Vani’s Musings

Bhoot – Movie Makers’ Tryst with Ghosts

Posted on: April 16, 2007

Indian Cinema has always been fascinated by Ghosts. From Mahal to Madhumathi to Bhoot to Apthamithra, our cinema makers have always found that it is an interesting theme to use the supernatural in their movies. Most cinema makers have at least one ghost movie to their credit. Each movie, language notwithstanding, has a signature ghost song or tune, that is played and replayed each time the ghost is seen on screen.

Most of the “ghost” characters in our movies are women with long flowing hair let loose and a white sari to match. We hardly find men portraying ghosts in our movies, though it is a common feature in the movies of the West.

For a long time in the movie, till the climax, we are only shown the profile of the ghost, never a full-face view. And when the face of the ghost is shown, it is usually a scar face, with red eyes and fang like teeth. At this time, the background music reaches a crescendo, and most times is successful in creating a ripple of fear in the brave too.

Most of these “ghosts” are women seeking revenge. They may be baying for the blood of an ex-lover boy or to avenge a family dispute. Sometimes it is an obsessed lady in love with someone spurning her advances. Sometimes, it is live people portraying ghosts for their selfish gains.

Most of the old films relied on the “Light and Shadow effect” to create that eerie atmosphere whenever these “ghosts” were shown. Background score also added to this effect, but was just supportive to the superb camera work. Usually it would be thunder and lightning, howling of wolves, screeching owls and creaking doors and gates.

The moment gates and doors started opening by themselves, along with thunder and lightning, it was a sure-fire prelude to a glimpse of the ghost.

In recent times, background score is the main component to creating this mood. Technology has ensured that camera work is very less and the somber effect is easily achieved.

Most of these “ghost songs” are very hummable and are mostly sung at music competitions and picnics.

I also like that scene from “Pyaar Kiye Jaa” when Mehmood explains a typical ghost scenario to his father, played in the movie by Om Prakash. It is a brilliant performance by Mehmood, and an even super one by Om Prakash, who looked terribly scared as the scene progressed.

The Ramsay brothers, who were experts in this field, popularized the trend of ghost movies in Hindi Cinema. They produced flicks like “Do Gaz Zameen ke Neeche, Bandh Darwaaza, Purana Mandir, Sannata” and others, which were B-grade horror flicks.

Great catchy songs were a common feature, and most of the good horror flicks entertained the audience to the fullest. They seem more entertaining than their Western Counterparts to me, give me an Indian horror flick any day, would love to watch it any number of times.

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21 Responses to "Bhoot – Movie Makers’ Tryst with Ghosts"

Some serial guys also tried pathetically to implement ghost stories, off late.

But No ghotsty serial had been as powerful as “Honi Anhoni”…if u dont remember, late 80’s soap that was telecast every Thursday on DD.

Talking of movies, none has ever made me get frightened, and I particularly avoid if it is a horror movie, and Indian.

But I loved that movie where Ananthnag is haunted and his wife rescues him with her prayers…dont remember the name.

I watched it when was in school, so probably thats why I liked it.

vani,
read this post covering my face with a jerkin, hiding behind the chair. 😉

srik,
ananthnag-lakshmi film: NAA NINNA BIDALAARE

bhoot ek ajeeb sa ahasas h jise mahsoos karne se dar lagata h aur kahaniya sun kar maja aata h

I watched “naa ninna bidalaare” as a kid, and I was told to close my eyes at the scene where stuffs starts flying around all by themselves. It was scary – i haven’t watched it again since then. I guess it won’t be that scary if I watch it now 🙂

to add on to the serials, “Guddadha bootha” was one of them and I liked the title music – I still hum it some times. I enjoyed watching “honi anhoni” those days.

women casting as ghosts – i guess it was general perception of “mohini devva” in the way it is described above.

I think one kannada movie where a man ghost appeared (as i remember) was a Ravichandran’s one. (was it Annayya?) — well I guess it was not a scary devva there.

