DNDF: Hindi Horror

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Friday, January 17, 2014

DNDF: Hindi Horror

Hey you!  Yeah You!  Want to try your luck?  All the cool kids are randomly searching IMDB for common details and all you have to do to appease The Divine Search Engine and explore a different culture’s ideas of what is scary is…SPIN THE WHEEL!

Well what started out as a simple double feature became a four-fer as I discovered sequels to my initial two movies…three of which directed by the same guy…Ram Gopal Varma must be the George Romero of India…hmm. 

Bhoot (Hindi: भूत, English: Ghost) is a Bollywood horror film released in 2003.  It was directed by Ram Gopal Varma and stars Ajay Devgan and Urmila Matondkar.  It was perceived to be different from a typical Bollywood movie as it did not contain songs.  It was later dubbed in Telugu as 12 va Anthasthu.  The film did average business at the box office.  The director has come up with a sequel called Bhoot Returns which was released on 12 October 2012.

Bhoot (2003)

  • Genre: Horror – Thriller
  • Directed: Ram Gopal Varma
  • Produced:
    • Rohit Kumar 
    • Nitin Manmohan 
    • Suman Varma 
    • R.R. Venkat Rao
  • Written:
    • Lalit Marathe 
    • Sameer Sharma
  • Starring: Ajay Devgn, Urmila Matondkar, Nana Patekar, Rekha, Fardeen Khan, Victor Banerjee, Tanuja, Seema Biswas, Amar Talwar, Barkha Madan
  • Music:
    • Salim Merchant 
    • Suleiman Merchant
  • Cinematography: Vishal Sinha
  • Editing: Shimit Amin
  • Studio:
    • Dream Merchants Enterprise  
    • Varma Corporation
  • Distributed:
    • Bodega Films  
    • Spark Media  
    • Spark Worldwide
  • Rated: NR
  • Release Date: 30 May 2003 (India)(UK)(USA)
  • Running Time: 113 minutes
  • Country: India
  • Language: Hindi

The story is about Vishal who is married to Swati.  The couple buy a high rise apartment at a ridiculously low price.  The caretaker of the apartment, Mr. Thakkar explains to Vishal that a widow named Manjeet Khosla, the previous resident, committed suicide after killing her own son.  Vishal hides this fact from Swati, as she will object to buying such a residence.  But Mr.Thakkar accidentally slips in the secret.

Swati is livid at Vishal, although he disbelieves the notions of ghosts and bad luck.  Then, Swati starts behaving strangely.  Vishal consults Dr Rajan.  But soon enough, Vishal and Mr Thakkar's son Sanjay witnesses Swati killing the watchman of the apartment in a supernatural way, and his skepticism is rudely challenged.  Sanjay came to visit his father, and has started to suspect Vishal since he saw Swati murder the watchman.  He informs Inspector Qureshi, who reaches the apartment to investigate the death, however he becomes suspicious of the duo and their strange behavior.

Finally, Vishal's maid calls an exorcist named Sarita.  Sarita sees the ghosts of Manjeet and her son.  She advises Vishal to meet Manjeet's mother, since she can placate her daughter's spirit.  Vishal complies and meets Manjeet's mother.  He learns from Manjeet's mother that Manjeet was not the type of woman who would commit suicide.  He explains the situation to her and asks her help.  She comes with him and somehow placates Manjeet's spirit.  Meanwhile, Sanjay, is seen behaving erratically since the watchman has been brutally killed.  His father Mr. Thakkar calls him to the apartment.

The exorcist sees Sanjay entering the building and confronts him.  It is then revealed that many years ago, Sanjay came to visit his father and set his heart on Manjeet as he saw her in the apartment.  He broke into her house, and had developed a lust for her, but when she rejected him, he pushed her and she accidentally fell off the balcony and died.  But Manjeet's son saw the murder, upon which Sanjay hired the watchman to kill him.  Manjeet, who has still occupying Swati's body, sees Sanjay and chases him.  Qureshi tries to stop her, having no idea of the real story.  Qureshi then catches Sanjay, but is unaware that he had murdered Manjeet, and lets him leave.

