Best Bollywood Suspense Thrillers ever made.
written by Souranath Banerjee
Best Bollywood Suspense Thrillers ever made – Exciting thriller movies crafted in India, specially in Bollywood are always difficult to
find. Let’s admit, over the last five decades our priority has been consistently making romantic dramas and thus the evolution of all the other genres were somewhat delayed and neglected.
But that doesn’t mean Bollywood have not churned out quite a few quality suspense thrillers, good stories, intense and unpredictable endings, often punched with some comedy and song sequences – but pretty much effective and focused for our Indian audience.
Listed below are some of the Best Bollywood Thrillers ever made. Enjoy the thrill.
20. Mahal (1949)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BgevPWAKRqI
Ashok Kumar visits an old palatial building to claim his inheritance but soon encounters a mysterious woman Madhubala who seems to be the ghost from a portrait.
“Ayega.. ayega… aanewala, aayega….” unforgettable music by Khemchand Prakash, lyricist Nakhshab Jarchavi and sung by 19 year old Lata Mangeshkar.
Directed by Kamal Amrohi (his debut film), a trend-setting thriller that changed the fate of Bollywood suspense movies forever!
19. Woh Kaun Thi? (1964)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u574BjGyrOY
In a stormy night the doctor gives a lift to a white-sareed-lady to the graveyard! She was singing the famous song ‘Naina Barse’ (Lata Mangeshkar). But then his mother selects a girl for his marriage and she turns out to be the same one from the graveyard!
Starring Sadhana and Manoj Kumar in the lead, supported by K.N. Singh, Prem Chopra, Helen among others; directed by Raj Khosla who also directed Mera Saaya (1966), another brilliant thriller!
18. Howrah Bridge (1958)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjZ0DCaPSP0
To investigate his brother’s death a man comes to Kolkata, he soon falls in love with a dancer who helps him solve the mystery.
Melodious evergreen songs like ‘Aaiya Meharbaan’ sung by Asha Bhosle and music by O.P. Nayyar.
Directed by Shakti Samanta, starring Madhubala, Ashok Kumar, K.N. Singh, Om Prakash and Madan Puri, a superbly entertaining thriller adored till date.
17. Gumnaam (1965)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQDuQxxMLg4
Adopted from a famous Agatha Christie novel, eight people stranded on an island, a butler ready to serve them but then they start dying one after another. And the killer must be one of them!
Directed by Raja Nawathe, starring Nanda, Manoj Kumar, Helen, Mehmood, Pran and Madan Puri among others.
The famous song ‘Gumnaam Hai Koi’ sung by Lata Mangeshkar, music by Shanker and Jaikishan is still one of the most popular suspense music – a classic!
16. Bees Saal Baad (1962)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHNb5uypKvA
The grandson of the ill-fated Thakur family, returns from abroad to claim his legacy but all his ancestors were killed and now his life is at risk too!
Directed by Biren Nag, starring Biswajeet, Waheeda Rehman, Manmohan Krishna and Madan Puri. The haunting yet soulful song ‘Kahin Deep Jale Kahin Dil’ sung by Lata Mangeshkar and music by Hemanta Mukherjee is from the same movie.
15. Teesri Manzil (1966)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EOgirs8vE_A
A girl is murdered and an investigation is going on, the only clue being a button from an expensive coat of a killer!
Directed by Vijay Anand, starring the famous pair Shammi Kapoor and Asha Parekh, supported by Prem Chopra and Iftekhar.
A milestone for Bollywood murder mysteries with brilliant songs that shot Rahul Dev Burman into stardom.
14. Ittefaq (1969)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XssGa12LF4
On a stormy night, an accused murderer escapes from a mental hospital and seeks refuge in a woman’s home. But then there is another murder in the house- did he do it?
Directed by Yash Chopra, and superb performances by Rajesh Khanna and Nanda.
13. Dhund (1973)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SI9oPHDbn38
A traveller takes refuge in a home where he finds an attractive woman involved in a murder. He falls for the girl and decides to help her, protect her from the police but then things are not as clear as they seem.
Directed by B.R. Chopra, a much underrated suspense thrill that deserves much more recognition and popularity. Navin Nischol, Zeenat Aman, Sanjay Khan and Danny Denzongpa at their best.
12. Khamosh (1985)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hFnEAAT3yo
Directed by Vidhu Vinod Chopra (one of his earlier films), and undoubtedly the best suspense thriller of the 80s.
A film-shoot location where murders are committed one after another and the audience will keep guessing the killer till the very end.
Superb cast including Naseeruddin Shah, Shabana Azmi, Amol Palekar, Pankaj Kapur and Sudhir Mishra among others.
