From spooky to surreal: Indian indies dazzle at Wench Film Festival 2024

Karishma Jangid
New Update
Wench Film Festival 2024 Indian movies

At Wench Film Fest 2024, we explored indie flicks from spooky horror to quirky sci-fi, offering diverse narratives. Read the reviews below.ย 

At the Wench Film Festival 2024, alongside international gems, there was an interesting lineup of Indian horror movies. In India, horror and sci-fi are unexplored genres, which made watching these indie films exciting. From the mystical landscapes of Kashmir to the rural streets of northeast India, each film offered a unique glimpse into the country's cultural mosaic. These films ventured into various themes, from fictional planets to earthly politics. At the Wench Film Festival 2024, we reviewed films that caught our attention and left a lasting impression.

Also Read: Mini nightmares: Quick reviews of spine-chilling short films

Read the reviews here:

The Missing Cow

Director: Bhaskar Hazarika

'The Missing Cow' was undoubtedly my favorite film at the WFF 2024. Directed by 'Aamis' filmmaker Bhaskar Hazarika, it tells the story of a mother (Lima Das) anxiously awaiting her migrant laborer son's return during the COVID-19 lockdown. The night before his expected arrival, a chilling incident occurs in the nearby forest. What unfolds is a blend of fictional and real horror. The film skillfully intertwines the political challenges faced by migrant workers with fictional horror elements, creating a captivating narrative. Limaย delivers a commendable performance, complemented by a fitting background score. Winning the Monster at the WFF 2024, The Missing Cow is an impressive and significant short film.


Director: Yashaswini Nath

Entanglement tells the story of Amir (Harman Singha) and Chitra (Harleen Sethi), a married couple with a strange distance between them. Amir is a scientist studying the planet Narcissus, which orbits without a star at its center. Chitra accuses Amir of domestic abuse, but CCTV footage contradicts her claims. Something is clearly amiss, leaving both characters and viewers puzzled. The mystery deepens with the enigmatic planet Narcissus. Despite its ambitions, the film falters in execution, suffering from unclear writing. The script attempts to convey a lot but fails to do so effectively. The scientific aspect of the story also lacks conviction and fails to engage. However, Harleen's performance shines, captivating audiences whenever she appears. All in all, while the film builds suspense, it ultimately delivers only mild entertainment.


Director:ย Adesh Prasad

One common limitation of many short films is trying to fit a lot into a short time but ending up showing very little. 'Demons' suffer from this issue. It revolves around a man (Sohum Shah) offering a cure for his drug-addicted lover (Mohammad Samad), leading to a disastrous event that forces him to confront his demons. The film attempts to tackle LGBTQ issues, drug addiction, horror, and gore, but some parts are better executed than others. The LGBTQ aspect, in particular, receives minimal coverage. However, the strong performances by the lead actorsย as the lovers compensate for these shortcomings. The setting and music develop perfectly with the script, creating a believable atmosphere. Despite its flaws, Demons manages to tell an entertaining and intriguing story in the end.

Landfills of Desire

Director: Sapna Moti Bhavnani

In 'Landfills of Desire,' filmmaker Sapna Moti Bhavnani offers a different view of Kashmir, feeling more like a music video than a regular short film. Sapna shows us Kashmir at night, which we don't often see. The streets, usually busy, are now empty and spooky. Sapna plays the main character, a vampire, wandering through these deserted streets and living on a houseboat. The film captures her journey well, showing what it's like to be in Kashmir at night. However, it's the music that truly stands out, shaping the entire narrative and giving the film its distinct artistic tone.


Director: Syed Shadan

โ€˜Melaโ€™ centers on the crisis experienced by migrant laborers during the COVID-19 lockdown, serving as a symbolic political satire. The story opens with a pregnant woman, along with her son, and daughter Raksha (Khushi Maheswari), desperately seeking shelter at midnight during the lockdown. They seek help from a watchman (Suhas Bansod) guarding a fair run by Bade Sahab. The metaphor of a watchman guarding a lone mela while people continue to face misery is executed well, highlighting the neglect by those in power. While the fictional horror is unsettling, the political horror is truly heartbreaking. However, there are moments where the film falters. For instance, the portrayal of the watchman's erratic behavior becomes more annoying than unsettling, and some plot developments remain unexplored. Despite these flaws, Mela stands out as an honest and creative film with its symbolic messages and gripping plot.ย 

Batshit Crazy

Director: Yogesh Chandekar

If there's one word that perfectly captures this film, it's 'quirky.' True to its title, the film is downright crazy. It's scary, quirky, funny, and impactful all rolled into one. It centers on a chilling event where a man from northeastern India faces racial violence during the COVID-19 outbreak. Mistaken for being Chinese, he endures harassment and assault and is blamed for the virus. The film effectively sheds light on the racism faced by northeastern Indians in the rest of India. With its surprising plot twists and catchy music, it keeps you engaged from start to finish. However, the film does stumble when it tries to fight racism while also stereotyping South Indians. Depicting South Indians in a clichรฉd manner with familiar tropes like goons, songs, and references to 'Jai Mahishmati' feels more insensitive than amusing. While the film isn't flawless, it's still an enjoyable watch.

Which movie has intrigued you the most? Tell us in the comments.

For more reviews, follow us onย @socialketchupbinge.

wench film festival