Purani Haveli: The Awkward Catholic Bollywood Horror Movie

Purani Haveli is the awkward Bollywood horror Catholic movie by the Ramsays. It's a movie of many firsts for the Ramsays and Bollywood horror movies.

MoviePurani Haveli
CastDeepak Parasher, Amita Nangia, Neelam Mehra, Tej Sapru, Preeti Sapru (SP), Anil Dhawan (SP), Vijay Arora, Narendra Nath, Manek Irani, Tina Ghai (SP), Satish Shah,
DirectorTulsi Ramsay, Shyam Ramsay
Associate DirectorArjun Ramsay
ScreenplayArjun Ramsay
ProducerGangu Ramsay
Associate ProducerChander Ramsay
StoryJK Ahuja
Year of Release1989

Purani Haveli, is a Bollywood horror movie that released in 1989, which must be giddying times for the Ramsays. They were in the market with some well-known Bollywood horror movies like Tahkhana (1986) and Veerana (1988) in their kitty already. Also, the family had by then spent a decade or so making movies.

For some reason, Purani Haveli is not that popular today. Apart from the very informed Bollywood horror fans, few speak about this movie. The Ramsays didn’t scrimp while making this movie. It launched the career of the beautiful Amita Nangia, who is still doing horror movies with Faisal Saif. Purani Haveli also stars the Ramsay staples, Tej Sapru, Tina Ghai, Satish Shah, Priti Ghai and others.

Purani Haveli, by far, seems to be a ‘young movie’ among all the Bollywood horror movies. Amita Nangia makes her debut with the banner, Deepak Parashar was much different than the likes of Hemant Birje and Hashmat Khan and Kamran Rizvi. The reason behind this could be the new faces that the Ramsays signed up, including Neelam Mehra and Amita Nangia.

I guess, like every other movie maker who has a couple of famous movies under their banner, the cusp of the decade might have inspired the Ramsays to do something different. One look at the movie and even you’d agree that the Ramsays did plan to do something different in Purani Haveli and tried to veer away from their formulaic movies. Here’s everything about Purani Haveli:

Purani Haveli Synopsis:

Anita is a young girl, who lives with her uncla and aunt.  Her uncle and aunt, Kumar and Seema,  look after her. When Anita turns eighteen, she becomes the heir to the vast property and money that her parents have left her. Her uncle and aunt have a plan in mind. They plan to marry her off to the aunt’s brother, Vikram.

Anita is in love with a young, poor man, Sunil. When the uncle and aunt find this out, they decide to hurry up with the marriage. However, Anita elopes with Sunil. The couple, with a few of their friends, decide to camp in an old mansion that Anita owns for a few days. The uncle and aunt find out about this, and Vikram, along with his group of friends reach the mansion as well.

One by one, as expected, Anita’s friends, as well as Vikram’s friends, fall prey to an evil power that seems to rule over the mansion. Vikram accuses Anita and Sunil, and Sunil accuses Vikram and his friends.  Vikram and Sunil have frequent fights as well. As the deaths continue, Vikram meets an old man, who warns him not to stay in the mansion.

Seema comes to the old mansion as well. Together, Seema and Vikram decide to do away with Sunil. They come across a labyrinth that exists beneath the old mansion. Vikram beats up Sunil and locks him in the labyrinth, leaving him for dead.

In the underground cavern, Sunil again meets the old man, who tells him the history of the mansion. He says that the mansion has been haunted for a long while. Years ago, he and his pregnant wife were stuck in the mansion, and his wife had to deliver. His wife died at childbirth but delivered a child who was neither human nor animal. Since then, the man has hidden the child in the cavern and dissuades anyone from coming to the old mansion.

The survivors now decide to escape the mansion on the same bus that they came in. A high-speed chase ensues, more people die until they all reach a church. As the demon begins to attack, Sunil unveils the statues of Jesus Christ and Mother Mary, which destroys the demon.

Watch Bollywood horror movie Purani Haveli on YouTube for free:

Purani Haveli Review:

Looking at the Bollywood horror movie, you get the idea that the Ramsays wanted to break the shackles of the Bollywood horror movies formula’. This time around, there was a backstory, but it alluded to something and didn’t tie up all the points, like a Veerana or a Tahkhana. Interestingly, even the Thakur and the dacoit, a mainstay of Ramsay Bollywood fans are around only for comedic relief.

Purani Haveli is a different Bollywood horror movie, right from the first frame. I don’t think there’s any other Bollywood horror movie that shows the Stations of the Cross in the credits sequence. That there is the most Catholic reference. Also, the people delivering the child are nuns. And the climax takes place in a church, instead of the Ramsay staple a temple or some cave with the statue of Maa Kaali.

Directors Gangu and Shyam Ramsay have enough confidence by now to place some of the deaths in broad daylight. The directors also seem to be wanting to cater to a bolder, younger audience. The skinshow scenes are not accompanied by music that that typical music that we heard in the older Ramsay movies. Was this their way of humanizing the fact that women do, indeed, change clothes and the man’s gaze is a wrong way of film-making? We’ll never know.

With Purani Haveli, the Ramsays also did away with the smoke and mirrors that were the staple of the demon scenes in Bollywood horror movies. This time around, its Manik Irani who played the demon. Manik Irani was one of the few Bollywood actors who went by the nickname Gorilla and did bit roles from 1974 to 2000.

In a Nutshell:

Purani Haveli is an important movie in the Ramsay legacy. It’s proof that when the going was good, the Ramsays made younger, different movies that were against the grain.

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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.