A Homegrown Halloween Guide To Horror Films Perfect For The Spooky Season

Film poster of
Film poster of

Halloween is here and there is no better time than to make a steaming cup of tea, go under the blankets, switch off the lights and tune into a horror film. The horror genre has always fascinated cinephiles because of its ability to captivate the viewers with its suspense and build-up. The purpose of a film is to transport the audience to a different world. Hardly does one encounter an otherworldy spirit while on their 9-5 job or a flesh-eating zombie while going to university, and so the audience revels in the simulation that horror films bring.

The trick to making a good horror film is to create adequately threatening simulated situations for the viewers to be stimulated. Once the film takes over the attention of the viewers, they have emotional responses to the threatening events on-screen. Horror films allow us to vicariously enjoy life-threatening situations in a safe environment. This is why we fall in love with horror films and the idea of the supernatural has fascinated humans since time immemorial. 

Let us explore some films that will give you the chills this Halloween season:

Film poster of Tumbbad
Film poster of TumbbadTimes of India


Tumbbad is a 2018 Indian Hindi-language period horror film directed by Rahi Anil Barve and Anand Gandhi. Over the years it has acquired a cult-classic status. The plot revolves around an Indian mythological goddess, The Goddess of Prosperity, who has created the world. She has a parallelism with the Greek Titan, Gaia.  Her firstborn child is the evil god-turned-demon, Hastar, who is the primary antagonist of the film. Hastar symbolizes the concealed darkness and greed in human hearts that yearn for wealth and power. Set in Maharashtra between 1918 and 1947, the film’s narrator shares a story about a family, which worshipped the god, Hastar who should’ve never been worshipped, and the consequences that come with it. The name of Hastar is not mentioned in Indian mythology and it fits well into the film’s folklore as all the records of such a god have been removed from the pantheon of Hindu gods. Themes of curses, Indian mythology, and greed create a dark and beautiful cinematic experience through Tumbbad.

You can watch its trailer here.

Film poster of Bulbbul
Film poster of BulbbulIndia TV News

II. Bulbbul

A 2020 Indian Hindi-language supernatural thriller, written and directed by Anvita Dutt. This film is widely discussed in the film as well as in feminist circles. The director has a keen feminist gaze while looking at the subject of body horror through a woman’s body. The talented actress Tripti Dimri has rendered a spine-chilling performance. A man returns to his village many years later and finds his elder brother’s child bride grown up. Also, a series of mysterious deaths have been plaguing his village. Jump scares, the figure of the chudail, body dysmorphia, with the overarching theme of desire set in an Indian village in the nineteenth century—Bulbul is a must-watch for all horror fans.

You can watch its trailer here.

Film poster of Tetsuo:The Iron Man
Film poster of Tetsuo:The Iron ManeBay


Tetsuo, literally meaning ‘Iron Man’ in Japanese, is a 1989 Japanese cyberpunk body horror film written, produced, and directed by Shinya Tsukamoto. This is not for the faint-hearted and is one of the pioneering works in body horror that have influenced the likes of Cronenberg and Takashi Mike. The plot revolves around a metal fetishist, who is being driven to madness by maggots in his wounds. In a fit of madness, he embeds metal into his flesh and runs out into the night streets of Tokyo. A Japanese businessman and his girlfriend accidentally run him over. The couple disposes of his body in the hopes of moving on with their lives. However, the businessman soon discovers that he is afflicted with a hex that transforms his flesh into metal. It is a low-budget, highly experimental film, with an underground-production style that will surely make your skin crawl.

You can watch its trailer here.

Film poster of The Others
Film poster of The OthersPast Posters

IV. The Others

The Others is a 2001 English-language Spanish supernatural psychological horror film written, and directed by Spanish-Chilean director, Alejandro Amenábar. This is one of my favorite horror films of all time and it's largely due to the impeccable acting by Nicole Kidman. Set in a gothic mansion, the story revolves around a woman who lives with two of her photosensitive children and increasingly gets convinced that their home is haunted. It is a slow burn with several components of a psychological thriller that will keep you glued to your seat throughout. The entire movie builds up to a crescendo and erupts with its twist in the tale at the ending that is sure to make your jaws drop. It is one of those movies that stay with you for a long time and can easily be called a modern horror masterpiece.

You can watch its trailer here.

Film poster of The Babdook
Film poster of The BabdookWallpaper Flare

V. The Babadook

A 2014 Australian psychological horror film and the debut film of Australian actress and director, Jennifer Kent. Depiction of mental illnesses has been a common theme of horror films since time immemorial by the likes of Hitchcock and modern masters like Ari Aster. The Babadook does justice to this trope. The story revolves around a  widowed mother, Amelia (Essie Davis) as she struggles to raise her young son Samuel (Noah Wiseman) while being at war with grief and depression. The viewer is treated to an intense horror experience as the viewers, like the protagonist, cannot tell if the figure of the Babadook is real or a projection born out of delusion. The film offers a window into the character’s madness and also shows a special bond between a mother and her son.

You can watch its trailer here.

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