Halloween is creeping up on us and it is officially the spooky season. If the Covid-19 pandemic hasn’t been much of a horror already, here is a list of 12 horror films that will make you stay on edge of your seat.
- Us (2019)
On the surface, Us is an unsettling horror movie about a family who is on vacation in Santa Cruz. One night, they encounter their doppelgangers whose sinister intentions leave the audience in shock. The second venture by director Jordan Peele is a thinly-veiled metaphor about racial injustice in USA. Lupita Nyong’o stars as Adelaide Wilson and her terrifying but charismatic doppelganger Red. While you do not find too many jump-scares in the movie, Peele ensures that you find the normal and ordinary truly terrifying.
2. Identity (2003)
This modern adaptation of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None features a stellar ensemble cast led by John Cusack. The plot revolves around ten strangers who get stuck in a motel during a fierce thunderstorm and all of them are murdered one by one, by a ruthless killer. It does not take long before the survivors figure out that the killer is one among them. Simultaneously, a convicted serial killer is given one last chance to plead insanity. Filled with unexpected and well-placed twists and reveals, this movie chalks its own path and is more horrifying than the classic novel that it honours.
- Yavarum Nalam (2009)
A family moves into a brand-new apartment and soon, strange and unnerving incidents begin to occur. The protagonist (R.Madhavan) begins to realise that all their worries and fears are caused by their television set which promptly plays the serial ‘Yavarum Nalam’ every day. He soon figures out that the incidents in the serial are happening to his family in real-life toos. With a strong cast and unique script, the movie manages to terrify its viewers without using the typical horror movie cliches and tropes.
- Pari (2018)
The movie is a terrifying combination of a satanic cult, a feral woman, and a vengeful professor. Pari is the story about a man, Arnab (Parambrata Chatterjee) who finds Rukhsana (Anushka Sharma), a woman who is chained in a dilapidated hut in the woods after he mistakenly runs over her mother. He takes pity on her and brings her home. But things are never what they seem. Soon, things begin to unravel and Arnab realises that Rukhsana is not the fragile, quiet woman that he thought she was. The movie is packed with jump-scares, blood, and gore. With stellar performances from Sharma and the supporting cast, this movie is sure to keep horror enthusiasts hooked.
- Suspiria (2018)
A remake of the 1977 film by same name, Suspiria is a story of a young woman (Dakota Johnson) who joins a dance academy in Germany. It is not long before she realises that something wicked and eerie about the academy. Director Luca Guadagnino weaves themes of abuse of power and motherhood into this creepy story about a coven of witches.
- Manichitrathazhu (1993)
A cult classic in Indian cinema, Manichitrathazhu is a story about a young couple who move into a haunted mansion against the wishes of the elders. After a series of eerie and supernatural events plague them, they call Dr Sunny Joseph (Mohanlal) to investigate. The nuanced depiction of trauma and psychological distress coupled with Shobana’s moving portrayal of Ganga makes it a compelling watch.
- Aval (2017)
A young couple’s lives are disrupted when their new neighbour’s daughter is seemingly possessed by a malevolent spirit. Set in the picturesque Himalayan mountains, this story explores the horrors of female infanticide while stringing the usual elements of terror. Deep dark wells, haunted mansions, and eerie accidents make this a thrilling ride for the viewers.
- P2 (2007)
In this holiday horror film, Angela (Rachel Nichols) ends up working late on Christmas Eve and is all alone by the time she makes it to the basement parking lot. Unbeknownst to her, Thomas (Wes Bentley) the security guard traps her in the basement after she rejects his offer to spend Christmas together. Thus, ensues a game of cat and moue, where Angela discovers that Thomas has been secretly stalking her for years. P2 is a typical slasher film that achieves its goal of creating an unsettling environment for the audience and reminding them to steer clear of empty parking lots.
- Sinister (2012)
A man (Ethan Hawke) who is suffering from writer’s block moves his family into a home where the previous family died by suicide. Hoping that the house’s history will help him write his new book, he stumbles onto a box of snuff films. He soon discovers an insidious and oppressive secret about the house. It is not long before he realises that he has made a terrible mistake and it is too late to escape.
- Bulbbul (2020)
Bulbbul is a timid child bride who grows up and turns into a strong, independent woman overseeing and settling the happenings in her home and village. When men begin to mysteriously die in the village, Bulbbul’s brother-in-law Satya begins to look into the matter. Set in 1800s Bengal, this movie reverses the usual portrayal of the ‘Chudail’ and highlights that the true evil is patriarchy.
- Pisasu (2014)
A violinist is traumatised after he witnesses an accident of a young girl. Guilt-ridden that he is unable to save her life, he soon begins to experience supernatural occurrences at his home. As he tries to get rid of the ghost, he unravels a mystery that he is determined to solve.
- Midsommar (2019)
A movie not for the faint-hearted, it is about Dani, who is recently recovering from a tragedy when she decides to accompany her boyfriend on a trip to Sweden. There, they get involved with a pagan cult. On the surface, the movie seems to be about cults, rituals, and eerie festivals but on delving deeper, you realise that this is a truly terrifying rendition about grief.