A Brief History of Bollywood Horror Movies

Bollywood has dabbled with the horror genre and has come up with some pretty good movies through the decades. From making unique movies, to depending on gore and risque sequences to finally understanding what horror is all about; the scream market in India has definitely matured. Here is a brief history of Bollywood Horror movies.

The first Indian horror movie was made by Kamal Amrohi, and starred Ashok Kumar and Madhubala. Named ‘Mahal’, which can be translated into ‘Palace’ in English, the movie was based on reincarnation – a concept that is well entrenched into the Indian mindset. This movie is supposed to be ground breaking one for Bollywood and is known to have launched many a career. Ashok Kumar, Madhubala and the singer Lata Mangeshkar owe much of their superstardom to Mahal.

The sixties and the seventies saw some pretty good Bollywood horror movies, and most of them spoke about reincarnation, haunted houses etc. This genre was studded with superhit movies like Gumnaam (without a name), Bees Saal Baad (Twenty Years Hence) and of course, Madhumati.

All this changed with Rajkumar Kohli’s Nagin (The Female Snake) in 1976, which once again changed the very concept of Bollywood horror movies. This star studded movie was a box office hit, which made way for Jaani Dushman (Nemesis) by Rajkumar Kohli.

The horror genre became slapstick and a lucrative one, and the intelligent stories like Madhumati and Bees Saal Baad were replaced with template movies, wherein a couple or a group of youngsters would have to camp in a old mansion, only to find that it is haunted. This was the staple of Ramsay Brothers, who made quite a few movies on the premise. The Ramsay Brothers were the staple of the horror genre for at least a decade, and many of their movies, like Veerana (The Desolate Area), Purana Mandir (Old Temple) and Do Gaz Zameen Ke Neeche (Beneath the Ground) have a cult following even today in the DVD market.

However, the Indian audience became mature enough to reject slapstick and risqu by the nineties, and the Ramsay brand of horror had a dwindling following – and it was then that a little known director named Ram Gopal Varma changed the way Bollywood horror movies were made. His Raat (The Night) was one of the few Indian horror movies that did not have the by now cliched paper mache makeup, or the squirting of blood, etc. His ‘Raat’ was one of the few atmosphere horror movies and is still considered to be one of the best horror movies ever made.

Ram Gopal Varma later on made several movies in the horror and crime genre and has achieved mixed success in his movies. However, even today, people consider him to be a horror film maker first and a crime saga maker second.

The horror film genre has been around in Bollywood since the past three decades now. The entire concept has been commented upon in the Shah Rukh Khan starrer, Om Shanti Om.

Best Horror Movies to Watch: World Cinema

Despite being liked by all, we don’t see many horror-movie releases every year. From a director’s point of view making a horror film is always a double edged sword’s game; it can make the audience fear or laugh. In fact, we see many movies of horror-comedy genre performing well at the box office. The horror – comedy genre came to the existence by accident, and that was the failure of horror film turning into comedy ones.

No doubt, our filmmakers around the globe are trying hard to make us fear and only fear, because a good horror film can make our ‘night’.

Why Horror Movies Fail: six to seven out of ten horror films fail. The failure ratio is, if truth be told, very high around the globe. The reason being it is the lack of plot. The most exploited plot is ‘couples entering their new house, located in the wilderness, and something unexplainable starts taking place.’ Most of our popular docudramas like A Haunting, The Haunted, etc., are based on it. Episodes after Episodes we see the same plot, and finally it turns boring, and we shut it.

There is another reason behind the failure of such flicks, and that is lack of creativity. Our writers fail to bring new tactics to make us fear. We have seen enough of ‘hearing something’, ‘seeing something’, ‘being touched by something’, and something. Our writers have been struggling with these phenomena since the very early days of the beginning of this genre. But they are helpless, this is how supernatural activities happen, they can’t leave or ignore this.

What make horror movies succeed: that is our innate desire to experience fear, death and supernatural occurrences. It is only our desire that we swarm to movie theatres when a critic gives a good rating to a horror flick. It is the basic instinct of a human that question our existence and the existence of ‘the others’. We want to know what happens when we die, or if the dead ones try to contact us, or if we can contact the dead ones- our loved ones. And this is what makes supernatural cinema hit.

What type of horror movies succeed: There are many types of horror movies: supernatural, horror, comedy, gothic, psycho, war, apocalypse and many more. But supernatural-horror is the real horror. A good supernatural horror film evokes our subdued philosophy.

What are the good horror movies available: thankfully, we do have many appealing horror movies from the world cinema, not just from Hollywood. But, Hollywood is our home. Here is the list of some interesting, engaging and horrifying films from the various industries.

HOLLYWOOD:

The Exorcist (1973)- An exorcism movie which made America shiver back in the seventies. But, as time passed, our directors and writers developed better plots.

