The Kannada movie Kantara, which was also released in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, and Hindi, was directed by Rishab Shetty and has been an enormous box-office success, with an estimated worldwide gross of $400 million. The culture of Bhoot Kola, a ritualistic dancing style from coastal Karnataka, served as the inspiration for the paranormal thriller.
Here are five films based on Indian stories and folklore that you can see on streaming services if you were impressed by the folkloric approach in Kantara.
1. Kothanodi (2015)
Kothanodi, an Assamese language film directed by Bhaskar Hazarika, stars Seema Biswas, Adil Hussain, Zerifa Wahid, Urmila Mahanta, Kopil Bora, and Asha Bordoloi. It is based on four short stories from Burhi Aair Sadhu, an Assamese folk collection. This fantasy drama, which won the Best Feature Film in Assamese at the 63rd National Film Awards, follows the struggles of four ladies from various backgrounds as they attempt to overcome their inner demons in a world controlled by evil forces.
Watch it on: SonyLIV
2. Tumbbad (2018)
Rahi Anil Barve's Tumbaad, which is based on folktales from Maharashtra, centres on a family who has constructed an altar for the worship of the devil. The plot revolves around Vinayak Rao, played by Sohum Shah, as he searches the Indian town of Tumbbad for a lost treasure in the 20th century. The fantasy horror movie received plaudits for its excellent plot and stunning visuals.
Watch it on: Amazon Prime Video
3. Odiyan (2018)
The fantasy drama in Malayalam, which was directed by V.A. Shrikumar Menon, is based on the myth of the Odiyan clan, who are said to have lived in Kerala's Malabar region. The clan is said to have shape-shifting abilities. Alongside Prakash Raj and Manju Warrier, Mohanlal plays the lead in the movie. Manikyan (Mohanlal), a notorious shape-shifter who returns to his village after a 15-year exile, serves as the central character of Odiyan. The locals are much disturbed by his appearance, especially Ravunni Nair (Raj), who harbours animosity for him.
Watch it on: Zee 5
4. Pari (2018)
The film Pari, which was made by Prosit Roy, features supernatural horror. It is based on Bengali Islamic gothic stories and stars Anushka Sharma and Parambrata Chattopadhyay in the lead roles. A good-hearted man named Arnab (Parambrata) seeks to assist Rukhsana (Anushka), a chained woman in a hut who is most likely the victim of abuse. He quickly realizes, though, that nothing is quite what it seems. Pari's tight writing, atmospherics, and jump scares to keep the audience interested.
Watch it on: Amazon Prime Video
5. Bulbbul (2020)
Bulbbul relates the tale of a mysterious woman who governs over a town in colonial Bengal in the 1880s and is based on the north Indian traditions of chudail (demonic ladies). As the males in her community are discovered dead, Satya, Bulbbul's childhood friend, arrives to look into the paranormal mystery. Anvita Dutt's film Bulbbul, which she also wrote and directed, features Triptii Dimri as the lead, along with Avinash Tiwary, Paoli Dam, Rahul Bose, and Parambrata Chattopadhyay.
Watch it on: Netflix