Indian productions have always held a special place in the heart of movie enthusiasts, stirring up emotion and nostalgia with every viewing. Enticing storylines and nuanced characters have ensured many Indian movies have become popular all over the globe. However, the Indian thriller movie genre has especially been gaining traction in the last few decades, changing the face of Indian cinema. From psychological thrillers to action thrillers, this genre is currently having a moment of glory, with some truly exceptional movies to choose from.
Amongst the most popular of these movies is the Rohit Shetty classic Golmaal. Released in 2006, it features an incredible cast that includes Ajay Devgan, Arshad Warsi, and Tusshar Kapoor. Following a gang of friends having comic misadventures, the movie gives an exciting glimpse of the energy and wit of its characters. Despite the comedic tone of the movie, there are still thrilling scenes that will keep viewers on the edge of their seats. The movie is often described as one of the most influential Indian thrillers in recent memory.
A more recent example is the 2017 movie Saat Khoon Maaf. A hit amongst critics, this psychological thriller was directed by Vishal Bhardwaj and stars Priyanka Chopra in the lead role. The movie follows the story of a recently widowed woman and her multiple husbands – all of whom seemingly died accidental deaths. With its intense plot and dark themes, the movie beautifully conveys the human capacity for complex emotions and the roads we take to attain inner peace.
The movie Drishyam (2015) provides another masterful example of what Indian thrillers can do. Directed by Nishikant Kamat and featuring Ajay Devgan, the movie follows the story of a small-town man trying to keep his family out of jail. Despite its subtle plot, the movie’s increasing suspense keeps viewers fully engaged up to the end. The plot turns are executed with masterful precision, making the movie an exceptionally watchable piece of work.
Director Anurag Kashyap is behind what some believe to be one of the best Indian thriller movies of all time – Gangs of Wasseypur. Released in two parts in 2012 and 2013, this movie set a new standard for dark Indian thrillers. Featuring stellar performances from a star-studded cast, the movie follows the intertwining stories of two families locked in a bitter feud. The movie features some of the most iconic sequences in Indian cinema, and provides audiences with an intense yet exhilarating viewing experience.
De Dana Dan
This comedy-thriller, released in 2009, is a must-watch for anyone looking for some light-hearted suspense. Directed by Priyadarshan, the movie follows two friends, Paresh Rawal and Akshay Kumar as they pursue an unlikely plan to make some quick money. With plenty of humorous moments and unexpected plot twists, the movie provides the perfect combination of laughter and thrills.
A Wednesday, directed by Neeraj Pandey, is a 2008 crime thriller that packs quite a punch. Starring Anupam Kher and Naseeruddin Shah in the lead roles, the movie highlights the varying perspectives on politics and crime. A gripping story backed by some great performances makes this movie one of the most iconic Indian thrillers of the decade.
Released in 2012, Talaash is the work of award-winning director Reema Kagti. Following a story of two police officers, played by Aamir Khan and Rani Mukherjee, who are trying to solve a seemingly unsolvable crime, the movie keeps viewers guessing up until the very end. Despite its resolution, Talaash isn’t an easy movie to forget, as its lingering question remains to haunt the mind even after the end credits.
Kahani, released in 2012, is another must watch Indian thriller movie. Directed by Sujoy Ghosh and featuring Vidya Balan in the lead role, the movie follows a pregnant woman as she searches for her missing husband. A gripping story coupled with excellent cinematography, this movie successfully provides a unique viewing experience for its audiences. With its award-winning musical score, strange plot twists and interesting character dynamics, Kahani will keep even the most ardent movie enthusiast on their toes.
The 2016 sequel, Kahaani 2, brings another captivating story that is sure to keep its viewers hooked until the very end. Directed by Sujoy Ghosh and starring Vidya Balan and Arjun Rampal, the movie follows a single mother’s attempt to uncover the mystery behind a random stranger and the events that follow. The movie masterfully combines suspense, mystery and captivating narrative, constantly leaving audiences wanting more. With plenty of shocking moments sprinkled throughout the movie, Kahaani 2 provides a great example of why Indian thriller movies deserve a place in the movie-goers’ hearts.
Khosla Ka Ghosla
This 2006 gem is certainly worth some attention, with its brilliant comedic elements and emotional characters. Directed by Dibaker Banerjee, the movie follows the story of a middle-class family’s attempt to reclaim their illegally occupied land. Starring Anupam Kher, Boman Irani, and Ranvir Shorey, the movie is a heartwarming tale of family values and determination. Suspenseful sequences are brilliantly complemented by the lighthearted comedic moments, making for an enjoyable viewing.
Without a doubt, Pink is one of the most important Indian thrillers of all time. Directed by Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury and written by Ritesh Shah, this 2016 courtroom drama follows three girls fighting for justice in a world riddled with gender inequality. Along with its star-studded cast, the movie features some moving musical pieces and an unforgettable climax. Pink is a must-watch for any fan of Indian cinema and thriller movies in general.
The 2018 black comedy-thriller, Kaalakaandi, is definitely worth some attention. Featuring Saif Ali Khan in the lead role, the movie follows the intertwined stories of 6 different characters. With its brilliant cinematography, great music, and innovative plot devices, the movie provides viewers with an exciting yet comical experience. Kaalakaandi is a movie that will both engage and entertain.
Directed by Meghna Gulzar, Talvar is a 2015 thriller based on a real-life murder case. Starring Irrfan Khan, the movie follows the Aarushi murder case, and presents the viewer with different versions of the night that might have happened. A gripping story that’s only enhanced by its stellar soundtrack, this movie will make audiences think long after its end.