I had personally been waiting for the release of Netflix’s latest horror miniseries Ghoul after watching the terrific trailer that combined elements of both horror and an investigative thriller; both apparently my favorite genres.
Directed and written by Patrick Graham, Ghoul is a fresh script which has just enough jumpscares to leave you petrified at continuing the series any further. The story is set in a near dystopian future where the State has become increasingly insecure of the supposed anti nationalists who want to sow seeds of rebellion.
A particular kind of sectarianism is in the air that targets people of a specific religion and in the event calls their belongings as seditious material thus destroying their identity once and for all. The government takes suspected anti nationalists and intellectuals for reconditioning, a process that will ultimately break havoc on the status quo.
Radhika Apte plays Nida Rahim, an ace level performer at the military academy who proves her loyalty to the country by turning her father Rahim, a professor, in the custody for instigating young people to question the State. However, the series becomes more interesting when Nida is sent to Meghdoot 31, a covert detention centre, where the most dangerous terrorists are tortured through inhuman interrogating procedures which involve use of electric shocks, jigsaw-like machines, temperature control and similar other 3 degree treatment. The dungeon like structure coupled with its dark, gloomy and depressing atmosphere is quite disturbing to be honest.
When the most wanted terrorist Ali Saeed is brought to the centre, supernatural events follow which make Nida more and more suspicious of the centre’s activities. By the second episode, the horror sets in full swing as nightmares, ghoulish experiences, demonic presence infest the centre. A gory, horrendous and nail biting climax is what awaits and believe me it is one of the best to have come in recent times.
Ghoul is a complete departure from the done to death concept of dayans and haunted houses. The blend of the Arabic folklore of flesh eating djinns with a sociopolitical reality of today’s increasingly scary nationalist attitudes is in itself a premise so hauntingly beautiful, that even after the series ends, a lot of questions about the society will continue to linger in our minds for days together. Radhika Apte, Manav Kaul, Mahesh Balraj and Ratnabali Bhattacharjee are all such strong performers and they are the reason why we need more platforms likes Netflix. A perfect binge watching series for all lovers of dark horror.