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Before Phoenix, 5 Malayalam contemporary horror dramas you must watch on OTT

The Aju Varghese-starrer that is helmed by Vishnu Bharathan is slated to be released in theatres on November 17

Before Phoenix, 5 Malayalam contemporary horror dramas you must watch on OTT
Malayalam horror films

Last Updated: 11.59 AM, Nov 15, 2023


Malayalam cinema thrives when it comes to emotionally compelling dramas, but the horror genre hasn't been explored much in Mollywood. Despite the genre's underrepresentation, a few Malayalam horror films have managed to captivate audiences, earning acclaim for their unique storytelling and innovative approach to fear.


A new horror film that hopes to make a mark at the box office is actor Aju Varghese’s Phoenix. Helmed by debutant director Vishnu Bharathan, the film has two timelines and has garnered much attention through its posters. The movie’s screenplay is penned by Garudan fame Midhun Manuel Thomas, and Phoenix is all set to be released in theatres on November 17. 

Aju Varghese's film is about a man named John and his family who relocate to a faraway island village with the hope of rebuilding their lives. However, things take a turn for the worse when a new member joins them, leading to a series of horrifying events. How the family tackles the obstacles forms the crux of the story.

Intrigued? Before Phoenix hits theatre screens, we list 5 other Malayalam horror dramas with compelling plotlines that you can stream right now on OTT.


Streaming on: Disney+ Hotstar

This supernatural horror film, written and directed by Jay K and starring Prithviraj Sukumaran, Priya Anand, and Tovino Thomas, is based upon 'dybbuk', a concept from Jewish mythology. In the film, Priya (Priya Anand) and Ranjan (Prithviraj) have paranormal experiences after Priya buys an antique box. Soon, they learn that the box is a dybbuk and take the help of a rabbi to learn about its history. The film was praised for having a well-researched storyline and for exploring the history of Jews in Kerala. The screenplay, sound effects and performances of all the main actors make it a must-watch horror film.


Streaming on: Disney+ Hotstar

Based on the global astronomical event of a comet passing over Earth, the story of 9, helmed by Januse Mohammed Majeed, takes place over nine days during which a red comet passes over Earth. This results in the entire planet losing electricity. Soon, supernatural powers threaten to destroy Adam Lewis (played by Prithviraj Sukumaran). Whether he will succeed in saving his life or not forms the crux of the film. The movie, touted to be one of the first science fiction horror films in Malayalam cinema, was applauded for its compelling story, although many felt that it left too many questions for the audience to ponder over. Nonetheless, the film is most definitely a one-time watch if you enjoy thrills and being on the edge of your seat.


Streaming on: SonyLIV

Bhoothakaalam revolves around a house of death and sickness. Helmed by Rahul Sadasivan, it is about a clinically depressed mother (played by Revathy) and her son (Shane Nigam), who, following the death of a family member, encounter eerie experiences that warp their perception of reality and raise doubts about their sanity. This horror thriller is one of the best in Malayalam cinema. Audiences not only lauded the performances of the lead actors but also the realistic shots that will have you clutching your seats. The spine-chilling climax of Boothakaalam makes it a must-watch for all those who seek the thrill of Hollywood-style horror flicks in Indian films.


Streaming on: Amazon Prime Video

An Ashiq Abu film, Neelavelicham, is based on veteran writer Vaikom Muhammad Basheer's acclaimed short story of the same name. The film follows a young, enthusiastic and free-spirited writer (Tovino Thomas) who lives in a desolate mansion that is rumoured to be haunted by the apparition of a young woman named Bhargavi (Rima Kallingal). Bhargavi committed suicide after being betrayed in love. The film did justice to the original short story with its screenplay and VFX and was well received for its performances, especially those of Tovino and Rima. The film also stars Roshan Mathews and Shine Tom Chacko in supporting roles, making it a star-studded must-watch.


Streaming on: SonyLIV

Another science fiction horror film, director Lijo Jose Pellissery's Churuli, is based in the mysterious village of Churuli. Churuli is known for its legendary past and a spirit that haunts it. The film narrates the story of two undercover cops (Chemban Vinod and Vinay Forrt) who end up in the village during their search for a criminal. When they arrive at the village, the mood changes and an eerie mystery unfolds. More than the story, the film’s art and cinematography received huge acclaim, which makes this a must-watch if you appreciate the technical aspects of a film more than its screenplay.

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