Betaal the horror web series by Shah Rukh Khan manages to hold one’s attention with its slick narrative, outstanding sound design and an intriguiging plot.
The plot is about a group of mercenaries who are hired to displace villagers from their land in order to make way for a highway. Their move is resisted by the villagers who caution them of a supernatural presence and curse. But their warnings are ignored and the squad revives a centuries old curse and a group of British soldier-zombies.
All the episodes are intense and keep you intrigued and at the edge of your seat. The tone of the series is set well in the opening shot itself and you know you are in for a thrill ride. Another thing that works in series’ favour is it’s deeply rooted in Indian ethos. The supernatural element is derived from Indian history that everyone is well known.
Betaal also has references of several films in the genre – horror or zombie. There is solid reference to all the b-grade Bollywood horror movies of the 80s. And also to the Simon Pegg starrer Cornetto Trilogy. The dialogues complement the narrative. There are some funny and smart one liners here targetted at the British. The setting and the cinematography is in sync with the tone of the series.