Khofnak Mahal (1998)
|Cast||Raza Murad, Javed Khan, Pramod Moutho, Seema Vaz, Gurbachan, Narendra Nath, Rakesh Pandey, Anchana, Mehnaz, Tamanna, Shehnaz, Harish Hingu, Vrandana Trivedi, Bhupen Patel, Trambak Joshi,|
|Story and Screenplay||B. Thakur|
|Producer||Vikram Patel, Priti Patel, Kirit Patel|
Khofnak Mahal is a Bollywood horror movie that hit theaters in 1998. The movie stars the staple of Indian horror, like Javed Khan. Other members of the cast are Pramod Moutho, Raza Murad, Narendra Nath and others. Khofnak Mahal, though having some known names, looks like a low budget Bollywood horror movie. Its 1998 and Indian horror movie audiences might have begun missing the charm and earnestness of the Ramsay horror movies. In a world post globalisation, new content creators came up with new ideas. Ideas they thought would click with an audience that now watched foreign movies regularly. In such a scenario, Khofnak Mahal hit theaters. Here’s our review of Khofnak Mahal.
Khofnak Mahal Synopsis
A group of people comprising of bachelors, old men and couples capsize and reach a strange island. After the initial disagreements, they decide to bandy together and try to survive. They start traveling into the island and finally come across a mansion. They think that they will be safe in the mansion. According to them, some or the other boat will reach the island in a couple of days and will rescue them.
Little do they know that a black magician lives on the same island, and below the mansion that they have taken refuge in. As they try to escape, the black magician unleashes a demon in the mansion, and one by one, people in the group meet their end. Will everyone in the group die? Why does the black magician have a demon? Will the world ever know about this demon? To know the answers to all these questions, you need to watch Khofnak Mahal.
Straight off the bat, this movie has some of the best scenes in Bollywood horror movies. Simplicity is the key here. The director just puts a gorilla bodysuit. So, there’s no need for prosthetic or even cinematography and camera tricks. One unique aspect of this movie is that the demon is visible and up to no good even in daylight. This is very rare for a Bollywood horror movie. Almost every Bollywood horror movie follows the cardinal rule of unleashing the beast only during night time.
The deaths are pretty gory as well and the money shot is for how the members of the group kill the black magician and the demon. I don’t think any other Bollywood horror movie has such intense and weird scenes that depict the deaths of the antagonists. The movie hits it right with the titillation factor as well. This was the late nineties and broadband Internet had still not made complete inroads into India. So, this kind of peekaboo titillation still had an audience.
Khofnak Mahal has some little-seen ideas for a Bollywood horror movie. One of them being the trope of a black magician and a learned Pandit. Though Bollywood movies hint at such aspects, this is one of the few that have a literal hand to hand combat between the two. If you have read my Gehrayee review, you will remember how even that movie had a black magician (Amrish Puri) and the good learned Pandit (Sudhir Dalvi).
Some audiences might dismiss Khofnak Mahal as a cheap ripoff of Gumnaam. The only similarity both these movies have is of a group of people who are stuck in an island and people are dying, one by one.
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