|Produced by||Kumar Govind|
|Music by||Sadhu Kokila|
|Edited by||R. Janardhan|
Shhh! is a 1993 Indian Kannada horror suspense thriller film written and directed by Upendra. It stars Kumar Govind, Kashinath, Suresh Heblikar in the lead roles, N.B. Jayaprakash, Baby Rashmi, Megha and others in support roles. This suspense thriller also starred Kashinath and introduced Kumar Govind as mainstream hero. It has a small cameo by Upendra as a wannabe actor in police costume. This film went on to be a major commercial success. It created a new trend of suspense thriller movies in Kannada cinema. It was also the debut movie of Sadhu Kokila as an actor and music director.  The central part has striking similarities with Vidhu Vinod Chopra's Khamosh 1986, where series of murders start occurring on the film set which is set in Pahalgam Hotel Kashmir and here it is in Onti Mane Estate.
The movie opens with a young boy that comes out of his house at midnight to relieve himself. In the meantime, he hears some leaves rustling in the distance, and he looks up to see what it is. His face suddenly bears an expression of horror, and he screams at the top of his lungs.
A few days later, a shooting crew led by the veteran Kannada director Kashinath is on their way to start filming their newly approved film. They have selected an estate called 'Onti mane estate,' [Onti means Lonely in kannada] which is also a dreaded, much-feared place in the vicinity. As they try to find their way to the estate, they encounter a series of mishaps like tires blowing out and the locals warning the film crew not to film in that estate. Nevertheless, they soon reach Onti mane estate and meet the owner Mr. Nagaraj Rao and his family.
Nevertheless, they soon reach Onti mane estate and meet the owner Mr. Nagaraj Rao and his family. Though Mr. Rao was cordial, his second wife and her disabled brother are not too excited about the visitors & express their discontent openly. However, Nagraj Rao's daughter Bharathi keeps the film crew engaged positively through a series of hilarious pranks on Kashinath and the protagonist Kumar (Kumar Govind) and them trying to outwit her. Nevertheless, Kumar Govind is instantly attracted to Bharathi due to her outgoing and charming personality and falls in love with her.
Before the shooting starts, Kashinath reveals that the movie is a suspense horror thriller with a disfigured ghost that haunts a couple on vacation. He also reveals the costume, which looks horrific. Soon after, as the shooting progresses, strange events start taking place at Onti mane estate, like the ghost costume breathing out smoke in the middle of the night. Then Kumar witnesses a human figure covered in a woolen shawl from head to knee, leaving Mr. Rao's home in the middle of the night. Kumar tries to follow the figure clandestinely, only to have his attempt thwarted by Mr. Rao's wife's brother, who intervenes and then warns him not to roam around the estate in the middle of the night as it's dangerous. As the wife's brother, a few hours pass, is waiting for his sister, someone in the ghost costume used for movie production nabs the brother from behind. The next shot is a view of the lonely dilapidated house at sits on the top of estate hill, and we see the brother on the shoulder of the ghost yelling and screaming as the ghostly figure enters the home, and the screams get muffled.
Frightened by his sudden disappearance, Nagaraj Rao's wife lodges a complaint with the police. Police Sub Inspector S.I Kalappa (Bank Janardhan) and his perennially drowsy constable (Vaijanath Biradar) take charge of the investigation. A few days later, it's revealed that Nagaraj Rao's wife was the hooded figure shown earlier. Her brother was looking out for her as she continued her affair with a local sanyasi Dayananda Swamiji (Mimicry Dayanand). The same night, as she steps out of the house to meet her lover, she is trailed by the same costume demon figure that nabbed her brother. The sanyasi and Nagraj Rao's wife make love. As the sanyasi steps out of the house to fetch water, the demon attacks him, knocks him out, kidnaps Nagaraj Rao's wife, and then whisks her away to the dilapidated house a similar way as her brother.
Upon learning that his family members are disappearing one by one, Nagraj Rao is distraught. However, to Kashinath's and Kumar Govind's surprise, his son and daughter appear least bothered with these developments. Nevertheless, with the investigation going nowhere, Upendra does a striking appearance as a top police officer and accuses Kashinath of being the person who is responsible for everything. However, it is later revealed that Upendra tried to impress Kashinath into allowing him to act in his films.
Meanwhile, the police superintendent (Suresh Heblikar) takes S.I Kalappa to task for his shoddy investigation, issues a stern warning to him, and orders him to intensify his investigation. Tragedy strikes the shooting crew when they find the assistant director brutally murdered by having his head smashed by a rock. They late find out he tracked someone to the same dilapidated house and met his demise. The demon's play intensifies with all sorts of supernatural occurrences portending that a vicious demon indeed haunts the estate. As Kumar and Kashinath try to demystify the cause of the deaths, they find holes and trenches dug in sporadic parts of the estate, and they are left confounded as to who could be doing all this.
The film cuts to a scene where the film producer and the production manager Srikantu start scouting the estate at night with excavation tools, and they split to optimize the results. Soon the film producer finds the bloody body of Srikantu and sees a severely disfigured person[Not the hooded costume] standing above the hill. He scrambles, running and then screams for help. The film crew gets hold of him, calms him down, and then heads over to the place where the producer found Srikanth's bloody body. But they don't see a body, only bloody stains on the ground. Later the producer reveals why he and the production manager choose the estate, and it was to find a hidden treasure allegedly buried in the estate at night.
