Diabolique: The Old Dark Haveli
Over on Diabolique, I’m following the mysterious song through the woods to the Old, Dark Haveli, where I’ll be writing about the spectacular murder mystery Gumnaam, which features perhaps the best-known Bollywood musical number in the United States.
Despite being a murder mystery, this isn’t exactly a horror film, but when it trades in horror imagery, as in this scene and in one particularly gruesome and artfully staged murder near the end, it does so very adeptly. The final two murders and subsequent finale push the film into more straight-forward horror territory. Given that this is based on an Agatha Christie novel, and that the violence and intensity escalates shockingly in the last half hour, Gumnaam could reasonably be considered a Bollywood adaptation of the giallo film, at least as the giallo stood in the mid-1960s. There’s even a straight-razor wielding killer in gloves. Granted, the gloves are pink rather than black, but why hold a festive sense of color against a serial killer?