Ghoul Review: Turns Indian Thriller Genre Upside Down

Ghoul, the second most anticipated web series in India launched today. While not essentially a web series – it is billed as a miniseries – the biggest names in Bollywood and Hollywood are attached to the project. It is the collaboration between Blumhouse Productions and Phantom Films, starring Manav Kaul, Radhika Apte, Ratnabali Bhatarjee and others. Here’s SaamriCom’s Ghoul Review. Very little was revealed about the plot points, and horror fans had a good time trying to figure out the plot.

Patrick Graham creates Ghoul, and he has no baggage about what worked or works when it comes to horror for the Indian audience. This enables him to create a breathtakingly fresh concept that’s a perfect mix of folklore and modern issues that Indians are either experiencing or hearing about every other day.

The series is set in a dystopian future – which is a first for India. India has just made about a couple of time travel films, and none of them were serious enough to even consider a dystopian world. So, Ghoul is based in a dystopian world where being an intellectual, being of a religion and even thinking out aloud is a crime. The country is under military command and there’s telling what might happen tomorrow.

A young female recruit, Nida Rahim, is promoted to a field exercise, where she must interrogate a strange man, said to be the head of the rebellion. Little does she know that what seems weird isn’t just that.

Ghoul is one of the most well produced web series in recent times. Everything from the ambience to the direction to the characters keeps the audience hooked. The performances are equally incredible. Even with the little screen time given to all the characters, audiences will connect and understand the logic on which the characters work. Radhika Apte moves swift-footed in a role that thrusts her in the protagonist’s role. Manav Kaul as the chief who’s losing grip on reality and his followers is creates enough sympathy for his character. Another gem in the darkness is Ratnabali Bhattacharjee, who gives a riveting performance and keeps it all going in the initial episodes – until disaster strikes.

Also applaud worthy is the direction. The initial sequences are gripping and will leave audiences in a cold shiver. These sequences have the same effect that the dystopian scenes from the game Half Life had on the players when they saw it the first time.

If there’s any cautionary tale that I must tell you about Ghoul, it’s this. Ghoul is more of a slap-dash, balls-out supernatural thriller and not an eerie, under-your-skin horror flick. Both have their audiences, so all’s good. Most of the action sequences and gory things happen off camera, with only the repercussions shown in their true glory. Other than that, this is one small step for Phantom Films, one big leap for the Indian horror scenario.

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