a hit with many his films not working as a producer making him closing and returning back to the director’s seat.  

How Raaz Revived the Dying Genre

In the 90s, the flag-barrier for the horror genre, by far means was RGV, in terms of acceptance and woos at the box office. From Raat till Kaun?, horror had become almost non-existent in the Indian market – most of the market had been ruled by the NRI entertaining genres and horror found its life on television.

It was till the genre was revived by the Bhatts with – arguably the most surprising package in terms of success ever came in the form of Raaz (2002).

Raaz (2002)

Before Raaz was materialised, the Bhatts didn’t really have any strong intentions of stepping into the horror genre. Mahesh Bhatt’s last horror film, Junoon, despite getting mixed feedback and had a draw for the audience in the cinemas, Mahesh Bhatt saw the film as a ‘technical mess’. He mentioned that without the right technique their company (Vishesh Films) wouldn’t be any different to the Ramsay horror films – when they trying to create a niche for themselves. Raaz actually had happened when Kasoor (2001) had worked. A young Vikram Bhatt then, prior a year before Raaz had given the Bhatt camp a success with Kasoor, in which the Bhatts having strong faith in Vikram backed his second venture.

Like Kasoor, Raaz was similarly mounted. Lesser-known actors with the melodious music of Nadeem-Shravan but this time production wise they decided to keep the scale a little lower and not commit the unnecessary over-budgeting in Switzerland for the song locations – but to take the entire production to a closer nearby location – Ooty. Many were still under the impression before release that Raaz was another Vishesh films thriller. Bhatt’s feared that if the film has been promoted as a horror – it wouldn’t find takers as already some particular stars had rejected the film feeling ‘horror films don’t work’. But the success of Raaz had changed all of that. Raaz changed many myths and perspectives in the industry overnight.

Raaz on release, set the box office on fire roaring for weeks at a non-stop pace, the February release remained in cinemas till the summer in the year 2002. Raaz’s numbers in the year 2002 were shocking for the industry, leaving behind the some of the most anticipated films of the year, including Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Devdas (2002). Raaz went on to become, what the trade analysts at the time called ‘the most profitable and highest grosser of the year’ making almost 400% in profits alone at the box office, it got the tag of the ‘the new-age blockbuster’. But what made Raaz really work? The content, the subtly, the vibe or the appeal? Well it did all that. It was a point of turn for Hindi cinema when the audience were opening their arms, especially the younger crowd, to the newer content.

At the time, trade analyst Taran Adarsh mentioned “Its technique but not technical. Its fresh but not new. Its entertaining but not pathbreaking.” and Komal Nahta mentioned “Raaz’s true win was winning when the race track was clear – no competition, no opposition. While the others are making the same old mediocre stuff, Raaz is winning at the box office for its freshness”. Many in the press had argued that Raaz actually did well because of its melodious music, as Vilas Roy mentioned “The music was the main draw for the public, the music sales were high, Tips were backing the film and the songs were everywhere at the time. As it was early during the year, there wasn’t any major releases so Raaz took the benefit. Winning music and the genre horror just worked hand-in-hand together”

Regardless of the reason, Raaz resurrected the genre back to Hindi cinema making everyone realise that it has a market and people would especially go to the cinema to see it – it marked that horror if made right would ring the cash registers. RGV’s Bhoot which followed the year later also benefited from the trend of horror.

Bhoot (2003)

RGV had spoken at the time expressing his surprise how one film – like Raaz – would become such a rage that an industry would throw themselves at a genre. At the time of making Raat, he said he found it difficult in convincing producers about what his film was about – as many producers wanted a bigger star than Revathy – or to simply picturise songs of Revathy, but he didn’t compromise. RGV got a big producer when it came to Bhoot (Nitin Manmohan was a well-established producer at the time) and got the cast members he had on his wish list. RGV mentioned “I am just surprised that how stars all of a sudden have changed their perception towards the genre so quickly. Not only are my leads stars but even my supporting cast are stars and are willing to share the screen-space regardless of their role length.”

