The other day I came across a report on BBC about Bollywood’s remake of Oculus, a 2013 Hollywood horror/thriller. Now, those of you familiar with my thematic choices are well aware that I am partial to horror films, take, for instance, my reviews of Zibahkahana and Siyaah, on this very blog, but nothing could quell my excitement for an actual, well-made desi horror film. If you, like me, are tired of staple, sleazy fare, such as Ragini MMS, Raaz, and Creature 3D, then, this piece of news would be a welcome relief!
Hey, hey filmi travelers!
Keeping in mind my obsession with everything retro, I’m starting a segment on those retro highs(!) and lows, of course some choices will be more retro than others. All the way back to the black and white and rather gay 1920s to the acid trip highs of the 1990s, I’ll be picking hidden gems for your viewing and reading pleasure!
Lā ilāha illā-llāhu, muḥammadun rasūlu-llāh
Kya aap Shaitaan par yakeen rakhtay hain?
Karna chahiye kyunki woh aap par yakeen rakhta hai.
Hareem Farooq’s chilling question, one that’s an exact rip-off from Constantine, perhaps, as an homage, reminds me of a particularly telling ayat from Surah Al-Aaraf (16, 17), which clearly states: “Because You have sent me astray, surely, I will sit in wait against them (human beings) on Your straight path. Then I will come to them from before them and behind them, from their right and from their left, and You will not find most of them as thankful ones.”
Think Scooby Doo, now think Scooby Doo gone bad. That’s Zibahkhana for you. Part slasher-fest, part zombie-gore, and part murder-mystery, Omar Ali Khan’s directorial debut impresses on all three counts. Most horror films have inspirations and Zibahkhana (2007) is no exception, admittedly based on 1970s/80s Hollywood horror flicks most notably the Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), this film is refreshing solely because we encounter a completely Pakistani terror all Burqa clad and gurz armed (and that’s only the beginning!). But before I venture to the rather blood-soaked details let me begin by briefly summarizing the gruesome adventure.