India & Indonesia

This being the final post of this blog, I wanted to reach out and talk about two more countries in Asia with an unique horror industry; that being India and Indonesia.


Brief History:

  • The “Golden Age” of Hindi Cinema during the 1940s-1960s (post independence); period here commercial cinema was thriving.
  • Hollywood and European films popular through import market.
  • Indian films known for borrowing set pieces and plots from other (foreign) films.


  • Veerana (1983), tells about a young girl who gets possessed by a vengeful spirit.

Common stylistic elements of Indian horror:

  • minimal characterization, little plot logic and continuity
  • theatrical acting style
  • excessive visuals, often include music/performance videos

In the “trailer” of Veerana, several of these visual motifs can be observed.


Brief History:

  • Indonesia film industry first started by Dutch colonizers for propaganda purposes
  • Later passed to Japan (1942) for the same propaganda purposes
  • 1965-1966: anti-communist purge back by the U.S.
  • 1970s – fall of censorship, emergence of cult and exploitation films


  • Mystics in Bali (1981); story revolves around an American girl who joins a cult to learn about black magic.

Common stylistic elements:

  • low budget, flashy effects; which represent the Indonesian awe of the spiritual world

These elements can be seen in the following clip:

*Edit 11/20/2015: Added video of Mystics in Bali

additional information:

The Golden Age of Hindi Cinema:

Review of Mystics in Bali:

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