ISLAMABAD: Hoping for a spooky Halloween this year? Want to truly make it the scariest night of the year? These screamers are bound to get your blood curdling.
If you’re looking for a place to start exploring the genre of Pakistani horror films, Zinda Laash (Living Corpse) is what you need to watch. The 1967 film is directed by Khawja Sarfraz and co-written by Naseem Rizwani and tells the story of a professor who believes he has found the elixir to beat death but things don’t go exactly as planned, and in fact get pretty freaky, when he tries the potion on himself. The film is the first from Pakistan to get an X rating and was slapped with censors repeatedly and banned for vulgarity when it was originally released.
Toeing the line between horror and science fiction, Saeed Rizvi’s 1989 film Shanee starring the legendary Babra Sharif, Ghulam Mohiuddin, and Mohammad Ali. Shanee tells the story of an alien who arrives on earth and takes the place of a missing villager. At the time of its release, it was considered pathbreaking for its special effects and bagged four Nigar Awards.
English-Urdu slasher film Zibahkhana, which translates to “slaughterhouse,” tells the story of young teens unsuspectedly picked off by a mysterious killer and the rest as they say is horror history. Released in 2007 by director Omer Khan, the film has made the rounds at many international film festivals from Puerto Rico to Stockholm and is still considered a favorite among horror fans.
This 1994 horror-cum-science fiction film, whose title translates as “a headless person,” was directed by Saeed Rizvi and stars the iconic Babra Sharif and Ghulam Mohiuddin. The film follows the story of an evil scientist who attaches a police officer’s head to a fallen gangster’s body and creates a monster. It was a genre-defining film for employing special effects only newly available in the cinema world at the time.
A contemporary film, Maya was released in 2015 by Jawad Bashir and stars Ahmed Abdul Rehman, Hina Jawad, Zain Afzal, Sheikh Mohammad Ahmed and Anam Malik. It is apparently based on true events and tells the story of young friends who meet at a farmhouse where a murder takes place and exorcisms follow.