Ghost Stories (2020 film)
Flying Unicorn Entertainment
Ghost Stories is a 2020 Indian Hindi-language anthology horror film, consisting of four short film segments directed by Karan Johar, Dibakar Banerjee, Zoya Akhtar and Anurag Kashyap. It is co-produced by Ronnie Screwvala and Ashi Dua under their production banner RSVP Movies and Flying Unicorn Entertainment respectively. The film features an ensemble cast including Mrunal Thakur, Avinash Tiwary, Janhvi Kapoor, Raghuvir Yadav, Sobhita Dhulipala, Vijay Varma and Pavail Gulati. It was released on Netflix on January 1, 2020.
Story 1 - directed by Zoya Akhtar
Sameera (Janhvi Kapoor), a young nurse, arrives to take care of an ailing bed ridden elderly lady, Mrs Malik (Surekha Sikri) in a desolate house. The former is needy, clutching at a reluctant lover Guddu (Vijay Varma); the latter, a stunner in her time. The son is supposed to be taking care of the old mother for the duration between the change of nurses, but he is not around. Mrs. Malik tells Sameera that her son is sleeping in the next room, but no one is there. Later, it is found out that the son never turned up and she died due to starvation three days back
Story 2 - directed by Anurag Kashyap
Set in what feels like 90's Britain with a heavily desaturated look that borders on monochrome, the story revolves around a paranoid, pregnant woman Neha (Sobhita Dhulipala) who babysits her late sister's kid, Ansh (Zachary Braz). The obsessive affection of a kid and paranoia of a childless young woman assumes terrifying proportions. In the end, she seems to have had a miscarriage and eaten her own fetus, and her nephew is happy that his aunt will love only him from now on.
Story 3 - directed by Dibakar Banerjee
A man (Sukant Goel) arrives in a small town, Bees-ghara to find it empty, except for a boy (Aditya Shetty) and girl (Eva Ameet Pardeshi). He's told that everyone has been eaten up by the girl's father, who is the councilman of Sau-ghara, the big town. At first, the man refuses to believe the children and when he tries to go out, is met with a zombie like woman, who attacks him. The boy rescues him, and back in the safe house, he decides to save these children and alert the local authorities. When he gets out and enters a school, he sees the principal unresponsive and behaving strangely. The principal suddenly springs up and runs away, leaving the man puzzled. The children explain to him that some people, in order to save themselves from getting eaten, started eating others too as the creatures do not eat those who also eat human flesh. As the man watches, the school principal convulses on the ground. Just at this moment, the girl's father, who resembles a bear-like creature enters their room menacingly. The creature, who has poor vision, is unable to detect the presence of the man and the children until the girl, overcome with her love for her father, goes near him, only to be killed and eaten by him. The rest, too stunned, don't move for a day and upon waking up find that the monster has left. The boy has an idea that they take the remains of the girl's body and cover their faces with it so that they will believe that they too are eaters and let them go.The entire place is under surveillance by the girl's father and upon seeing the pair he checks them personally and grows suspicious of the boy, who in reaction eats some of the flesh of the girl.Then the monster turns to the man, who first holds himself, but soon gets scared and starts running, resulting in him being chased by all the zombies around.On the way, he falls into a trap. He is thrown the girl's hand, so that he can demonstrate that he is one of the creatures .The man refuses to do so, and screams as the girl's father pounces on him, only to wake up from what is supposedly a dream. The man is then confused as he wakes up in the same trap he fell into, and runs towards Bees-ghara. Finding the place to be deserted and burning, he assumes the worst and cries that he failed to save the children. At the same time, a car comes near him, full of people who resembled to zombies earlier.The man is then taken by them who tell him that they are people of Sau-ghara and that nobody lives in Bees-ghara after they burned it down because it was a very inferior place and that the golden age of saughara will come.
Story 4 - directed by Karan Johar
Ira (Mrunal Thakur) agrees to have an arranged marriage with the handsome and wealthy Dhruv (Avinash Tiwary) who dwells in a house his grandmother built. On the first night after her wedding, she sees her husband seemingly talking to the grandmother who died 20 years ago. Each night after that, the grandmother comes to bid good night to Dhruv, who seems to be the only one who can see her.
In spite of being an adult, he enjoys playing peek-a-boo with the dead grandmother. Ira questions the maid Shanthi (Heeba Shah), and learns that when Dhruv was playing peek-a-boo with her, he accidentally pushed her down the stairs. The grandmother was severely incapacitated and in terrible pain. Despite this, she would make it a point to visit Dhruv each night to wish him a good night. The conversation ends before Ira can learn the circumstances of the grandmother's passing. One night Ira gets tired of Dhruv's attachment to his dead grandmother and storms into her room, still preserved as a shrine her, and screams at the grandmother to leave them alone. The next day, at breakfast, Shanthi helps Ira stir her oatmeal. Midway through breakfast, Ira starts having severe stomach cramps and is helped to her bed by Shanthi. As Ira lies writhing in pain, Shanthi completes their earlier conversation, telling Ira that the grandmother had begged Shanthi to put an end to her pain. Being the obedient maid that she is, she mixed castor seeds into her breakfast; thereby, poisoning her to death.
The viewer is led to understand that Shanthi did the same for Ira. Ira wakes up into a brightly lit room and sees the grandmother hovering over her. Confused, Ira asks how it is that she can now see her. She lets Ira know that this is because Ira is now in her world, implying that Ira is dead. Ira then turns her head to see other human forms while the grandmother tells her that those are the others who, like Ira, did not believe in her presence.
Zoya Akhtar's segment
Anurag Kashyap's segment
- Sobhita Dhulipala as Neha
- Sagar Arya as Neha's husband
- Zachary Braz as Ansh
- Pavail Gulati as Ansh's father
Dibakar Banerjee's segment
- Sukant Goel as Visitor
- Aditya Shetty as Little Boy
- Eva Ameet Pardeshi as Little Girl
- Gulshan Devaiah as girl's Daddy
Karan Johar's segment
- Mrunal Thakur as Ira
- Avinash Tiwary as Dhruv
- Jyoti Subhash as Dhruv's Granny
- Kitu Gidwani as Dhruv's Mother
- Sumit Tandon as Dhruv's Father
- Namrata Chopra as Ira's Mother
- Kusha Kapila as Misha
- Shataf Figar as Ira's Father
- Heeba N Shah as Shanti
In April 2019, it was announced that Anurag Kashyap, Zoya Akhtar, Dibakar Banerjee, and Karan Johar will be reuniting again after Bombay Talkies and Lust Stories for a horror film for Netflix. In August, Akhtar began shooting for her segment with Vijay Varma and Janhvi Kapoor. In September, Kashyap began filming for his segment with Sobhita Dhulipala and Pavail Gulati. Mrunal Thakur and Avinash Tiwary have been cast for Johar's segment. Karan Johar found his story through a talent agency and started shooting for his segment of the anthology on 1 October 2019 in Goa.  
Swetha Ramakrishnan rated the movie 3 stars (out of 5) on Firstpost "Dibakar Banerjee's political short film elevates an otherwise bland anthology that just isn't scary".
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