Pakistani Films

Snooze Fest Karachi

This review originally appeared here.


Impressed by Sabiha Sumar’s earlier film Khamosh Pani with its strong script and poignant take on Pakistani politics, although admittedly sometime sketchy direction, I was intrigued enough to want to see Good Morning Karachi at the 3rdi film festival despite its rather predictable plot.


And Baby Came Out to Play: Siyaah and Contemporary Pakistani Horror

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.”


Horror at the Edge: Zibahkhana and the Politics of Metaphor

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.