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Kaali Khuhi Teaser: Real Horror of Female Infanticide Is At The Heart Of Netflix’s Reel Horror, Starring Shabana Azmi

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We’re in October already, which means Halloween preps are in full swing, despite a pandemic that is scary as hell. But for women, fear is a 365-day, 24/7 phenomenon. Not just for their own safety, but for other women too. In the wake of the Hathras horror and of all the other stories and statistics highlighting the rise in crimes against women in India, the saying ‘No country for women’ is once again being heard. Arriving as if on cue is Netflix India’s latest original, which takes on female infanticide with a horror twist, Kaali Khuhi. The film’s teaser dropped on Monday, and we caught glimpses of Shabana Azmi, Satyadeep Mishra, Sanjeeda Shaikh and child actor Riva Arora looking shit scared of some impending horror.

You can watch the Kaali Khuhi teaser here:

 

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Since the teaser is a mere 30 seconds, there’s still a lot we don’t know about Kaali Khuhi. The teaser begins with a little girl, we’re assuming Riva Arora, saying “Do you like ghost stories?” The shot with this voice over is of a newborn baby girl being thrown into a well. What follows are quick glimpses of the cast looking scared and worried, a funeral scene, the young girl’s character being haunted, and what looks like a man covering up the death (or possibly murder) of his newborn girl child while the mother watches on.

The official synopsis on the teaser says: “With its brutal history of female infanticide, a village in Punjab is the scene for mysterious deaths of its residents. Now Shivangi, a 10 year old girl, must save her family’s village from the restless ghosts of the village’s horrific past.”

Here are a few quick thoughts we had about what we think Kaali Khuhi is and what we hope it shows:

1. Netflix has been playing around a lot with the horror genre, layered with subtext on burning social issues such as the classism, casteism, mental health, politics and so on. While it’s previous outings, Ghost Stories and Betaal received mixed reviews, we’re hoping this one fares better.

2. Kaali Khuhi is inspired by the very real horrors of female infanticide, which are rampant in North India. While I’m glad that this social evil is being addressed with an interesting twist, I do hope that it isn’t just a plot device but has some thought-provoking commentary on the subject.

3. We’re seeing Shabana Azmi on screen after so long, aren’t we? And for some reason, I’m getting major Makdee vibes from the movie, even thought Azmi’s character isn’t the antagonist in this one. Even Makdee was a clever take on not underestimating children and scientific thinking, set in a small Indian village. Maybe that’s the reason? Either way, I’m kinda looking forward to this one.

I, for one, am excited to see more of Kaali Khuhi when the trailer drops. The film, directed by Terrie Samundra and produced by Anku Pande and Ramon Chibb, releases on Netflix in time for Halloween, on October 30. This marks yet another entry into the growing list of women-centric content being produced by OTT platforms, giving a voice to women’s issues that has been a long time coming.

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