Sanjay escapes, only to find himself surrounded by Vishal, Sarita, Manjeet and Qureshi who now knows the truth. A terrified Sanjay confesses the crimes, upon which Manjeet's mother urges her to stop.  Sanjay is arrested by Inspector Qureshi, and thrown into jail.  Manjeet leaves Swati's body, and Vishal and Swati live a good life in the apartment.  Meanwhile, in the lockup, Qureshi tells Sanjay that death sentences are light penalties for a criminal like him.  He wishes that Sanjay gets a bigger punishment.  After Qureshi leaves the darkened cell, Sanjay finds himself face to face with Manjeet.  He starts begging for mercy, but his voice soon fades out.


Bhoot Returns (English: Ghost Returns) is a 2012 Bollywood 3D horror film directed by Ram Gopal Varma and written by Ravi Shankar.  The film was released on 12 October 2012, with mixed to negative reviews.  The film stars Manisha Koirala, J. D. Chakravarthy, Madhu Shalini and Alayana Sharma in the lead role.  It is a sequel to the 2003 film Bhoot, also directed by Varma.  A further sequel, Bhoot 3 is in production.

Bhoot Returns (2012)

  • Genre: Horror
  • Directed: Ram Gopal Varma
  • Produced:
    • Gopal Dalvi 
    • Mandar Dalvi 
    • Sandeep Gangatkar 
    • Nitin Manmohan
  • Written: Ravi Shankar
  • Starring: J.D. Chakravarthi, Nitin Jadhav, Manisha Koirala, Madhu Shalini, Alayana Sharma
  • Music: Sandeep Chowtha
  • Cinematography:
    • Siddhartha More 
    • Harshraj Shroff 
    • M. Ravichandran Thevar
  • Editing: Sunil Wadhwani
  • Studio:
    • Eros Entertainment 
    • Alumbra Entertainment
  • Distributed: Unknown
  • Rated: NR
  • Release Date: 12 October 2012 (India)(UK)
  • Running Time: Unknown
  • Country: India
  • Language:
    • Hindi 
    • Telugu 
    • Tamil

Tarun, an architect, moves into a luxurious bungalow with his wife, Namrata, and their children, 10-year-old Taman and 6-year-old Nimmi.  During an exploration of the house, Nimmi finds a doll, and includes someone named 'Shabbu' in all her activities.  The family mistakes Nimmi's new doll to be Shabbu but are surprised when Nimmi points to an empty space and introduces her invisible friend as Shabbu.  Her parents suspect her wild imagination as the reason for her new 'friend'.

Soon, Tarun's younger sister, Pooja, surprises the family with a visit.  As Tarun, Namrata and Pooja discuss Nimmi's fixation over Shabbu, the family servant, Laxman, is sure of a spirit's presence in the house.  Laxman's worries receive severe backlash from Tarun, an ardent skeptic.  Soon, each night at the bungalow seems to turn for the worse, with knocks at unearthly hours, demonic sounds and eerie movements.  Tarun suspects Laxman to be the mischief-maker, trying to prove his points.  As Nimmi's fixation with Shabbu increases, the family decides to consult a psychiatrist.  The psychiatrist explains Nimmi's imaginary friend as a result of her loneliness and terms it as a common technique used by children to grab attention.

Laxman's sudden disappearance and the increasing curiosity in Pooja to find answers for the ongoing activities make her install wireless cameras at various places in the house, which record Nimmi playing with what seems like a ghostly apparition.  Tarun's mind starts reeling as he sees the captured footage; it is proof enough for the disturbed family to finally decide to leave the house.  But the house has other plans: Nimmi is found missing the next morning.  The police are called in to investigate but they consider the family delusional and do not take much interest in the matter.

Tarun receives a mysterious phone call, Nimmi voice from upper floor, after which they find Laxman murdered.  The house seems to be on lock-down and the phones jammed.  Taman is mysteriously killed.  Nimmi appears possessed by the spirit and tries to kill both her parents, until she's finally burned and defeated from Pooja help, as the remaining family flee, bloody and injured.  Nimmi comes out from the building in low angle, then introduces herself as Shabbu to the neighborhood children.


