FantasticFest is the largest genre film festival in the U.S., specializing in horror, fantasy, sci-fi, and action movies from all around the world. Here's a list of some of our favorite movies at FantasticFest.
This film, like many others of the late 70s and 80s went unnoticed and stays a mystery for most of the Bollywood horror lovers, as most of them understand the horror domain with the name of a few successful flicks like Jaani Dushman, Band Darwaza, Purana Mandir, Veerana and many others that found their way to the theaters. Andhera, unlike most of its predecessors is a suspense-thriller, and takes many turns to imprint the impending horror. The film has a fairly impeccable storyline, strong enough to keep the viewers bound to their seats.
Two young men Deepak and Surendra are driving a vintage car on the road. They happen to see a car that's speeding up. The speeding car belongs to a dreaded gangster Ranjeet. Deepak and Surendra beat Ranjeet in the rash race and Ranjeet is impressed by Deepak's driving and asks him if he can be his chauffeur. Deepak doesn't pay attention to Ranjeet's offer at the moment, but soon finds that his brother Surendra hasn't submitted the examination fees and may be hence debarred from the examination. Deepak wants to help his brother and goes to Ranjeet for help. He tells Ranjeet that he is ready to work for him. Ranjeet in turn gives Deepak some advance, and thus destiny brings two of them together. Surendra scores good marks in the exams and soon applies for Police service. His dream comes true, when he passes the tests and is called for training.
Ranjeet often travels abroad and runs his international racket of smuggling and other illegal activities. He is assisted by few white-collared men, who are his business partners. They are 9 or 10 in number. During Ranjeet's one such absence, Deepak and Asha fall in love. Their relationship is objected by Ranjeet's partners. Since they don't dare say anything against Asha, they insult Deepak and tell him that love between rich and poor dies out with dire consequences. Deepak and Asha overlook the warning signs and choose to remain free-spirited love birds. After few days Ranjeet returns and discovers that Asha is pregnant. His partners tell him about Asha's ongoing affair with Deepak. A hostile and enraged Ranjeet summons Deepak to his saw mill and questions him about his intentions. Deepak simply says that everything happened unintentionally, but now that it has happened, he is ready to accept Asha and spend his life with her. Ranjeet is seeking a blind revenge. He disgraces Deepak and knocks him down unconscious. When Deepak regains his senses, he is horrified to see himself tied to a log, that is soon about to be flanked apart by the saw. Deepak tries to make Ranjeet understand but Ranjeet is simply seeking revenge and considers Deepak's punishment necessary to reclaim his lost honor. Deepak's hands are cut and he is thrown in a sewer pipe.
In the subsequent scenes, Deepak's deplorable and pitiable conditions are shown. His ailing mother is unable to support two of them. Deepak doesn't want to share all this with Surendra, thinking that Surendra would come to them leaving behind the golden path of his career. In a memorable scene Deepak is so helpless that he is unable to eat a crumb of bread from his own plate and a stray dog enjoys his meal. Soon Deepak's ailing mother is subjected to intense mental torture by the house owner, who makes fun of their pathetic condition and demands rent. Deepak's mother is ill but wants to support her family and so does handy jobs for her neighbors. The neighbors, however not so good, keep taunting Deepak and his mother on their misfortune. Deepak is also manhandled by some of the village folks on Holi. Unable to bear the bad times, Deepak's mother goes to Ranjeet for help. Ranjeet is nowhere to be seen, but Deepak's mother is ridiculed and badly insulted by Ranjeet's partners, who also try to seduce her. A bewildered Deepak arrives there and seeks truce but Ranjeet's partners drive him and his mother out. The same night Deepak's mother commits suicide. Next day, Deepak finds her dead body and also a bottle of poison lying on the floor. He cries a helpless cry. The same Day Surendra comes back from his training and is shocked to find himself in a highly grievous situation. Deepak, however keeps things to himself. When Surendra asks about the train of events, Deepak simply says 'There was darkness everywhere, and the same darkness swallowed all of us.'
Now the real horror begins, Ranjeet's partners are now being stalked by an unknown assaulter who is giving them dreadful deaths with his mysterious long fangs and claws as hard and sharp as steel. The death sequences are not quick and induce much horror. Some of the death scenes are specially memorable because they capture jinxed images of the setting Sun and are sepia tinted. Such color patterns remind me of the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre and I am forced to remember a Chainsaw Wielding Leatherface! Andhera can't truly be compared with TCM, I am just talking about few scenes that give you somewhat parallel feelings. The storyline is very tight and doesn't go astray and one can easily speculate the impending horrors that may arise from someone's misfortunes. We also see the hypocrisy of so called 'big wheels' of the society who themselves are engaged in all the illegal activities but consider 'love' as an illegal or unsocial act. I really don't understand how such people draw a borderline between good and bad. I like this flick because of its enjoyable nature. I don't consider someone's misfortunes enjoyable, I consider those horrors enjoyable, which are inflicted upon the wrongdoers. I would like to say this to every ardent Bollywood horror fan, "Find this flick somewhere! You won't be disappointed."
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