11. Aankhen (2002)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBRv4P-sHQQ
An eccentric bank manager sacked from his job seeks revenge by training three blind men to rob that same bank. ‘A dangerous game is about to begin’
Directed by Vipul Amrutlal Shah, a crazy heist thriller starring Amitabh Bachchan, Akshay Kumar, Arjun Rampal, Sushmita Sen, Paresh Rawal and Bipasha Basu. One of the most entertaining suspense thriller from Bollywood!
10. 100 Days (1991)
Film trailer/film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFgh9XR-7zk
This film directed by Partho Ghosh makes me nostalgic since as a kid it was my first experience of a typical Bollywood-thriller!
Starring Jackie Shroff, Madhuri Dixit and Javed Jaffrey, it’s about a woman who has visions of murders being committed. And when she wants to find the truth behind her nightmares her own life comes in grave danger.
9. Khiladi (1992)
Film trailer/film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQxA21_PFmQ
Abbas Alibhai Burmawalla, Mastan Alibhai Burmawalla (as Abbas-Mustan), the director duo famous for their thriller films with numerous plot twists and this film was their first major success.
Akshay Kumar starts his hit run of Khiladi-series, also starring Ayesha Jhulka, Deepak Tijori and Sabeeha. A perfect who-done-it that can’t be missed.
8. Gupt: The Hidden Truth (1997)
Film trailer/film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSuuFvgI09k
Directed by Rajiv Rai, one of the most popular films of the late 90’s not only for the thrilling story line but for it’s brilliant music as well.
The governor is found murdered and the prime suspect is his own son who is desperate to prove himself innocent.
Bobby Deol, Manisha Koirala and Kajol all entangled in a dangerous love triangle that threatens everyone around them.
7. Kaun? (1999)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqtSQ6KWRSg
Back in the days when director Ram Gopal Varma belted out one hit after another.
One of the most innovative film of the time; a woman alone in the house and the a serial killer is on the loose. And then the door bell rings!
Urmila Matondkar, Manoj Bajpayee and Sushant Singh – such brilliant performances!
6. Bhool Bhulaiyaa (2007)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0DopZosR84
Directed by Priyadarshan, this film is undoubtedly the most entertaining one in the list.
A newly married man returns to his ancestral palace along with his wife, ignoring the various ghost stories rumored about the palace. But then the stories seems to be true!
Akshay Kumar, Vidya Balan, Ameesha Patel, Shiney Ahuja, Paresh Rawal, Rajpal Yadav – all at their very best. A thrilling story told in style.
5. Manorama Six Feet Under (2007)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ocT2Wrq3v9Y
Directed by Navdeep Singh, a classy thriller that tells a slow gritty tale – a series of murders, a young man who investigates, but soon finds himself sucked into a deadly web of lies.
One of Abhay Deol‘s earlier films before he shot to fame with Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! and Dev.D.
Also starring Gul Panag, Raima Sen, Sarika and Vinay Pathak.
4. Aamir (2008)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vHgYGTvMpBw
A fast and speedy thriller that races the audience through a series of chaotic events that happens to an innocent man, who is forced to take part in dangerous illegal activities.
Directed by Raj Kumar Gupta, this one is a pulse racing thriller, that too almost in real time and with some amazing plot twists.
Rajeev Khandelwal at his best and look out for superb soundtracks.
3. A Wednesday (2008)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGfwASavWNQ
A brilliant script and perfect execution by director Neeraj Pandey (his first film).
On a Wednesday a common man threatens the police chief and make demands to release some terrorists. The power of a common man is finally unleashed.
Superb performances by Anupam Kher, Naseeruddin Shah and Jimmy Shergill.
2. Johnny Gaddaar (2007)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZCxKgD5yiw
When the protagonist Neil Nitin Mukesh is seen reading a James Hadley Chase novel we get a hint of his own fate in the film – aiming for a short cut to riches, falls for the wrong woman and then a series of betrayal, lies, deception that finally decides his destiny.
Directed by Sriram Raghavan, one of the most stylish thriller of our times. Dharmendra, Vinay Pathak, Zakir Hussain, Rimi Sen, Dayanand Shetty and Ashwini Kalsekar.
1. Kahaani (2012)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1wEeuAosNM
And the latest and probably the best by none other than Sujoy Ghosh.
A unique tale of a pregnant woman searching for her missing husband in Kolkata, but the search becomes difficult when every one denies her husband’s existence!
Vidya Balan, Parambrata Chatterjee, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and also the famous Bob Biswas a.k.a Saswata Chatterjee.
and now, (The ‘+1′ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most innovative one. A must watch).
+1. Karthik Calling Karthik (2010)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIZ2OwW7HJU
Directed by Vijay Lalwani, this one is the story of some mysterious calls that helps a lonely man to gain confidence in himself. He soon excels in his job and also wins the heart of a co-worker but the calls doesn’t end there. But then who is calling whom?
Farhan Akhtar and Deepika Padukone have great chemistry but the real winner is the great story line full of suspense and thrill. One of the very few good psychological thrillers from Bollywood. A must watch!
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