As the days pass, tragedy strikes Nagaraj Rao's family again when his son is brutally murdered. Kashinath finds a vital artifact, a golden token of Lord Hanuman, which he believes holds to solve this murder mystery. However, Kashinath is thrown into a tizzy when he sees the same artifact with Kumar Govind, and the specter of doubt soon looms large on Kumar's involvement with the murders.One night, Kumar escorts Bharathi into the forest in the middle of the night and abandons her. Just as he leaves, the demon attacks her. Hearing her cries for help, Kumar jumps in and fights the demon. After a grueling fight, the demon escapes upon seeing Kashinath and his crew. Soon, Kashinath accuses Kumar of having another copy of the artifact he found at the scene where the brother was murdered. Kumar tells him that it was handed to him by Bharathi, who had, in turn, received it from her father. Kashinath realizes that Nagaraj Rao is the one behind all this, and they rush to his house, only to find him hanging from the ceiling with a suicide note made out to someone named Rammapa, pleading him to spare the lives of children in turn for his.
The family's maid reveals that Nagaraj Rao's greedy second wife and her brother manipulated him to murder the ground worker Ramappa to steal a pot filled with golden artifacts, which they discovered. Rao and his brother-in-law set the house on top of the hill on fire, and then when they try to dig up the treasure, it was gone. Kumar and Kashinath, after hearing the story, decided to investigate further the burnt-down house. Kumar sees a burnt man holding a corpse and the doctor from the neighboring estate reprimanding him by showing him fire. Kumar interferes and grabs the doctor hostage under a knife, who then reveals that the burnt man is the son of Ramappa, who survived the fire but he suffered psychological trauma because of the injuries. The doctor tried his best to help him, but he would just dig up female corpses, thinking that it was his long-lost wife. The doctor tells Kumar that Ramappa had another son seeking revenge and is a member of the film crew. As Kumar asks him who the person was, he is knocked out by the demon.
Now that the vengeful goal of eliminating Mr. Rao's family is complete, the brother in the demon costume kills his brother by making him drink cyanide forcefully. He commits suicide by drinking cyanide from the same bottle in front of the doctor. Kumar wakes up and then goes back to the burnt-down house to find them dead. Demon is unmasked. The doctor reveals that the brother is the production manager who faked his death and his brother, who was an accomplice in his crimes of brutally murdering Rao's family. Kashinath, Bharati, and others rush to see it, and Bharthi is relieved that the killer is dead. But to everyone's surprise, suddenly, the manager springs up and tries to strangle Bharthi. Before he can do anything serious, the Superintendent kills him by shooting him in the back. The film ends with Kashinath wishing Kumar and Bharthi a happy and peaceful married life as they leave the estate wrapping their shooting.
- Kumar Govind as Kumar
- Kashinath as Kashinath
- Suresh Heblikar as Superintendent of Police
- Megha as Bharathi
- K. Praveen Nayak as Krishna, Bharathi's brother
- Goturi as Nagaraja Rao
- N.B. Jayaprakash (JP) as low budget film producer
- Bank Janardhan as Inspector Kalappa
- Vaijanath Biradar as The drowsy constable
- Upendra as dummy inspector(Special appearance)
- Sadhu Kokila as KungFu Kannan (Special appearance)
- Thriller Manju as Kungfu Master (Special appearance)
- Mimicry Dayanand as Dayananda Theertha Swamiji
- Shankar Bhat as production manager Srikantu
- Dr. Venkat Janardhan as Dr. Kurien
- Ajay as Nagaraj Rao wife's brother
- Suma as Devi, Nagaraj Rao's wife
- S.Murali Mohan as assistant director murali
- Micheal Madhu as cameraman Micheal
- Kantha Purushottam as Sundaramma, house servant of Nagaraj Rao
- Susheel Raj as assistant director Susheel
- Latha as Cotton Kapalakshi, film heroine
- Sriraj Kothari as film crew member
- Balu Murugaraj as Balu, technician of the film crew
- Uma as assistant director of the film crew
- Ravi Pandu as makeup man
- Kumar as dummy poojary
- Basava as heroine's assistant
- Rocket Vikram as cinema fighter
- Guru Murthy as cinema fighter
In an episode in Weekend with Ramesh, it was revealed that Upendra and his friends started working on a story during college holidays called Nigooda Neralugalu which eventually took different forms and finally took the shape of this movie story.
- "Avanalli Ivalilli" - L. N. Shastry, Chandrika Gururaj
- "Dava Dava Nadukava" - S. P. Balasubramanyam, Manjula Gururaj
The audio has 2 more songs which were not found in the movie.
- " One day sunday ninna kandenu" - S. P. Balasubramanyam, Manjula Gururaj
- " Ee bhayadalleno thrill ide" - L. N. Shastry , Upendra , Shivaji Rao
The film was summarily praised by critics and fans. Upendra as a director was hailed for his ability to maintain the suspense element of the movie till the end. It also became a benchmark movie for Sadhu Kokila who is now a very well acclaimed and respected musician and actor. The music was very well received and the songs "Avanalli Ivalilli" and "Dava Dava" are hummed to this day.
This film went on to be a major commercial success. It created a new trend of suspense thriller movies in Kannada cinema. It established Upendra as a well-known director. It completed 100 days in 26 centres.
Karnataka State Film Awards 1993-94
• Best Editor - R. Janardhan