The Blair Witch Project (1999)- This is the first movie of its style. It gave birth to the idea of handy-cam cinema and TV Series. But no handy-cam film is as good as The Blair Witch Project.

The Conjuring (2013)- This film is a complete surprise as it sold the same old wine in the new bottle successfully. ‘Couples entering their new house, located in the wilderness, and something unexplainable starts happening’ plot did the wonder again.

The Others (2001)- When you want to know the story of ‘The Others’ side, you get this beautiful movie set in the wilderness of old America, which ends with a surprise you never expected.

Insidious (2010)- The best thing about this movie is it connects us to our childhood. This film also takes you to ‘the other’ side of the story. It takes us to the deads and their world.

Paranormal Activity (2007)- This film successfully implemented the idea of The Blair Witch Project from wilderness to our bedrooms.

Sinister (2012)- In the search of a successful novel’s plot a failing writer finds out the past of a family. If you loved The conjuring, you’d love this one too.

ASIAN CINEMA:

When Hollywood was struggling with ‘Couple Enters New House’ plot, Asian supernatural movies came out with their indigenous ideas, and they are really good. In fact, Hollywood didn’t shy away from stealing their tempting plots.

There are some great supernatural movies from Asia: Ju-On (2002), Ring (1998), A Tale of Two Sisters (2003), Shutter (2004), The Eye (2002), Dark Water (2002), Nang Nak (1999), Hauted-3D (2011).

Top 10 Horror Movies

If you are a horror movie fan you already know how intense an experience these types of films can be. There are some horror movies that combine humor with the storyline as a way of letting the audience catch their breath. Other “scary movies” maintain the fright factor throughout the film. Which movies you like depends on your own personal tastes but here is a list of the top 10 horror movies of all time in no particular order. These are big screen events that every horror aficionado should see at least once.

1. The Blob

Who can forget this cool movie that dates back to the 1950s. This horror movie starred Steve McQueen as a young tough with a heart of gold who battled the fierce outer space blob of goo that was devouring everyone in its path. The remake of this horror classic was not nearly as good as the original version which became a drive in staple for a number of years. This was a movie that was created when people were less jaded and although the special effects are indeed laughable by today’s standards at the time when this movie was released the audience let their imaginations provide them with the best scenes.

2. Jaws

This Steven Spielberg production still is one of the cinema greats and definitely deserves to be listed among the top 10 horror movies of all time. Who cares if no one really got to see a great deal of the marauding shark demon, this was another big screen flick that catered to imaginary fears and shocked audiences around the world with surprisingly little onscreen carnage being shown.

3. Friday the 13th

This modern day horror movie is still reeling in viewers and attracting new fans. Although an entire series of Friday the 13th films have been produced it is still the original that people remember best. Jason and that hockey mask are indelibly etched into the minds of all who have seen this “creeped out” thriller.

4. House on Haunted Hill

Is another early movie that still managed to latch onto those fears of the unknown and shock millions of frantic fans. This was a film that specialized in creating horror scenes that were more emotional than visual.

5. The Exorcist

During the 70s few films attracted the fervent publicity that this one did. When it was first released people stood in extraordinarily long lines for their chance to be part of the audience. Linda Blair shot to stardom as the young girl possessed by a demon and that scene showing her head spinning round like a top can still create chills for anyone who rents this movie. The fact that several people associated with this horror movie were injured or killed even led to conjecture that there was an “Exorcist” curse. Of course this type of gossip only made the movie more popular among the millions of horror fans around the world. The Catholic Church even had a few choice words to say against this film, but nothing was able to defeat this horror movie at the box office in its heyday.

6. Jeepers Creepers

This is a movie that was created along the lines of Friday the 13th. You have two young people who are drawn into an underworld of murder, horror and nightmarish fears as well as a hulking, maniacal killer who is set on wreaking carnage and destruction on anyone in his path. This movie formula has been the basis for a number of great horror movies and Jeepers Creepers found box office gold among an audience consisting mostly of teens and young adults.

7. Candyman

This was a 1992 release based on a story written by horror master Clive Barker. You have to love a horror movie that captures the supernatural effects of pure horror and blends them with those “oh, so believable” urban legends. By the time this movie is ending everyone in the audience is convinced that there is a “Candyman” lurking somewhere in their neighborhood.

8. The Sixth Sense

Paranormal activity has always been a staple for many horror flicks but this movie elevates extra sensory perceptions to a brand new level. The young boy who is the central character can really see and speak to departed souls. For him this is a traumatic fact because some of these lingering spirits are truly “horrific” to look at since most of them have suffered a violent death. The twist for this movie is that the psychologist who is helping the young “medium” deal with his fears is also one of these departed spirits but the kind hearted psychologist does not yet realize that he has died. This movie qualifies as a “tearjerker” as well as being one of the best horror movies of all times.

9. The Blair Witch Project

This horror movie was released in 1999 and it was created with a shoestring budget. It became a runaway hit even though there was very little to see in the way of true horror or special effects. This was a psychologically powerful movie that catered to people’s superstitious beliefs and it raked in millions at the box office. College students, a New England town, witches and a video camera are the main components of this film. The plot is a bit disoriented and it is difficult to keep track of what is taking place on screen but the fear factor for this movie flew off the chart. Even today you have people who are convinced that this really was a project undertaken by a few intrepid college students who became victims of the curse of the Blair Witch.

10. Night of the Living Dead

This is another 60’s black and white horror film that continues to be popular with audiences. The story begins in a graveyard where zombie-like creatures are walking about. These are dead people who have come back to life and are out to literally devour any humans they find. A small group of individuals hide in a house and attempt to fend off these monsters. The living dead are not easy to kill and resourcefulness is the key to survival. This is one of those horror movies that lets the audience use their imagination which is one of the reasons that it has become such a classic favorite.

There are many other great horror movies for people to watch and enjoy. Some of the newer movies are using explosive special effects and makeup to create intense scenes but true horror buffs realize that what you don’t see can often be even more terrifying than what is recorded on camera. The best horror movies captivate your imagination early in the movie and allow you to become part of the action. Thanks to new technology it is easy for horror fans to choose to watch either older films or new releases. This means you have the best of both “fright filled” worlds at your fingertips.

How to Choose the Greatest Horror Movie Titles

Horror movie lovers watch horror movies for different reasons. Some watch them just because they are bored. Others watch horror shows because they think that nothing scares them. But by and large, most people watch horror movies because they want to be frightened. Now why would anyone want to do that to themselves?

Well, for one, it’s sometimes fun to add a little spice to our daily lives by having a horror movie give us a really good scare. For sure, we all know that it’s fiction, and would be more than likely to have a really good laugh about it later on. However, there’s nothing like spending over ninety minutes, watching a cheesy horror movie that tries to be frightening but really isn’t. So it’s definitely a good idea to avoid being trapped in a movie theater with a big tub of butter pop corn, and realizing that the horror movie you are watching just isn’t going to frighten you. And do achieve that, we have to watch out for the signs.

You know a horror movie is most likely going to be worth watching when you see these signs. First, go over all the official website and watch the trailers. Horror trailers often contain the best parts of the movie, as it’s all part of marketing. If the trailers can’t scare you, the show will most likely not be able to scare you either. But even when the trailers are really good, don’t be taken in just yet. For all you know, those may be the only good parts in the movie. Spend some time on other third party websites to read all the reviews. Better still, lurk around some fan forums and read what others have to say about the show. If the show is good, you will get to read raving reviews. Otherwise, you may want to drop the idea of watching the show altogether.

Next, you may want to go a little in depth and check out the production crew and the cast. Who is the director of the film? Horror movies directed by internationally acclaimed directories like Steven Spielberg will most likely be worth watching. If the whole production crew and the cast sound like a bunch of newcomers, then you may have to rely solely on the reviews for your assessment of the movie.

Modern horror movies are often filled with special effects. So the special effects team, and the make-up team are just as important. Great horror movies often come with great visual effects, sound effects, as well as great make-up. Combined with a killer script, you will most likely be in for a real treat.

Finally, remember that the best horror movies are those that can get you really scared – even after the movie has been completed. Watch out for the signs that we have just mentioned above, and enjoy the thrill and experience of being totally scared! If you don’t think you can stand watching it alone, be sure to go the movies with someone else. To enhance the experience even further, try watching horror movies during the Halloween. That’s when there is a festive yet eerie atmosphere surrounding the dark nights.

Top Ten Horror Movies

Horror movies are basically scary, chilling and daunting. They are generally based on imagination of incredible happenings and mysterious events, also sometimes based on scientific experimentation and psychological statistics of eerie ideas. Most of them are made with false vision of existence of mysterious characters possessing supernatural powers or ghostly attitude.

Horror film makers try to use most of their imagination in creating the situation in horrified manner in order to make the film more frightful and interesting at the same time, since the audience find illogical events more interesting and yielding with conscious mind and zeal to destroy the demon. Hollywood is popular for production of horror movies. Horror movies are always watched and admired for their unusual presentation and special arousing effects. Let me list a few of top horror movies and brief gist about them:

Psycho

Made in 1960, was the masterpiece by Alfred Hitchcock, based on the psychological misconducts, which enhanced rousing terror that become more interesting than the revolutionary supernatural events.