Bhoot became a commercial success and ran in the cinema for weeks, it was the first time an ensemble cast had got together for a horror film. RGV after the success had mentioned that actually Bhoot is ‘Raat with the modern-day married couple’, he explained how basically took Raat and remade or even reworked it into a modernised tale in metropolitan Mumbai. He said “In Raat, it was a family living in a bungalow. I felt, I had to scare people by connecting to them on a ground level in today’s age. The common person in Mumbai lives in a flat or an apartment, in which their fears are everything in that small space – the height, Claustrophobia or the fear of anybody trespassing into your building. These are the today’s fears we have in our homes in this city.”

What followed was a streak of Horror films down the line with Darna Mana Hai (2003), Hawa (2003), Vaastu Shastra (2004), Hum Kaun Hai? (2004), Krishna Cottage (2004), Rakht (2004), Kaal (2005), Naina (2005) and the list goes on.

What Raaz did was that it established a market and formed an audience which is still present today – the cinema going experience of a horror film. Filmmakers now like Vikram Bhatt, Bhushan Patel etc are still playing the genre according to how the audience evolves. In 2012, the third instalment to the Raaz series went 3D – third dimension and it worked big. The incorporation of technology now is important for the storyteller for their horror venture in order for it to be a seller. Horror for now, is a genre here to stay – being new premise or franchise it does have a hold of an audience who pay to see it.

The Post-New Age Horror Film

Over years of repetition, the format which had been set by Raaz many years ago – was still consistent. Vikram Bhatt and RGV had carried out many horrors films like a Raaz, with lesser-known actors younger and battling an evil or a Bhoot, based on the nuclear family who had been possessed by supernatural force. Every film began to look like another Raaz or a Bhoot, it was either based on a couple or a family – and this continued for years to come. The only thing that may had changed was technology – with better VFX or changing the dimension and then lead to sequels, franchise etc of the same premise.

But the audience were looking for horror – just for the form to change.

Bhool Bhulaiyaa (2007)

Thought despite the flow of horror films being regular every year Bhool Bhulaiya became prominent for being the first wholesome comedy-horror film. Comedy has been an element in horror films previously which would have segment off-track from the narrative – but that comedy was done for the relief and was a commercial purpose strategy that was used in most mainstream films. Comedy in horrors films earlier were an ingredient to the potboiler – similarly how songs were apart of it. This was formula usually used in the so-called ‘masala’ films as a sense jumping from highlight to another to keep the entertainment value high.

Priyadarshan, already accepted for his versatility in the Hindi circuit, got the idea of remaking Manichitrathazhu (1993), the Malayalam cult in where Priyadarshan was the second unit director – where he knew the film already in and out. The teaming of Priyadarshan – Akshay Kumar had already given a couple of hits in the comedy genre – so generally people would come thinking Bhool Bhulaiya was an out-and-out comedy. Its surprised many of how balanced Priyadarshan had kept the comic elements and the jumps and scares, which many ways could have gone wrong. The audience accepted Bhool Bhulaiyaa with open arms, the critics praised the film – especially the final 30 minutes in which the mystery unravels where we Vidya Balan’s character take form. – Bhool Bhulaiyaa opened a new gate for a market, where over the years it was toyed with commercially and some of even become event release blockbusters.

Tumbbad (2018)

Tumbbad was a film that released with no anticipation. The film had been in the making for almost 6 years prior to its release as director, Rahi Anil Barve, who had been working on the script since 1997 was never satisfied hence he continuously kept on returning to the board. Several issues such as over-budgeting got in the way of the release until the film met the eyes of Anand L Rai, who decided to back the already completed project.

On release, Tumbbad was a film that picked up over weeks in the cinema because of the word-of-mouth- gaining it attention and appreciation. The reason why Tumbbad had completely changed the game of the genre was the intelligent, artistic form behind it. A film that spoke about religion, mythology – presenting fact with fiction in an imitational world making the audience question if the myth, characters are real.  Tumbbad dealt with the lengths of greed in an original style – how greed became the point of destruction of a legacy.

It won’t be wrong to say that Tumbbad has set a new benchmark for the genre – originality, imagination and a ‘new world creation’ have become a new precative to an entire new zone of horror. Tumbbad is a set example of being a cinematic experience but lasting on the idea of novelty – the carry-out on the forthcoming with be an interest to see how they live on the triumph. 

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