13 Funny Bollywood Horror Movies To Watch On Halloween

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1.

Shaitani Ilaaka (1990)

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All You Need To Know: Despite the title, this movie is less about evil real estate and more about a girlboss building her dark magic empire by putting in the hours, sacrificing brides, cursing children, and summoning a Shaitan to do her bidding. Neelam Mehra absolutely BODYING the role of a hysterical sorceress in a shiny yellow spandex gown makes this an instant classic to me. The discount wolfman, who is only ever shown in terrible lighting, but is kinda cute, is just an added bonus.

2.

Purana Mandir (1984)

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All You Need To Know: Starring Mohnish Bahl (aka Bhai ka bhai) and produced by Indian horror royalty — the Ramsay Brothers — Purana Mandir is a pretty straightforward tale of a man trying to get laid by overcoming his girlfriend’s family’s ancestral curse and by fighting a headless demon. You know, it is essentially a love story! With its diversity of absurd subplots, plurality of one-note characters, and the niggling familiarity of the cast, I could actually spend hours listing everything that makes this movie worth watching. However, I’d rather just ask you to watch out for Macchar Singh and let you figure things out for yourself. 

3.

Saamri (1985)

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All You Need To Know:  The eponymous Saamri is a kind, elderly dark magician who is murdered for his wealth and is then resurrected by his faithful apprentice in order to deliver payback to those who betrayed him. Saamri is certainly a pretty standard paranormal revenge plot, but what makes it worth watching is Anirudh Agarwal (a legend and a horror icon), who is absolutely unconvincing as a frail old man who could perhaps destroy his tormentors with an errant fart. If you’re simply interested in watching a movie that pays homage to “Thriller” through Bappi Lahiri’s musical genius, then boy, do I have a treat for you!

4.

Bhago Bhoot Aaya (1985)

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All You Need To Know: Featuring one of the best song sequences of all time, this movie is about a strangely funny salesman and a lovestruck NRI heiress trying to survive a “haunted” haveli. This next bit of information might shock you but this movie is intentionally hilarious. Bhago Bhoot Aaya displays a keen awareness of the absurdity of its horror elements and leans into it with a huge helping of camp effects, quippy dialogue, and villains that have less to do with the haveli’s paranormal problems and are more involved in the true horror of inheritance-motivated parricide. I mean, there’s a scene where Aruna Irani romantically unravels a lightly mummified Shakti Kapoor with her teeth. Yep!

5.

Tahkhana (1986)

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All You Need To Know: While trying to unearth a treasure hidden in a dungeon, a bunch of people get killed by an ancient evil that was sealed inside it, long ago. In the days of yore, this plot might have come across as far-fetched, but to modern audiences, the scene where a character gets a job interview “within minutes”, simply by “asking nicely”, is the very definition of unrealistic. The plot is secondary though, I’m actually here to spread the good word of Hemant Birje in a fashion-forward, single-strap black singlet. Men! What’s stopping you from dressing like this?

6.

Veerana (1988)

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All You Need To Know: I’m not saying that the writers of Game Of Thrones were watching desi B-movies for inspiration, but Veerana had an evil seductress who retains her beauty with the aid of a magical necklace, and wreaks havoc on a family of aristocrats — particularly the daughter — way before Melisandre existed!    

7.

Bandh Darwaza (1990)

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All You Need To Know: This is Desi Dracula, baby! Nevla is the Evil Chad to the Count’s Virgin Vampire, with loads of minions, a lot more brides, a desire to repopulate the earth with his vampiric spawn, and a strange affinity towards bullets. I also had a bit of a bruh moment upon realising the lack of clarity on Nevla’s designs on Sapna, who is biologically HIS DAUGHTER. 

8.

Ajooba Kudrat Ka (1991)

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All You Need To Know: Supposedly the only Indian movie to be made on the topic, Ajooba Kudrat Ka is about a platonic relationship between a Yeti and a little girl he saves from kidnappers. BigFoot is, in turn, saved by her uncles when it is subsequently kidnapped by the same kidnappers. Are these kidnappers diversifying their criminal portfolio? Well, instead of trying to sell you this movie, I’ll leave you with this masterpiece of a music video titled, “Yeti, I love you”. You’re welcome!

9.

Khooni Panja (1991)

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All You Need To Know: Freddy Krueger is too basic, for this movie is about the ghost of a vengeful wife possessing her sister-in-law in order to wreak havoc upon the family of her adulterous husband (And you thought your family was complicated?)! Director Vinod Talwar went ham on Khooni Panja, resulting in an absolute must-watch, with the most “special-est” effects, at least one attempted murder every 20 minutes, and a flamboyant chef who shares a parasocial rivalry with Michael “Jaikishan”. 

10.

Naagmani (1991)

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All You Need To Know: This is a movie about Naags, a Naagmani, Naag Panchami, a “Naagmani Prapti” ritual, and a girl named Nagina. The script reads like something an AI would spit out if you fed it Nagin (1976) and several average documentaries on gram panchayats. Well, this is aside from the stomach-churning, “romantic” dialogues, which I can only assume came from the mind of a human being that needs serious help. This Halloween, prepare to be truly horrified!

11.

Zapatlela aka Khilona Bana Khalnayak (1993)

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All You Need To Know: Mahesh Kothare’s definitive Marathi horror-comedy of the 90s has everything — from a bonkers premise that rips off an existing box office success (Child’s Play), the soul of a gangster trapped in a poor man’s Ed Sheeran muppet, a 10 minute medley dance sequence that ends with a title drop, and a “Baba Chamatkari”. This movie is a cult classic in the truest definition of the term, with a cash-grab sequel made 20 years after the original, AND a Telugu remake!

12.

Mahakaal (1994)

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All You Need To Know: “Inspired” by A Nightmare on Elm Street, this movie stars a younger and sexier version of Archana Puran Singh in a recreation that is somehow both hornier and creepier than its Hollywood counterpart, WITHOUT any of the nudity or gore. The waterbed wet dream scene alone is triumph of both blatant plagiarism and the sheer power of the censor board. I could live a hundred lifetimes and not find the right words to do Mahakaal justice, so I am just going to implore you to watch it. Just make sure to not watch it with anyone whose respect you wish to retain.



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