Ghoul: Season 1 (2018)

Season 1

Critics Consensus

Short, spooky, and surprisingly poignant, Ghoul's concentrated brand of horror is familiar, but effective.



Critic Ratings: 14


Audience Score

User Ratings: 201
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Air date: Aug 24, 2018
Air date: Aug 24, 2018
Air date: Aug 24, 2018

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Critic Reviews for Ghoul Season 1

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (0)

Ghoul underlines horror with context and uses it as a device to drive home a point about prejudice and gross injustice.

Mar 11, 2019 | Full Review…

A fresh take on horror TV, Ghoul simplifies the genre while maintaining a tense plot condensed with fine characters. [Full review in Spanish]

Jan 15, 2019 | Full Review…

All together, Ghoul is a bit all over the place, but it does show promise for writer-director Patrick Graham and serves as a great introduction to Indian horror films.

Oct 19, 2018 | Rating: 7/10 | Full Review…

Ghoul is a bite-sized horror treat that blends Thing-style paranoia and terror with a very personal story of one woman coming to terms with her choices and the price her loved ones paid for them.

Sep 5, 2018 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Three (or so) episodes is enough to establish backstory to get you to care about the characters. The first episode of Ghoul doesn't have the same splash as the next two, but it's incredibly important to the payoff of the third episode.

Sep 4, 2018 | Full Review…

Ghoul is a fine way to pass three-ish hours, and Apte is a find.

Aug 30, 2018 | Full Review…

Brutally violent dystopic horror story explores myth.

Aug 28, 2018 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Ghoul is let down by its reliance on cliched genre writing such as characters behaving stupidly for the sake of the plot or falling prey to narrative convenience towards the end to drive up the tension.

Aug 27, 2018 | Full Review…

Ghoul pulls from Arabic folklore to craft a tense, tightly edited monster movie with a fantastic leading woman.

Aug 24, 2018 | Full Review…

Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of Ghoul is its view of horror as more of an instrument than a language.

Aug 24, 2018 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Ghoul: Season 1

  • Apr 28, 2019
    A strong follow-up to Sacred Games that makes Netflix two-for-two in India. Both the setting of the story and the nature of the horror are unusual for mainstream Indian content, which gives 'Ghoul' a most welcome feeling of unfamiliarity.
  • Apr 08, 2019
    Hello, India! We meet again. How many projects does it take to create a renaissance? With Ghoul streaming from Netflix in August and Tumbbad (2018) quickly following with an October release, things are getting pretty exciting in India! Ghoul was Netflix's first horror series from India and their second collaboration with Phantom Films. Originally, it was going to be a regular ol' movie, but after talks with Netflix and co-producer Blumhouse Productions everyone decided that a three-part miniseries would be a better format. Not that it makes a big difference. Speaking from experience, there's no way you could sit down to watch the first episode without gobbling up the next two as quickly as possible. The show focuses on Nida Rahim [Radhika Apte; Parched (2015)], a rather naive and dangerously idealistic young woman who's training to become an expert in "enhanced interrogation". A skill that's being used all too frequently by the Indian government in this dystopian vision of the near future. She's assigned to a classified, highly secret detention center, Meghdoot 31, where political dissidents and violent terrorists alike are held, tortured for information, and supposedly "rehabilitated". On the night of her arrival, the most wanted criminal mastermind in the country, Ali Saeed Al Yacoub [Mahesh Balraj; Parched (2015)], is being transferred to Meghdoot 31 for interrogation and the facility's commanding officer, Colonel Sunil Dacunha [Manav Kaul; Wazir (2016)], assigns Nida to the primary interrogation crew. Little do the soldiers know, there's more to Ali Saeed than meets the eye and things quickly spiral out of control into confusion, paranoia, murder, and gore. In typical Blumhouse cost-cutting fashion, Ghoul takes place almost entirely within the walls of the bunker-like Meghdoot 31 facility. While this definitely helps create an oppressive sense of claustrophobia, it does lead to a bit of monotony in the sets. There's only so much you can do to make concrete walls and floors look interesting. On the other hand, since there's not a ton going on set-wise, it lets you focus on the acting! How's that for a silver lining? Focussing on the acting isn't the worst thing you could do, either. Radhika Apte shines as the eager cadet anxious to help make the world a better place. And, though not much of a talker, Mahesh Balraj did a great job as the creepy and mysterious Al Saeed. While I found Manav Kaul's performance as the Colonel somewhat hit or miss, his second in command, Major Laxmi Das [Ratnabali Bhattacharjee; Sold (2016)], was more than able to pick up the slack. Overall, the direction and camera work was spot on. Occasionally, there would be a small hiccup where the director's inexperience showed through -- most glaringly towards the end Nida's nightmare scene where I truly had no idea what I was looking at due to the wonky perspective -- but, aside from that one instance, nothing bad enough to yank you out of the narrative. Dialog-wise, the filmmakers did a great job. Director Patrick Graham is rightfully credited as the primary scribe given that he came up with the story and penned the original script. However, Kartik Krishnan and Sarang Sathaye helped flesh out the dialog to give everything a more natural, fluid feel. It's this type of cooperative effort that helped put a nice polish on the finished product. We can only hope to see more of this in the future. The collaboration of production teams that brought Ghoul to life -- Phantom Films, Blumhouse Productions, and Ivanhoe Pictures -- began their partnership back in 2014. Their goal was to create three brand new local language horror films in India. Ghoul is the first project to be released. Unfortunately, in October 2018, Phantom Films announced that they were dissolving the company. This may point to an uncertain fate for the two as of yet unreleased projects. I'd call Ghoul another solid entry in what I'm hoping will turn out to be the start of a wildly creative renaissance for Indian horror. I can't say Ghoul stands in the same company as the fantastic Tumbbad (2018), but it's got a great story, its pacing rolls right along, and it's thoroughly entertaining. Keep up the good work, India! Robert Zilbauer
  • Dec 18, 2018
    I can’t wait for the next season
  • Dec 09, 2018
    This is a brutal, hard-boiled supernatural dystopian series that probably was meant to be a movie, but had so many components, the filmmakers had to draw it out to three episodes. It’s dark, foreboding, and the entire premise flips the script from the beginning.
  • Nov 11, 2018
    Ghoul Series Review: NetFlix's First Indian Horror Movie Is A Scary Good Time. "Ghoul" is an interesting twist on the zombie genre. The fact that the Ghul takes the shape of the last person it bites (or eats) makes it impossible to tell where it is...until it's too late. This keeps the audience guessing in the third act of the series. The setting is claustrophobic which adds to the feeling of doom. Radhika Apte does a great job as a "final girl" we can root for. The show is quick with only three episodes total. I still have questions though. Does the ghul just keep attacking people until it runs out of victims? Or is it case specific based on the person that summoned it? How many jinns can be operating at one time? Could we have thousands of them simultaneously running around eating people? I would also like to know more about this dystopian society. How did the country get to this point? What year is it? I guess we'll have to wait for another movie to find out.
  • Nov 03, 2018
    Lesson: Those who resist nationalism and it's fascism are equally as bad as the Nationalists themselves. And a daughter who sends her father to his death for simply opposing that Nationalism can be a heroine. This is modern Turkey.
  • