Home / Industry / Ten Bollywood horror films that redefined the genre

New Delhi: Radhika Apte-starrer Phobia, which released last week, only managed opening day collections of 1.25 crore, but has been making waves for its unusual plot and treatment, a rarity for horror cinema in India that hardly ever hits home. Here are 10 other horror films that redefined the genre.

Mahal (1949): The Kamal Amrohi-directed film, starring Ashok Kumar and Madhubala, was India’s first reincarnation thriller. The film that made close to 1 crore at the box office at the time established Madhubala as one of the most illustrious actors of the 1950s, besides bringing the concept of playback singing to the fore when the record company was flooded with queries about the voice behind Aayega Aanewala, a newbie called Lata Mangeshkar.

Bees Saal Baad (1962): The psychological drama-thriller was supposed to be loosely based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s crime novel The Hound of the Baskervilles. Starring Biswajeet and Waheeda Rehman, the film earned more than 1 crore at the box office and had songs like Kahin deep jale kahin dil, topping the charts for months.

Nagin (1976): The horror fantasy thriller directed by Rajkumar Kohli featured an ensemble cast including Sunil Dutt, Reena Roy, Jeetendra, Feroz Khan, Sanjay Khan, Vinod Mehra, Rekha, Yogeeta Bali and Mumtaz. It minted close to 4 crore in box office collections at the time and was remade into Jaani Dushman: Ek Anokhi Kahani, starring Kohli’s son Armaan several years later.

Raat (1992): The supernatural thriller directed by Ram Gopal Varma starred Revathi in the lead role and remains a cult classic. Also dubbed into Telugu, the film made about 1.50 crore at the box office.

Raaz (2002): The film, starring Bipasha Basu and Dino Morea, was an unofficial adaptation of Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfeiffer’s What Lies Beneath. It made more than 20 crore at the box office and spawned the popular Raaz series.

Bhoot (2003): Ram Gopal Varma’s supernatural horror film featured an ensemble cast, including Urmila Matondkar, Ajay Devgn, Nana Patekar, Rekha, Fardeen Khan and Tanuja. The film made more than 7 crore at the box office and won Matondkar several accolades for her role as the possessed wife.

Darna Mana Hai (2003): The anthology horror thriller directed by Prawaal Raman consisted of six different short stories featuring Saif Ali Khan, Vivek Oberoi, Aftab Shivdasani, Shilpa Shetty, Sameera Reddy, Isha Koppikar, Nana Patekar and Sohail Khan. The film made more than 2 crore at the box office.

Vaastu Shastra (2004): Ram Gopal Varma directed Susmita Sen and J.D. Chakravarty in the horror film also dubbed into Telugu. The Hindi version made more than 3 crore at the box office.

Ragini MMS (2011): The pseudo documentary directed by Pawan Kirpalani (also the director of Phobia) was inspired by the 2007 American supernatural horror film Paranormal Activity and partly based on a real-life incident with a Delhi girl. The film made close to 10 crore at the box office.

Ek Thi Daayan (2013): The supernatural thriller directed by Kannan Iyer was based on the little-explored subject of witchcraft. Starring Emraan Hashmi, Huma Qureshi, Konkona Sen Sharma and Kalki Koechlin, the film earned more than 25 crore in box office collections.

All figures have been sourced from movie websites Bollywood Hungama and IBOS Network.

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