Horror is one genre that will never go out of style, due to the sheer vastness in which movies of this genre can be made. There are a lot of angles in which horror can be evoked, and the genre can always be clubbed with other genres, bringing new ones into existence, like horror-comedy and romantic-comedy. Ram Gopal Varma revamped the genre in Telugu and gave it a new definition with his films. There are a number of horror films in Telugu, that continue to scare audiences to date. Dubbed films are not included in this list, as they deserve a list of their own. Here are a few Telugu horror films that you shouldn’t miss watching:
List of Best Horror Movies in Telugu, Can’t Watch Alone
Released in 2008, Raksha is probably one of the most horrifying films that have ever been made in Telugu. It is a remake of the Hindi film Phoonk, which was loosely based on and similar to Yendamuri Veerendranath’s 1980 novel Tulasi Dalam. While there is no ghost involved in this horror film, it is based on black magic, and the way it is shown on screen is sure to send shivers down your spine. There was a lot of hype surrounding the film upon its release, due to the sheer amount of horror in it.
This film was the first step towards making Anushka Shetty the Lady Superstar of South Cinema. It showcased the acting range of Anushka and gave a new definition to horror. “Vadala Bommali” dialogue is still famous, thanks to Sonu Sood for living in the role of Pasupathi, and Ravi Shankar for pouring life into the character, through his immaculate dubbing skills. Arundhati is the perfect mix of horror and fantasy and continues to be one of the most technically brilliant films to have been made in Tollywood to date.
The special effects in Avunu remain groundbreaking even today. Unlike most horror films, Avunu doesn’t take advantage of darkness, instead, it unfolds in broad daylight, and still manages to scare the audiences more than ever. There’s no visible ghost or entity on the screen, it’s just a mix of emotions and reactions from the leads, coupled with undulations in sofas, creating the effect of someone sitting in them. Avunu is a horror masterpiece in Tollywood to date and will continue to be, for a long time to come.
This film came as a direct sequel to Chandramukhi, starring Rajinikanth and Jyothika. While not as impactful as its predecessor, Nagavalli manages to scare. thrill and shock the audiences to a decent level.
Raju Gari Gadhi (1&2)
The first part of Raju Gari Gadhi was so surprisingly refreshing that the success of the film prompted a second one. Equal parts funny and horrific, the first two films of Raju Gari Gadhi manage to keep you hooked and entertained throughout.
Charmmee Kaur became a grand sensation with Mantra, for her acting skills and the superhit song “Maha Maha”. The film scared the audiences till the very end and turned out to be a massive blockbuster, bringing in great revenues, despite having released in December, when the market is usually dry. Mantra continues to be one of the most horrifying films in Telugu, to date.
The first directorial horror film of RGV on this list, Raatri, simultaneously shot in Hindi as Raat, released in 1992. Despite almost 3 decades having passed in between, Raatri is scary every single time you watch it. There’s a serenity to the horror in the film, which makes it jaw-droppingly scary to watch it. You never know where the threat will come, and how it might come. Raatri is one horror film that you shouldn’t miss at any cost.
One of the major highlights of Bhaagamathie is Anushka Shetty’s stellar performance as Chanchala and Bhaagamathi. She makes you feel sad for her state of affairs and makes you feel helpless for her. Most of all though, she scares the hell out of you. The interval bang of the film is one of the best bangs in Tollywood, and just when you think all of it was a show towards the end, Bhaagamathie shocks you right at the very end.
This film came out of nowhere to the Telugu audiences, who were used to commercial and feel-good films when this film released way back in 1996. Deyyam had an interesting plot, and Ram Gopal Varma made the best use of anything and everything he could and scared audiences to the fullest. Deyyam is a must-watch for all those who haven’t watched the film.
Prema Katha Chitram
Until Prema Katha Chitram, the clubbing of genres was never attempted in Telugu before, at least as far as horror was concerned. Prema Katha Chitram was the first one to club the romance, comedy and horror genres and gave audiences a spectacular ride throughout. Saptagiri emerged as one of the most promising comedians from this film, and it continues to be a scary film even now, with lots of comedy to entertain the audiences.
Geethanjali looks like another run of the mill horror film from the outside, but the film has a lot more going on for it, as the film proceeds. The backstory of the film moves audiences thoroughly, and the climax is as perfect as it can get. All the elements of horror in between, are as scary s they can get, and even fun.
Anando Brahma is a horror-comedy that will make you laugh, cry and scared, all at the same time. The twist at the end of the film is one that you wouldn’t expect at all and gets you rooting for the good guys to win in the end.
Featuring Rajendra Prasad, Bhanu Priya and Rajasekhar in the lead roles, Kashmora is based on Yendamuri Veerendranath’s novel Tulasi. This film deals with black magic, and why and on whom it is used. Kashmora is equal parts terrifying and horrifying, and will have you biting your nails with anticipation, and on the edge of your seat, if it is your first watch.