The Bride of Frankenstein

Made in 1935 used the most tragic figure the monster in the history of horror movies. Its maker was forced to create a mate for the monster from old body parts and the brain of a madman. The terror prevails the show.

The Night of the Living Dead

Made in1968 by George Romero. The movie is about an android girl who dispatches her dad, is one of the most horrifying sequences with plenty of chills and thrills in the horror film history.

The Exorcist

Made by William Friedkin in the year of 1973, a horror classic where a little girl (Linda Blair) experiences a demonic presence in herself, two priests are called to throw away the demon from her body. The movie is presented with terrific special effects.

Friday the 13th

Considered to be an inauspicious date, misshapenness is expected on this particular combination of day and date. The movie is about an old camp that was shut down for some time due to murder of two counselors by an unidentified killer. The camp reopens in 1980; the inmates of the camp are victimized by an adherent wearing a hockey mask and killed one by one.

The Mummy
Made in1999, uncovers the mummy of a prince Im-ho-tep who was buried alive in Egypt 3000 years ago. The mummy become alive and escapes where starts the havoc in the realm.

Dracula

Count Dracula possessed the characteristics of a vampire, soon after his attack, his victim turned insane. The movie is a horror classic with many haunting images and more like a silent film.

The Evil Dead

The horror is created by the use of an audiotape; if the tape is played, the listener faces spiteful consequences. Whoever listened to the recording in the tape turned into a deadlight.

The Sixth Sense

Made in 1999, a supernatural ghost story, where a child psychologist treats a nine-year-old boy who perceives dead people and communicates with them.

Cat People

Made in1942 by Jacques Tourneuer. An innovative and thoughtful thriller without violence but psychological tension is throughout the movie. It is the story of a woman played by Simone Simon who fears lest she falls prey to a baffling curse and turn into a deadly panther when she is emotionally aroused.

Stereotypes in Teen Horror Movies

If you enjoy watching teen horror movies, you must have heard things like, “the African-American guy always die” or “couples who have sex ended up murdered.” Movies like Scream (1996), Urban Legend (1998), I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997), or The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) strengthen these ideas with their formulaic storyline and negative character depiction. Most teen horror movies comply to a certain pattern. Some of these patterns are rooted from stereotypes.

Stereotypes are standardized and simplified conceptions of groups based on some prior assumptions. We use stereotypes to try to understand our world in an instant way. Most people don’t have the time to intimately socialize with all members of the society. To bridge this knowledge gap, we use stereotypes to fill the blanks in our heads. Although a lot of stereotypes are used in a pejorative manner, some stereotypes depict groups of society in a positive light. In example, French people are considered romantic, women are better at listening, and gay men have better sense of fashion.

Although stereotypes can be used as a way to communicate with the audience, when used in improper context, the result may be negative. The primary harm that arise from stereotyping is that it leads to discrimination and prejudice. The rule of survival in teen horror movies is to understand the stereotype, and conform with the formula. By instilling this idea, the audience may accept that the reality in these movies may apply to reality in everyday life. Stereotypes in teen horror movies are usually negative. Common stereotypes that appeared on movies are mostly about racial and ethnic minorities, female, sex and sexual orientation, the elderly, and the disabled.

For example, women who wear revealing clothes in horror movies are usually an easy target for the killer. Women who boldly outlined their sexuality are considered cheap. These movies drive the audience’s opinion, making them think of these women as second class citizen. The women did not conform with the movie’s formula, hence, the audience feel less respect towards them. Without the audience’s empathy, it is easy for the movie makers to eliminate the characters. When applied to a real world scenario, these stereotypes could turn into prejudice. Woman who chose to wear minimum clothing will be considered dispensable, and may will receive unpleasant reaction from the society. Wearing these clothes are no longer a fashion preference, but rather a statement of a character.

Other stereotypes that is seen in these movies are, jocks and cheerleaders usually have bad behavior, and they are often the first one to die. African-American, Asian, and Hispanics are also on the list to die next. Gay people and those with obesity can’t avoid being taken out too. Those who survived are usually Caucasian male or female who are nice, not promiscuous, and strong enough to take challenge after challenge. Surviving in teen horror movies are never an easy task.

Although teen horror movies are plagued with negative stereotypes, some actually had a positive one in it. Positive stereotypes, like, the heroine in the story is always so strong and resilient to attacks and the leading Caucasian male served as a knight that will do just about anything to save his friends and the heroine.

Stereotypes is inevitable in movies, but there are always something we can do about it. The key is to maintain balance in portraying characters in teen horror movies to achieve more realistic feel. Innovation and fair depiction are rare in the movie industry, but it doesn’t mean that the audience will reject any kind of efforts to tip the scale in the right direction. The film makers should take this into consideration, to prevent further degeneration of certain groups in our society.