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Vicky Kaushal will take us into the very depths of a haunted ship as ‘Bhoot The Haunted Ship’ releases across UAE cinemas on February 20. With the trailer already amassing more than 25 million views on YouTube, Gulf News goes down the cobwebbed alleyways to look at some of the best horror films to come out of the industry.

Mahal (1949)

One of the first times the horror genre was explored in Bollywood, the film saw late actor Ashok Kumar play Shankar, a young man who moves into a mansion and discovers a love story that met with a tragic end. He finds himself become the story when he has visions of a woman (played by Madhubala) who claims to be his lover. Legend has it that people fainted in the cinemas when watching the Kamal Amrohi-directed film.

Bees Saal Baad (1962)

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Another black and white gem, the film starred Biswajeet and Waheeda Rehman star in this spooky tale of a vengeful spirit. Vijay returns to his hometown only to be warned to stay away due to a blood-thirsty spirit that is responsible for killing his members of his family. But Vijay decides to investigate the matter and hires a private detective to get to the root of the chilly mystery.

Purana Mandir (1984)

One of the finest films to be made by Bollywood’s Ramsay brothers, the kings of film noir, ‘Purana Mandir’ explored a new genre of horror in the industry – bringing gore and zombies into the fore. Yesteryear star Aarti Gupta plays Suman, whose family has been cursed by Samri (Anirudh Agarwal), a servant of the devil. Drumrolls please. To break the curse that has haunted the family for years, Suman’s boyfriend Sanjay (Mohnish Behl) takes on Samri and the devil himself. Of special note is the shower sequence, lifted straight out of ‘Psycho’.

Veerana (1988)

Four years after ‘Purana Mandir’s success, the Ramsay brothers returned with ‘Veerana’, where the swapped the devil with an evil witch. Mahindra Pratap and his younger brother Sameer kill Nikita, a witch who uses her charm to kill people. After many years, Nikita returns from the dead, as they do, and targets Mahindra Pratap’s daughter Jasmin who finds herself possessed with the witch.

Raat (1992)

The film that started director Ram Gopal Varma’s romance with the horror genre starred the very talented Revathi as Mini, in a rare Hindi film. A family moves into a new house in the city, but start experiencing strange incidents around the house. After a series of violent deaths, a priest is summoned to rid Mini of the ghost that has possessed her.

Raaz (2002)

The film that launched the Bhatts as the new kings of horror in Bollywood starred Bipasha Basu and Dino Morea in the lead was the unofficial adaptation of Hollywood’s ‘What Lies Beneath’. Sanjana and Aditya are facing marital problems and take a holiday to reignite the romance. However, Sanjana is haunted by a spirit who reveals dark secrets about Aditya and his past.

Bhoot (2003)

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Ram Gopa Varma’s second attempt at horror may not have impressed the critics, but it earned its place in history with a stellar cast and some slick CGI. Ajay Devgn and Urmila Matondkar play a married couple who moved into a new apartment where the previous tenant committed suicide after killing her own son. Soon enough, Urmila’s character Swati is possessed by a spirit and is on the hunt for blood. Fardeen Khan and Rekha also star.

Phoonk (2008)

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Before you saw him in ‘Dabangg 3’, Sudeep starred in Ram Gopal Varma’s horror ‘Phoonk’, which explored black magic. The film that drew inspiration from ‘The Exorcist’ explores the story of a child who appears possessed only for her parents to later learn that someone is using black magic to exact revenge. During interviews, Varma stated he derived the idea of the film from news headlines.

Pari (2018)

With a slick storyline and plenty of jump scares, Anushka Sharma plays Rukhsana, a victim of abuse who is found chained in a hut. A man tries to help Rukhsana but soon finds out that all is not normal. Rukhsana’s lineage links her to the cult of Ifrit, a powerful demon that will one day return to earth. Sharma’s almost vulnerable appeal makes you end up rooting for her character.

Tumbbad (2018)

The award-winning horror film is a period drama that explores the origins of the monster Hastar, who is never meant to be worshipped, but guards a cursed wealth. When a family builds a shrine in its honour to get to the riches, this sets off a chain of events few anticipate.