Khooni: The Kanti Shah Classic Bollywood Horror Movie

Khooni, Bollywood Horror Movie

Khooni (2004)

CastSapna, Amit Pachori, Vinod Tripathi
DirectorKanti Shah

Khooni is a Bollywood horror movie that hit theaters in 2004. This was the time when the Ramsays had long stopped making movies. They were paying attention to TV and other projects. Even the likes of Mohan Bhakri and Vinod Talwar didn’t make many movies post their reign in the nineties. Yes, Ramgopal Varma made horror mainstream with his movies like Raat, Bhoot and Kaun, but even he didn’t want to pander the audience that became a paying public post the nineties. This was an audience with a little bit of money to spare and looking for pulp fiction. Not the Quentin Tarantino one, but cinema that doubled up as entertainment as well as titillation.

The bar for entry for these movies was pretty low – ticket prices as well as the actors. These movies featured amateur actors and crew, people who might never be seen again on the silver screen. Every aspect of these movies is a talking point,but what they are really infamous for is the unleashing of regressive cinema on the paying public. If you roll your eyes at the dubbed South Indian movies that play on Sony today, you will want to file a PIL against the makers of these movies. One of the most important names in this kind of cinema is Kanti Shah. He is somewhat of a mystique himself. Not many know where he is, or what he does when he isn’t making movies. He even had his stable of actors, Sapna, Amit Pachauri, Vinod Tripathi, and several others.

Woke audiences know Kanti Shah because of Gunda, the movie that became a pop reference. Real Bollywood horror movie fans know him for the glut of low budget, movies that he wrapped at up the speed of sneeze. Frankly, years later, critics might talk about Kanti Shah in the same empathetic tone that they use for Ed Wood and Tor Johnson. That time might be years away, but for now, we talk about his movie, Khooni.


A young, married police officer gets a new case – the double murder of a woman and her fiance. He quickly connects the dots and decides that the woman’s husband is the killer. Only problem, the husband was away from the city and is now untraceable. The officer now has to look at all aspects of the murder, including suspecting the brother-in-law of the woman. All this while a spate of copycat murders muddle up the city. Even as he gets deeper into the investigation, its all hands on deck when the inspector becomes the main suspect in the spate of murders. What does he do? Is he really the culprit? To know that, you’ll need to watch Khooni.

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Khooni Review:

I accept it. Even I was taken aback when I finally wrote the synopsis of Khooni. This is the plot for a decent Bollywood horror movie with a screenplay that’s home for everything that makes for good watching. A couple of slashing death scenes, some intimate sequences and even some twists and turns.  That requires a good scriptwriter and a better director. And that requires money. And money is something we dont’ usually see in a Kanti Shah movie. The movie looks like a student’s project – with all the shots with just the actors in front. I wonder if Kanti Shah ever owned a dolly while producing and directing these movies. All of his movies that I have viewed star the same star cast, Sapna, Amit Pachauri, Vinod Tripathi and then some others.

And to set your doubts to rest, yes, even this movie has a regressive storyline that’s scattered with sequences that require the male and female actors to dress skimpily. There’s a lot of lingerie shots, and maybe that was the money shot for the audiences that went to theaters to watch the movie.

There’s nothing that I, or any other reviewer will be able to review in a Kanti Shah movie. You see one, you see them all. You hear one, you hear them all. Shah is notorious for making extensive use of copyright free music and special effect sounds. Ninety percent of his background music is the precious lightning strike sound and the other stock sounds that an editor will have.

Every Kanti Shah movie is a fascinating glimpse into Bollywood. Everyone knows about the big budgets and the big stars and talk about it, tweet about and ‘gram about it. They do know that this underbelly of cinema exists, where a new Kanti Shah is churning out a new Khooni, hoping for another Gunda.

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About Roy D'Silva 483 Articles
Roy D'Silva loves nicely made horror films,books and series. He has spent a lifetime covering various entertainment beats and has finally found his calling covering the paranormal/supernatural/horror fiction beat.