On the Radar – Tumbbad


This week, we’re taking a look at Indian horror fantasy Tumbbad, a genre epic being heralded for its stunning cinematography, fine storytelling, and creepy atmosphere. Winner of Best Picture at last month’s Screamfest (Los Angeles), it also snagged some awards at the prestigious Sitges International Film Fesitval in Barcelona and was the first Indian film ever selected to open Critics Week at the Venice International Film Festival. Tumbbad takes place in the 18th Century and tells the story of an ambitious young man who discovers his family’s secret connection to an evil fallen god. In a classic fable about placing greed above common sense, he’ll discover over the course of his life that some deals aren’t meant to made. It took directors Rahi Anil Barve, Anand Gandhi, and Adesh Prasad six long years to finish production of the film, but reactions from the festival circuit – boasting both an 8.8 on iMDB and 88% on Rotten Tomatoes – suggest that the mammoth effort was worth it. Still without an American distributor, no release date is yet scheduled in the States or most anywhere outside India as it continues on its festival tour, but we would expect to see this sometime throughout 2019.

Here are some of the critics’ reactions to Tumbbad:

“Atmospheric, heavy on mythology, and scary as hell. Not a film for the squeamish or claustrophobic.”

    Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter

Tumbbad sears char-blackened folklore into a supernatural bake that sizzles and steams and hardens over with a crispy bite…an accomplishment in horror filmmaking that lights any discredit of genre quality arguments ablaze.”

    Matt Donato, Slashfilm

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

“A slow burn whose finale is wonderfully unexpected yet fitting, Tumbbad is a great film and hopefully the start of a new trend in India.”

    J Hurtado, ScreenAnarchy

You can check out the English-subtitled trailer here:

On the Radar