1920 (2008) Reviews and overview of Indian horror

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1920 indian hindi bollywood horror movie

1920 is a 2008 Indian horror feature film written and directed by Vikram Bhatt (Raaz; Horror Story). Filmed in Hindi, the plot revolves around the events surrounding a married couple living in a haunted house in the year 1920.

The film stars debutant actors Rajneesh Duggal and Adah Sharma as the married couple and was a critical and commercial success. The music was composed by Adnan Sami with lyrics by Sameer.

A sequel, 1920: Evil Returns, was also released to mixed reviews and commercial success in 2013. After, the success of the first two instalments, the makers have decided to produce the third instalment 1920 London starring Meera Chopra and Diganth.

1920: Palampur in India. An architect arrives at a large haveli (manor house). The manager, MK, discusses how the owner of the haveli wishes to have it torn down and have a hotel constructed in its place. Later that night, the architect hears strange sounds, and when he goes out to investigate, he is killed by a mysterious force. It turns out the architect who was engaged before him was killed in a similar manner some time ago.

Another architect, Arjun Singh, is religious (he recites the Hanuman Chalisa every day) and devoted to his family; but he is also in love with Lisa. This meets strong disapproval from his family because Lisa (born of a British father and an Indian mother) is of mixed faith. Arjun decides to marry Lisa anyway. As he travels to Mumbai, his father and his brothers intercept his car, beat him up and try to burn Lisa alive. Arjun fights back and decides to disavow his faith (and thus, his family) for Lisa. He eventually uses logic and becomes an atheist.

1920 indian hindi horror

The haveli project is handed to Arjun’s firm, and Arjun and Lisa arrive at the haveli soon after. Strange things happen (sounds, objects moving by themselves). Arjun is unaware of the events, but Lisa soon senses a malevolent alien presence. Lisa questions Balwant (the caretaker and servant), but he feigns ignorance. He discusses the matter privately with MK, and earnestly pleads with MK to relieve Arjun and Lisa of the project for it will claim their lives just as it killed the others who came before them. The haveli does not wish to be destroyed, says Balwant, and that is why it reacts to anyone who wants to tear it down, including MK. (Balwant himself is unharmed because he is only acting on orders and does not carry an intent to destroy the haveli.) MK is aware of some evil presence, but he silences Balwant with a fat bribe.

Arjun leaves for Delhi on a business trip. Lisa experiences stronger events, and confides in a local church priest. At Lisa’s request, the priest arrives at the haveli, and immediately senses a strong evil presence in the main hall of the haveli. Later that evening, in his church rooms, he experiences an evil force, and wakes up to find a Baphomet, drawn in blood…


“Without doubt, 1920 is amongst Vikram Bhatt’s finest works. In fact, it’s after a really long gap that Bhatt seems to be in complete command. Pravin Bhatt’s camera captures the mood splendidly. The beauty of the castle has been captured very well by the DOP. Adnan Sami’s music strikes a chord.” Taran Adarsh, Bollywood Hungama

“The female lead in Adah Sharma is excellent. Anjori Alagh looks beautiful and leaves an impression in the second hour. Indraneel does well. Raj Zutshi plays the priest’s role very well. Overall, the movie is good as it fulfills its promise of providing enough scare.” SmasHits.com

“Cinematographer Pravin Bhatt spells his enchanting piece of work right throughout the film. The painted backdrops of beautiful locations of Allerton Castle in London are chilling for eyes while on the other end; he brings you the horrifying feel with unique lighting and camera angles. Adnan Sami isn’t so impressive with the songs, but his background score enhances the visual quality…” IndiaGlitz.com

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