BETAAL is a new Netflix horror series co-produced by Blumhouse. Officially, it’s a zombie story. However, the creatures come across more as vampires – or a hybrid of sorts. This is the second strong Netflix horror series from Patrick Graham. Read our full Betaal review here!
Betaal is a new Netflix horror series from India. Officially, it’s about a zombie army, but these creatures have a lot more vampire-qualities than the classic zombie. If anything, this demon is a hybrid of sorts, so we could call them zombie-vampires. Or maybe “zompires” or “vambies”, if you will. Though honestly, that makes them sound almost cute!
As always, please don’t let the fact that this isn’t in English keep you from watching. Also, all productions from India (both movies and series) do tend to include a lot of English since it’s incorporated into everyday spoken language there.
Besides, this new Netflix series is co-produced by Blumhouse, which should tell you that it’s fair to expect a very familiar level of horror quality. Season 1 has four 45-minute episodes, so you can watch it as a three-hour movie.
Continue reading our full Betaal review below.
The Redcoats are coming…
This new Netflix series Betaal is a zombie-vampire story that plays out in India in the present – unlike Kingdom, which was a period piece. However, the actual creatures are old British soldiers also known as the Redcoats.
Another cool element to this series is the fact that “God save the Queen” keeps playing in the background when the Redcoats are somehow activated. Also, these zombie-vampires even have enough brain-power to be able to work as an army and fire weapons. Not very classic zombie behavior.
Plus, the leader seems to have the ability to hypnotize (or glamour) humans, which is classic vampire behavior.
In reality, many creatures from legends do tend to possess abilities from several of the creatures we have now divided into their own separate versions – specifically, zombies and vampires in this case. Many parts of this story seem to be based on elements from the “Baital Pachisi” tales – read more about them on Wikipedia here >
Foreign horror series on Netflix
We’re always excited about any new horror series on Netflix. Especially, when it’s about demons or other supernatural elements. India certainly has its share of folklore and legends that are perfect for this.
Also, Netflix has quite a good track record when it comes to foreign horror productions. Particularly those featuring zombie-like creatures. I am, of course, talking about Kingdom from South Korea, which also features zombies that had some vampire-like abilities.
Another amazing foreign horror series on Netflix is the French Marianne, which many were gutted to hear was canceled after one season. Hopefully, that won’t be the case with Betaal, just as it wasn’t the case for Kingdom.
The stars of Betaal
Two of the main stars of the new Netflix horror series Betaal are Viineet Kumar and Aahana Kumra. Viineet Kumar was in the Netflix series Bard of Blood (2019). Aahana Kumra starred in the award-winning Lipstick Under My Burkha (2016) which was co-written by one of the writers behind this new series.
A face you might recognize is that of Ankur Vikal if you’ve watched the Paatal Lok series on Amazon’s Prime Video. Also, he was in Slumdog Millionaire (2008) but that’s quite a while ago now.
For me, a really cool part of Betaal is the fact that many female characters were given key roles and were totally badass. Also, the men definitely respected this. Well, not all of them, but this is also something that comes to light in some very direct ways.
Season 2 of Betaal on Netflix
Will there be a season 2 of Betaal? This will most likely be the first question when you watch the final moments of Betaal season 1. The answer as of writing this review is that we don’t know.
However, based on the very open (or actually, the very actively continuing) ending of season 1, Betaal season 2 seems like something we could definitely get. If this first season is a success, then it’s only a matter of time before season 2 of Betaal is announced.
After all, Kingdom from South Korea is continuing with more seasons and I would definitely love to see how the second season of this series from India could continue.
Watch season 1 of Betaal on Netflix now!
As mentioned earlier, there are some familiar names among the crew behind Betaal. One is, of course, Jason Blum as an executive producer since this is co-produced by Blumhouse Production. Another is Patrick Graham who co-wrote and co-directed season 1 of Betaal.
Patrick Graham directed and co-wrote all three episodes of the Netflix horror series Ghoul, which is also from India. If you haven’t checked out that one, then please do. It’s excellent in some very unexpected ways.
Recommended reading: Our review of the Netflix series Ghoul from India here >
Working on season 1 as a co-director alongside Patrick Graham is Nikhil Mahajan. As a co-writer, Graham was joined by Suhani Kanwar, who co-wrote the Netflix series Leila (2019-) which Patrick Graham also worked on. Kanwar furthermore worked on the earlier mentioned Lipstick Under My Burkha.
If you enjoyed Ghoul, then you definitely need to watch Betaal. With just four 45-minute episodes, it really is very quick to watch.
Betaal season 1 is out on Netflix worldwide from May 24, 2020.
Writers: Patrick Graham, Nikhil Mahajan
Directors: Patrick Graham, Nikhil Mahajan
Stars: Viineet Kumar, Aahana Kumra, Suchitra Pillai, Jitendra Joshi
A remote village becomes the theatre of a breathless battle when a two-century-old Betaal, a British Indian Army officer, and his battalion of zombie redcoats are unleashed. With Indian police pitted against the undead army, hapless villagers are trapped in a horrific, edge-of-your-seat conflict.
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