TUMBBAD (2018)

Horror-fantasy ‘Tumbbad’ has become the first Indian film to open the prestigious Venice Film Festival’s Critics’ Week on August 29th 2018. The section’s artistic director, Giona Nazzaro, called the 19th-century-set film, co-directed by Rai Anil Barve and Adesh Prasad, a visionary fantasy film, rich in visual inventions, special effects and blood. A film that plays and dialogues with both modernity and tradition with extraordinary inventiveness, while also offering a sound political reflexion on the complex relations between the Indian subcontinent, the Western world and the postcolonial contradictions. A genuine surprise.

‘Tumbbad’, starring Sohum Shah in the lead role, is set to release in theaters worldwide on October 12.

Synopsis: India, 19th century: on the outskirts of a decrepit village called Tumbbad lives Vinayak, the stubborn, conniving bastard son of the village lord, obsessed with a mythical ancestral treasure. He suspects the secret lies with his great-grandmother, a cursed witch. Confronting her finally puts him face to face with the guardian of the treasure, an evil fallen god. What starts with a few gold coins, quickly spirals into a reckless, perpetual yearning spanning decade. As Vinayak’s greed escalates, it all comes crashing together in an epic reckoning.


“This story of a greed that stretches of eons and the way that it transforms and destroys the family burdened with it is a wonderfully fresh take on horror from a region whose cinematic history with the genre is checkered at best […] A slow burn whose finale is wonderfully unexpected and yet fitting, Tumbbad is a great film and hopefully the start of a new trend in India.” J Hurtado, Screen Anarchy

“While it could use a little tightening in terms of its story, Tumbbad is a haunting and timeless exploration of just how badly greed can corrupt any of us […] Tumbbad is pure classic horror through and through, its finale is ambitiously crazy, and in some ways, it reminded me of The Descent meets The Evil Dead.” Heather Wixson, Daily Dead

Tumbbad plays like a surreal drama — the principal sensation is dread, a coiled unease that you feel in the innards. The comparison you reach for isn’t The Conjuring, but something like Don’t Look Now or Lost Highway […] It may not be too much of a stretch to say that, instead of a haunted house, Tumbbad is about a haunted nation, possessed not by the devil but by the past.” Baradwaj Rangan, Film Companion

Tumbbad is an incredibly gorgeous fantasy horror movie from India. It’s a brilliant and intense dark adventure with an important moral […] Tumbbad is pure horror from the very beginning. At the same time, it also feels like a fairytale. But the very dark and gruesome kind. Much more along the lines of Pan’s Labyrinth or Evil Dead than any Disney version.” Karina Adelgaard, Heaven of Horror

” …Tumbbad portrays the excitement but also the futile avidity, the hero’s trials but also his full responsibility in the unleashing of evil – and not merely as an implied, perfunctory obligation. In truth, once you strip away the monsters and the rituals and the caves, the entire second half of the film could be read as direct indictment of a man’s tragic hubris.” Tommaso Tocci, IonCinema

“…a fascinating journey into Indian horror with a timely, relevant historical twist.” DreadCentral

Tracks from TUMBBAD

  • The Birth of Hastar