Phoonk is a 2008 Horror film directed by Ram Gopal Varma and produced by Praveen Nischol starring Sudeep. The film is about superstition and black magic. It spawned a sequel, Phoonk 2.

 

Phoonk (2008)

  • Genre: Drama – Horror – Mystery
  • Directed: Ram Gopal Varma
  • Produced:
    • Azam Khan 
    • Praveen Nischol 
    • Aditya Singh
  • Written:
    • Milind Gadagkar (Screenplay) 
    • Sandeep Nath (Lyrics) 
    • Prashant Pandey (Lyrics)
  • Starring: Sudeep, Amruta Khanvilkar, Ahsaas Channa, Ashwini Khalsekar, K.K. Raina, Ganesh Yadav, Shrey Bawa, Jyoti Subhash, Kenny Desai, Lillete Dubey
  • Music:
    • Kumar Bapi 
    • Tutul
  • Cinematography: Savita Singh
  • Editing:
    • Nipun Gupta 
    • Amit Parmar
  • Studio:
    • Ace Movie Company 
    • One More Thought Entertainment
  • Distributed: PVR Pictures
  • Rated: NR
  • Release Date: 22 August 2008 (India)
  • Running Time: Unknown
  • Country: India
  • Language:
    • Hindi 
    • Marathi 
    • English

Phoonk is based upon the concept of black magic.  Civil engineer and atheist Rajiv lives in Mumbai with his family of wife Aarti and two kids, Raksha and Rohan, with Rajiv's mother and the housemaid Laxmi.  Rajiv's most trusted colleagues are Anshuman and Madhu, whom everyone, including Rajiv's friend Vinay and Raksha feel are not normal.  At a party at his house, when he comes to know that the husband and wife duo have cheated him on a valuable contract for an IT firm in Delhi, Rajiv fires both of them after insulting them both.  Humiliated and angry at this, the two of them decide to take revenge on Rajiv.  Madhu notes that Rajiv is very fond of Raksha.

Soon a series of strange events start to take place in and around Rajiv's house.  Mandar, who is appointed to take the place of Madhu and Anshuman is killed at the construction site mysteriously.  Raksha starts to talk and behave weirdly, much to the shock of everyone.  Doctors are called for, but the strange behavior continues, with Raksha flying in the air, talking in a manly voice, acting in pain.  The superstitious and religious grandmother repeatedly says that someone is using Black Magic on Raksha, but Rajiv and the doctors refuse to believe any of it.

Now at the end of his wits, Rajiv begins to look to God.  He also agrees to his construction laborers' demand of making a small shrine at the construction site, which he was previously adamantly turning down.  Vinay suggests asking for the help of Manja, a magician familiar with this sort of stuff.

Manja analyzes the whole situation, sees Raksha, visits Rajiv's house, and tells the latter that someone is trying to take revenge on him, at which Vinay exclaims that it is none other than Madhu and Anshuman.  Manja also tells them that Rajiv's driver has been helping the duo by providing them with mud and other material from the house for black magic.

Losing no more time, Rajiv, Vinay, Manja rush to Madhu's house, where she and Anshuman are found to be doing black magic rituals on a doll, supposedly an effigy of Raksha to trouble her.  Rajiv orders Madhu to stop, but Madhu attacks him with a trishul1.  Vinay takes on Anshuman.  The effect of Black magic forces seep on the entire place, pushing everyone away.  As Madhu is going to attack Rajiv who is being pushed towards the wall, Manja uses his powers to separate the running ceiling fan, which lands on Madhu's head, decapitating her.  All the negative forces stop, a spider comes out of one of the skulls on the floor and bites the driver who dies.

Everyone rushes to the hospital to find that Raksha has completely recovered.  Rajiv and Vinay see that everyone thinks it is the doctors who have cured Raksha, and they smile at each other.