“tuLasi daLa” as I told was very scary, a classmate told me those days, I never had a oppor to watch it yet. I had read a novel a bit back then.

Tulasi daLa was very scary,

I loved Na ninna bidalaare, Gumnaam and Mahal

I haven’t seen any bhoot fillums.
Even detective films and partially scary films made me cover my face in fear. I would watch through the fingers though!!
Even snakes in films scared me.

Good post vani… I was thinking all those songs where hero/heorines follows the person singing the song. some songs are really good one, “sangaathi ennu seralenu o inia… enacted by jayanthi & ananthnag.
When I was a small kid, When ever I pass through any of the smashanas around these songs used to haunt me more than the ladies with white sarees & gejje (early morning if an ettinagaaDi moves on the road, we can as well hear the gejje sounds alva ?).

I still remember those kolli devva stories & I was so happy when I learnt about the chemical reaction of phosporus(that are present in bones) with oxygen and thus catching fire….

eega movies nodidre, super nagu barutte… srik, honi unhoni I have just heard about it, never dared to watch it though!!

That mehmood stuff is classic. The irony is 2 great actors have turned a scarry incident into a hilarious one!!! Great thinking on part of script writer.

Incidentally was watching Ghost busters on TV on sunday. When i saw the movie first time – was scared with all those noise and effects but my son was laughing it out!!!

Am getting old.

Srik, remember Honi-Anhonee very well, it was the topic of every friday discussion in school days…..

Bellur…. :-)………you? scared?

Ram – Yeah, guDDada Bhoota had a beautiful title track, and I think that was the first time I saw sarees catching fire etc, and so was pretty freaked out.

Neela – What? This is news to me….Recently when Bhoot was released, I watched it the way you have described.

Veenakka – Suffered from the same fear for a long time ! 🙂

Mohan – Your son seems to enjoy horror flicks!

i just want to know that can i see the repeat telecast of zee horor show / anhoni produce / direct by ramsay family . i just love it or where i can see it . pl rep me

regards
gurdeep singh

hi Gurdeep,

Sorry, but I have absolutely no idea about this!

I rate “Bhoot” as one of the best ghost movies ever. It was one of those rare movies where ghosts were not wearing white clothes. Ghost were not very ugly looking. The movie was not set in some secluded estates or haunted guest houses. To create fear in the familiar surroundings and in unexpected ways is what makes a horror/ghost movie great!

I have that song song..If ya need it mail me…coz its hould not be a waste of uploading

vivek.win95@gmail.com

im talking ’bout “guddadha bootha” Tv serial song..

can i have a video copy of tulsi ramsey make anhonee which was previously aired on zee,in which usha bachani was the witch,i am very restless about that video because of usha bachani of whom i am a very big fan,please if someone will let me the video

i am still waiting for the anhoni tele serial in which usha bachani was the witch,it was of stolen necklace,i am irresistibly attracted to usha bachani.my mail i.d is farazahmad2007@hotmail.com.plz somebody help me

i am still excited to watch all the Episodes of Tulsi Ramsay’s Zee Horror Show.And Many more movies like Purani Haveli,Saamri,Bandh Darwaja etc i love watching Horror Movies.

Hi to all.. I want to see ZEE HORROR shows WOH, X-ZONE and ANHONEE .. Plz any one tell me where i watch these shows.. Or plz upload these shows.. And plz email me.. My email id is—- MAANDX7@GMAIL.COM

GEET KI TRAHA H BHOOT

BACHPAN ME DAR LAGTA THA JAB CHACHA BHOOT KE NATAK DEKHTE THE RAATBHAR SO NEHI PATE THE HUM BHAI-BAHN PAR CHACHA MAST SOTE THE AUR HUME DARYA KARTE THE AAJ HUME MAJA AATA HAI AUR HANSI BHI AATI H APNE AAP PAR PAR SAMJH NEHI AATA KI KAHNIYA SACH H YA JHOOT

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