From timeless thrillers to genre-bending horror, we have put together a list of our top picks of movies and series in Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada and English.

Screengrab from trailer of Lucia on the left and screengrab from Aval trailer on the right.Youtube/ Pawan Kumar, T-Series
Flix Cinema Saturday, October 30, 2021 - 19:41

Halloween is right around the corner, and we are ready to get our spook on with and spend the weekend relishing the air of terror. From timeless thrillers to genre-bending horror, we have put together a list of our top picks of movies and series in Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada and English to binge on Sunday. Whether you watch them with family, friends or alone (or whether you find yourself not alone!), settle in, turn off the lights, and enjoy.

Aval (Tamil)

Helmed by director Milind Rau, the 2017 film Aval stands apart from the familiar tropes used in Tamil horror films. Aval starts with a flashback sequence where we see a mother and her daughter in 1934. Cut to present day, we are introduced to Krish and his wife Lakshmi (played by Siddharth and Andrea respectively) who live in a house by the mountains in Rosina Valley. Trouble begins when a family moves next door, the place where the mother and daughter lived in 1934. The rest of the plot explores the stories of the mother and daughter and how they are connected to the protagonists and their neighbours.

Aval won critical acclaim for staying true to the genre and giving audiences the scare-fare the makers promised to deliver. The film is streaming on Jio Cinemas and Netflix. A sequel is reportedly in the works. 

Andhaghaaram (Tamil) 

A supernatural horror and thriller film, the 2020 Tamil film Andhaghaaram was well-liked among audiences. A gripping and compelling thriller, Andhaghaaram stars actors Arjun Das, Vinoth Kishan and Kumar Natarajan in the lead roles. The movie tracks the lives of three men based in Chennai- Selvam, a blind man working as a clerk at a public library, Dr Indran, a renowned psychiatrist and Vinod, a cricket coach. Each one of them face personal tragedies that seem unconnected to one another. But as the story moves forward, the film explores how they cross paths and their lives become intertwined under eerie circumstances. The film marks Vignarajan’s directorial debut and is available to watch on Netflix. 

9 (Malayalam)

A genre-bending film that could be categorised as a thriller, sci-fi and a horror flick, the Malayalam film 9 is an interesting watch. A global crisis strikes as a comet passes very close to earth for nine days. As the world prepares to survive the catastrophe, an astrophysicist discovers that he and his son face threats by powers beyond his comprehension.

Helmed by director Jenuse Mohamed, the film stars actors Prithviraj Sukumaran, Prakash Raj, Mamta Mohandas, Wamiqa Gabbi and Master Alok in important roles. 9 is streaming on Disney Plus Hotstar.

Drishyam 2 (Malayalam)

The movie that persuaded fans to launch an online petition urging viewers to keep Georgekutty’s secret, Drishyam 2 starring Mohanlal and Meena, among others in the lead, was a hit among viewers and critics alike. The Jeethu Joseph directorial is the sequel to the popular Malayalam thriller Drishyam, which also inspired remakes in other languages such as Tamil, Hindi and Telugu. The 2021 Malayalam film is streaming on Amazon Prime Video. 

Kudi Yedamaithe (Telugu) 

Imagine being stuck in a time loop where you are living through the same day time and again. Regardless of how hard you try to change things, knowing that what lies ahead is unpleasant, you find yourself in a helpless spot where you can’t do anything but repeat the frightening routine. This is the hurdle the protagonists (Amala Paul and Rahul Vijay) face in Telugu thriller Kudi Yedamaithe. An Aha original, the well-crafted thriller web series is helmed by U Turn fame director Pawan Kumar. 

Lucia (Kannada)

Often referred to as a movie that represents new-age Kannada filmmaking, the 2013 psychological thriller Lucia, which makes the viewer question reality itself, opened to stellar critical reception at the time of its release. The Sathish Ninasam and Sruthi Hariharan starrer was shortlisted to become India’s submission for Academy Award. It also premiered at the London Indian Film Festival and won the Best Film Audience Choice award at the festival. Lucia is also directed by Pawan Kumar. The film is available to watch on MX Player. 

The Haunting of Hill House (English)

Promising viewers a thoroughly immersive and harrowing journey, The Haunting of Hill House is the perfect web series to binge watch over the Halloween weekend. Adapted from Shirley Jackson's 1959 gothic horror novel of the same name, it was the first of many of Mike Flanagan’s web series on Netflix. Midnight Mass, a horror series that recently opened to positive critical reception on the OTT platform, is also created by Flanagan.

Behind the faces of members of a family who grow up in a haunted house, are stories of broken relationships and trauma that are intricately woven into the plot. If not more, the experiences of the father and his children (whose lives the show is based on) are definitely as horrifying as the ghosts that float in and out of the scenes.