Saat Saal Baad: Bollywood’s Inept Friday the 13th Inspiration

Saat Saal Baad, Bollywood Horror Movie

Saat Saal Baad is a Bollywood horror movie that hit theaters in 1987. The horror movie is a unique movie, because it has a strong, AAA cast as well as new comers. The cast is huge. If this was a Hollywood slasher movie, you’d know that many of the characters are dying. But this was 1987 and the we really didn’t know what to expect. Now that I do, I am at liberty to tell you. Here’s our review of Saat Saal Baad.

Saat Saal Baad synopsis:

A couple buy a hotel, far away from the city, thinking that they will turn it profitable.  The hotel was the location where a couple met their grizly end.  The couple decide to give it another go. One by one, different people check into the hotel – and the characters are as weird as they come. One of them is a stalker of one of the women, who has arrived at the Hotel with her current beau. Another is a convict who was once the boyfriend of the woman who owns the hotel. As the days progress, the people who have checked into the hotel start dying. Of course, the net of suspicion falls on the stalker and the convict. But who’s the actual killer? To find that out, you’ll have to watch Saat Saal Baad.

Review:

Indian horror movie makes have a penchant for the Saal Baad title. You will find a couple of them strewn across here and there. We have the iconic Bees Saal Baad, starring Mithun Chakraborthy and Dimple Kapadia. We also have the Sau Saal Baad, which is one of the Joginder gems that I should cover in a while or two.

Normally, the time in the title has something do with the story of the movie. Whether its someone getting reincarnated after twenty years, or a magician still going strong with his curses even after  a hundred years. Even in Saat Saal Baad, there is a reason behind the title. And once you watch the movie, you cannot ignore it – this one is the Indianisation of Friday the 13th, including the key sequence that we all know and love by now.

Watch:

Of course, there are some tweaks. Even given all the motheresque tropes we have, the Saat Saal Baad makers didn’t have the gall to use that plotpoint from the classic Hollywood horror movie.  But given the legacy, Saat Saal Baad is an inherenty disappointing movie. While the original is a stalker classic. Saat Saal Baad, after everything, shies away from the blood and gore that is a required ingredient in a slasher flick. The death scenes are inexplicably shot, with the characters just dying as a seemingly supernatural entity looks – yes, looks – at them. Instead of paying attention to the slasher, the movie spends more than an hour setting up song sequences with Javed Jaffrey.  Unlike a Mahakaal or a Wohi Bhayanak Raat, the deaths are not scary in this one. Only the climax even shows the actual murderer trying to carry out the dirty deed.

Instead of making it a slasher flick, this turns out to be a murder mystery. With two morally flexible characters and one dark backstory, there’s every reason that one of them turns out to be the knife weilding murderer. The movie fails as a murder mystery as well, and that’s because it falls to the inexplicable quick tweak – the murderer isn’t around for the most part of the movie. Out of sight is out of mind for the audience, so I wonder if they bought the climax.

Other than that, Saat Saal Baad is a decent Bollywood horror movie for anyone wanting to get their fix of eighties sleaze and some good dance sequences. The makers take great advantage of the ‘couple in a hotel room’ trope.

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About Roy D'Silva 475 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.