Bollywood horror films, despite the promise, sometimes do not live up to their spooky expectations.
Having said that though, we have witnessed a variety of eerie characters which haunt us today.
These characters may not all be villains or from a ‘horror’ film (per se), but they still give a sense of uneasiness through their performances!
Following our previous article, Filme Shilmy presents a list of 10 more creepy characters in Bollywood movies.
Revathi (Raat: 1992)
The beauty of this Ram Gopal Varma film is the subtlety of horror.
Mini (played by Revathi) begins as a pristine, innocent and normal college-going girl, whose transition from this to a sinister individual is fabulous.
She gets possessed by a murdered prostitute and makes her commit the most vicious acts – especially twisting the heads of her victims.
One of the scariest visuals is when Mini sits beside a tree near a pond, clutching her face – seemingly weeping.
As her boyfriend approaches her, he stares at her fierce, reddening eyes (resembling the dead cat eyes).
Shah Rukh Khan (Anjaam: 1994)
I don’t know what is scarier sometimes – the act of a person or personality traits of them? Well, in SRK’s case in Anjaam, it’s both!
After the creepy Rahul in Darr (1993), the Bollywood superstar takes it a few notches higher as Vijay Agnihotri in this thriller.
The creepiest part of Vijay is the fact that he’s a cold, unapologetic obsessive sociopath and yet the lead character.
What is also quite sinister, some men today are still unable to accept rejection from a woman and would go to any extent to pursue them. Nothing scarier than toxic masculinity.
Mohan Agashe (Trimurti: 1995)
Trimurti is no Horror film – but in movies like this, it’s the ferociousness and appearance of a villain which has a foreboding impact.
Khokha Singh (played by Mohan Agashe) is a notorious gangster who terrorises a village and keeps them suppressed by his fear.
The long hair, dark eyes, quirky mannerisms and a loud characteristic is enough to creep anyone out – especially if you’ve grown up during the 90s.
Scenes when a central character gets manipulated by his evil nature only enhance the malevolent appeal of the villain.
Sushant Singh (Jungle: 2000)
Durga Narayan Chaudhary is a name that is sufficient to send a chill down anyone’s spine.
Sushant Singh’s appearance is terrifyingly striking. The scruffy hair, beard and a predominantly silent presence, backed with Sandeep Chowta’s thrilling music, enriches the sinister impact of the character.
Being the role of a bandit/terrorist, Durga goes to any length to ensure he achieves his motives and intentions.
Depicted as a barbaric and monstrous figure, our fears increase when he decides to keep hostage the film’s main protagonist (Urmila Matondkar).
Rekha (Bhoot: 2003)
RGV’s Bhoot is among the best Bollywood Horror films. It is spine-chilling yet poignant in places.
When the main character (Urmila) is possessed by the ghost of a murdered woman, that’s when Sarita (Rekha) steps in.
Playing the role of an exorcist, a character on the good-side of the narrative, there is something quite cold and amiss with her appearance.
Wearing Punjabi dresses, long combed hair with black mascara around her eyes and the husky voice adds to the enigma of Sarita.
Ashwini Kalsekar (Phoonk: 2008)
It seems like RGV has really mastered the craft of creating eerie characters and another such role is that of Madhu (Ashwini Kalsekar) in Phoonk.
Ashwini is a tremendous actor and has always left an impact on her performances and there are some frightening visuals by her… Especially when she’s in the car whimpering, screaming and crying
Playing a trusted colleague of the main protagonist, she decides revenge on him by practising black magic on his daughter.
Her gothic-Desi appearance is also gloomy – the black outfit and bindi… Plus, to see that someone despises you so much, that they could perform Voodoo on you is a scary thought!
Bipasha Basu (Raaz 3: 2012)
Obsession and power-trip are two dark aspects and when those two combine within a person, it causes chaos.
Well, such vices are seen in Bipasha Basu’s character of Shanaya in Vikram Bhatt’s Raaz 3, in which she plays the person scaring audiences, rather than the person getting scared (as she did in the first Raaz).
In the third instalment, she plays an ambitious/experienced actress who goes to any (and we mean ANY) length to save her repertoire and position.
Manipulation, anger and self-destruction… These four lethal behaviours combined with black magic only calls for some terrifying consequences.
Konkona Sen Sharma (Ek Thi Daayan: 2013)
Prior to Ek Thi Daayan, Bollywood films on witches were quite rare and focused on gore. But this Kannan Iyer movie presents a realistic and gripping bewitched tale.
Arguably Konkona’s darkest role yet and an underrated performance as Diana – the witch. Believe me, she is someone you wouldn’t want to bump into in an elevator!
Playing step-mother of the main character, Sharma has a foreboding presence even though dressed in casual Indian attire.
The blank stare and distant way of speech is extremely unsettling – especially when she ‘affectionately’ tells a child: “I could just eat you up.”
Anushka Sharma (Pari: 2018)
Anushka Sharma has been among the few actors who has curated some unconventional films – in front and behind the camera.
After playing a friendly apparition in Phillauri, she steps into the shoes of a mysterious and dark role in Pari – which she also produced.
Playing the role of Rukhsana, she is the daughter of a woman victimised of a satanic ritual and impregnated by an Ifrit (demon).
From initial glimpses, she seems like an antagonist due to the wild and botched appearance – which creeps the audience. But then again, looks can be deceiving.
Vishal Jethwa (Mardaani 2: 2019)
Serial killers and rapists are horrific as it is. But Vishal Jethwa’s outstanding performance as Sunny in Mardaani 2 only adds to this terror.
The fact that he breaks the fourth wall, addressing the audience directly about his lustful and monstrous urges, is extremely foreboding.
Sunny’s profile is no less eerie since he is a Rajasthani teenager, who limps and is extremely manipulative. It’s scary because there could be people like him among us.
By disguising himself in various avatars (a woman, pundit, mute chaiwala) all ordinary people, just shows the extent he would go to escape from his vicious crimes.
Overall, these are a few of some notable performances.
It’s interesting how the significance of creepy changes with each character and differing shades, which shows how one can never know a person by face value.
These roles are emblematic of the unpredictable behaviours of human beings and the terrifying side to them. Would dread to even think about it.
Some honourable mentions include Rahul Roy (Junoon: 1992), Manoj Bajpayee (Aks: 2001), Dhanush (Raanjhanaa: 2013) Riteish Deshmukh (Ek Villain: 2014) and Rahul Bose (Bulbbul: 2020).
If you fancy watching any of the listed films above, just make sure you keep the lights on at night!