Tumbbad is an incredibly gorgeous fantasy horror movie from India. It’s a brilliant and intense dark adventure with an important moral. Well worth your time!

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.

The story in Tumbbad plays out over the course of several decades. We follow one person through it all. First, he’s a young boy. Then he’s a grown man. Finally, he’s the father of a young boy who’s roughly the same age he was himself in the first chapter.

And yes, this movie is divided into chapters. Just like any good fairytale.

The moral of the story

Tumbbad is all about the moral of the story. The moral of this particular story is “greed is bad”. This isn’t exactly a new moral – in fact, it’s one of the deadly sins. Still, greed is still prevalent in the world today, so we could do with more stories about the subject.

Since Tumbbad is an Indian film, the director (or rather, the directors) uses this platform to comment on a few other things. Everything from the British colonization to the treatment of women and children.

For the record, women and children are treated in ways most people can’t relate to. The story takes place in the first half of the 20th century. Women were property and children just had to obey.

And it was certainly a very physical time in terms of how especially children were treated.

Tumbbad (2018) Indian Horror Fantasy

Such a gorgeous movie

You’ve probably heard of Bollywood and know that India produces a lot of movies. When you watch a movie like Tumbbad it’s obvious that it was made by people who know how to make gorgeous productions.

This looks like a movie that could just as well have been made in the US or Europe with a huge budget. The sound, image, and effects are all top notch. And the story is so universal that it works across religion and language.

Also read: Our review of the Netflix horror mini-series Ghoul from India.

In the very beginning, a few religious characters are introduced. They could just as well have been Egyptian or Greek, but since we’re in India, they’re relevant to this place. And honestly, I wish a lot more movies would be made based on this region.

There is so much history and folklore that could make for brilliant movies!

Tumbbad (2018) Indian Horror Fantasy

Tumbbad opened a film festival

We’ve just screened Tumbbad at CPH PIX 2018 in Copenhagen (Denmark). Prior to this film festival, this movie had the honor of being the first ever Indian movie to open Venice Film Festival’s Critics Week on August 29, 2018.

The movie was directed by Rahi Anil Barve, but the director title is shared with two others. First, there’s the co-director Adesh Prasad and then there’s the creative director, Anand Gandhi. Only Anand Gandhi has any previous directing credits according to IMDb, so we’re dealing with some amazing new talents.

The same three wrote the screenplay along with Mitesh Shah. In the past, Mitesh Shah has worked on TV productions, but no movies. It’s amazing in so many ways that Tumbbad is the result of new filmmakers.

Tumbbad is still playing at film festivals worldwide.

If you like fantasy, adventure, or horror movies then Tumbbad should make you a very happy movie-watcher. Make sure you catch a screening if you get the chance. This movie is one HELL of a ride.


Directors: Rahi Anil Barve, Anand Gandhi, Adesh Prasad
Cast: Sohum Shah, Ronjini Chakraborty, Anita Date


A mythological story about a goddess who created the entire universe. The plot revolves around the consequences when humans build a temple for her first-born.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard
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