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The very best of Hindi horror

It's been a really long time since we had a good horror movie.

Every horror film we do know is clearly a knock-off, usually of an Asian film, made in a hurry before Hollywood churns out its own version. We overdo the sound design, pump up the 'fake scares' and end up with a cheesy product that ends up making audiences groan or giggle much more than it makes them gasp.

As Vikram Bhatt's 1920 prepares to hit theatres, we take a look back at better days.

Bollywood has churned out some very engrossing horror cinema, most memorably with the Ramsay brothers, who forged their own Hammer Horror-like cult of creepiness.

Here, then, is a list for the horror aficionado-to-be, for those of you interested in truly good horror. Admittedly, a couple of the films on this top 10 are really fine bits of scary cinema, but have been included because they are milestones in desi dread. And they're all films that didn't try to feed the audience crow.

Here, in chronological order, are a must-see bunch of horror movies.

Mahal

Pakeezah director Kamal Amrohi brought in German cinematographer Joseph Wirsching to infuse this monochrome masterpiece with expressionism straight from the Fatherland.

The film, about the close encounters Ashok Kumar faces in an abandoned mansion, is constantly eerie, beautifully shot and featuring a stunning, spectral Madhubala. Fascinating stuff.

Text: Raja Sen

Also Read: Bollywood's greatest villains!

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