Just as other genres of Hindi movies were once considered low budget, "B" movies, so too were Hindi horror movies.
The Hindi Horror Movie Genre
In the past, Hindi horror movies haven't faired quite as well as the musicals churned out of Bollywood every year. The reputation of these once poorly made films seemed to follow them throughout the decades and Hindi horror filmmakers have been working overtime to put that reputation behind them. Some moviegoers even classified these films that were produced with the purpose of scaring them, into the comedy category due to their weak plot lines and laughable effects. All this is gradually changing, though it may be quite some time before the horror films are as slickly produced as the Bollywood musicals that have experienced an enormous amount of success worldwide.
Older Hindi Horror Movies
The plot lines in older horror movies made in Bollywood were centered around classic ghost stories about reincarnated souls. In the late 1970's and 1980's, the plot lines in the films took a turn from spooky ghost stories to movies featuring serial killers and the like. This is also the time period where the most well known Hindi horror film directors, the Ramsay brothers, surfaced as the so-called "kings" of the "B-movie" horror genre in Bollywood.
Ramsay Brothers Movies
These brothers whipped out hundreds of horror movies over the decades. Almost all of the Ramsay brothers' films followed relatively the same format:
- A scantily clad heroine
- A scantily clad best friend of the heroine
- A muscular hero
- A flashback montage in the beginning
- Dark and spooky places
- Ominous mood music that plays throughout the film
- Scary monsters
- The death of someone in the beginning that swears revenge on the people who have done wrong by him (or her) in the beginning of the film.
Even though the plots of these movies all seemed to be the same, people never became bored of Ramsay brothers produced horror movies. Thus they became known as the "kings" of the horror movie genre. Even with this measured amount of success with these films, they were still considered to be "B" type movies and not the special effects extravaganzas of the typical western horror film.
Present Day Hindi Horror Films
The success of the Ramsay brothers' movies began ebbing a bit in the 1990's. Audiences began yearning for more sophisticated films to scare them. Horror films began evolving out of the sort of "monster movies" to supernatural and psychological thrillers. Of course, the Ramsay brothers continue to make the "monster movie" type films, which continue to have a strong and loyal following.
Some Movies to Check Out
Here's a short list of some websites where you can find some top picks or check out a few clips and trailers from a few different types of Hindi horror films and maybe get a few suggestions along the way:
Something for Everyone
The production of Bollywood horror films has definitely come a long way and they may still have a ways to go before they reach the sophistication of western produced horror films. You have to remember, these films don't have the multi-million dollar budget that most American made films have, so they really shouldn't be compared side by side. Hindi movies generally have about one-tenth of the budget that American made horror movies have. Even with the much smaller budget, the films produced are, if anything, entertaining.
It doesn't matter if you love the monster type movies akin to an Attack of the Killer Tomatoes western produced film or if you love scary movies more along the lines of psychological or supernatural thrillers, Bollywood horror films definitely have a little something for everyone to enjoy.