Phoonk 2 is a Bollywood horror film written and directed by Milind Gadagkar.  It is a sequel to Ram Gopal Varma's 2008 film Phoonk and stars Sudeep, Amruta Khanvilkar and Ahsaas Channa.  The film was released on 16 April 2010 with about 900 prints worldwide including the digital format.  The film despite being low-budget, and much scarier, didn't become as successful as its prequel Phoonk.  The film was dubbed in Tamil as Bommai 2 and in Telugu as Aavaham.  The script for this movie was loosely based on the book point of impact.  [ed: I can find no information on this book.]

Phoonk 2 (2010)

  • Genre: Drama – Horror – Mystery
  • Directed: Milind Gadagkar
  • Produced:
    • Prashant Burra 
    • Raiz Hyder 
    • Vijay Vinayak Joshi 
    • Ram Gopal Varma
  • Written: Milind Gadagkar
  • Starring: Sudeep, Amruta Khanvilkar, Ahsaas Channa, Anu Ansari, Neeru Bajwa, Zakir Hussain, Rishabh Jain, Jeeva, Ashwini Khalsekar, Rakesh Raj, Amit Sadh
  • Music:
    • Dharam Bhatt 
    • Rahul Pandirkar
  • Cinematography: Charles Meher
  • Editing:
    • Vinoo Choliparambil 
    • Radhey Lalsa
  • Studio:
    • Sarthak Movies  
    • ZED 3 Pictures Production
  • Distributed:
    • Sarthak Movies  
    • ZED 3 Pictures Production
  • Rated: NR
  • Release Date: 16 April 2010 (India)
  • Running Time: 110 minutes
  • Country: India
  • Language:
    • Hindi 
    • English

On bagging a new construction project, Rajiv moves with his family to a new place, one which is both close to the woods as well as the beach.  Rajiv's mother has gone to Rishikesh, so he stays there only with his wife, 2 kids and housemaid Laxmi.  Rajiv's kids, Raksha and Rohan begin exploring the new place and the surroundings - the lonely beach and then the woods behind the house.  They are soon visited by Rajiv's sister Arushi and her husband Ronnie,who have come to spend some time with the family.

The terror begins with Raksha and Rohan finding a doll in the woods and bringing it home.  It happens to be a doll controlled by the ghost of Madhu, who has now returned from the dead to take revenge on Rajiv.  It then progresses to a series of highly traumatizing experiences for the whole family.  Madhu enters Arati and she begins to act weirdly.  Rajiv soon realizes that Madhu has returned from the grave and wants revenge.  He immediately informs his friend Vinay, who helped him previously in killing Madhu, and his friend sets out to find Anshuman, Madhu's husband, hoping that the latter can be of some help.  But unfortunately on his way he is attacked in his car by Madhu and he meets with an accident.

Manja, the exorcist who killed Madhu, meets a gruesome death at the hands of her ghost.  Advised by Vinay, now Rajiv approaches another Exorcist, but he is not of much help.  He advises Rajiv to leave the city and go someplace where Madhu cannot reach him.  Eventually this man is also killed by Madhu's possessed doll, but not before he manages to burn it.

Now the grotesque killings begin.  The watchman and Laxmi are murdered brutally, Arushi is drowned in the swimming pool of the house, and Arati, possessed by Madhu's bala spirit, acts weird.  Rajiv is left alone with his 2 children at home, and Arati (Madhu) begins to traumatize them from all directions.  Rohan and Ronnie are trapped in their room, with no way to help.  The ghost attacks Rajiv and Raksha, and stabs Rajiv.  It then moves to kill Raksha, with a wounded and helpless Rajiv trying his best to protect her in the heavy rain.  Finally they reach the terrace, where Rajiv attacks Arati and pushes her off the rooftop, and she falls to her death.  The ghost now leaves Arati and the family for the time being.

The film ends with Rajiv carrying Arati into the house, with Raksha, Rohan and Ronnie looking on.

 

Notes:

1. The trishula is a type of South Asian trident also found in Southeast Asia.  It is commonly used as a Hindu-Buddhist religious symbol.  The word means "three spear" in Sanskrit and Pali.  In India and Thailand, the term often refers to a short-handled weapon which may be mounted on a danda or staff.  But unlike the Okinawan sai, the trishula is often bladed.  In Malay, trisula refers specifically to a long-handled trident while the diminutive version is known as a tekpi.

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