Some of these spine-chilling tales hide a web of deceit so fine, that it will be difficult to make out if these stories are about sinister plots, eerie presences, crazed killers, or in the case of rebirth sagas, all three!
KARZ (1980) – Hindi - Inspired by The Reincarnation of Peter Proud, Karz is about a popular singer, Monty, who realises that in a previous lifetime he was Ravi Varma, murdered by his wife, Kamini. Monty sets out to avenge Ravi's death.
IYER THE GREAT (1990) – Malayalam – When the clairvoyant Iyer's first prediction about a train disaster is ignored resulting in numerous deaths, his subsequent revelations are heeded. But soon, he develops enemies among those who stand to gain from the disasters he helped avert.
MANICHITHRATHAZHU (1993) – Malayalam – Ganga unlocks a mysterious room in her husband's ancestral home setting off a series of bizarre accidents. When evidence points to her being possessed by a vengeful spirit, a psychiatrist and the family's Tantrik priest join hands to help her.
DARNA MANA HAI (2003) - Hindi - Stuck in a forest one night, seven friends vie to narrate the most horrific tale. One by one, five of them go missing. Finally, a stranger narrates the story of seven friends stuck in a forest one night.
DOMBIVALI FAST (2005) - Marathi – What begins as an argument about small change proves to be the last straw for Madhav's pent up rage over the wrongs in society. He takes the law into his own hands to set things right.
MANORAMA SIX FEET UNDER (2007) – Hindi – Satyaveer is hired by the Irrigation Minister's wife, Manorama, to find evidence of the minister's love affair. He uncovers that Manorama isn't quite who she claims to be and the situation is murkier than it appears. Inspired by Polanski's Chinatown.
A WEDNESDAY (2008) – Hindi - This is a cat-and-mouse game between the Commissioner of Police and a mysterious common man who holds the city ransom in exchange for the release of four militants.
EERAM (2009) – Tamil - When Vasudevan is asked to investigate the death of his ex-girlfriend, Ramya, he finds that her neighbours are dying one by one under suspicious circumstances involving water.
YAVARUM NALAM/13B (2009) – Tamil/Hindi – Manohar and his family move into a new apartment. When their lives begin to mirror the story of a television series that the family is addicted to, Manohar sets out to uncover the secret about the house.
KAHAANI (2012) – Hindi - A pregnant Vidya arrives in Kolkata and with the help of Officer Rana from the local police station, tries to unravel what happened to her missing husband, even as a ruthless killer closes in on her.
An edited version of the article was published in Culturama's May 2013 Issue.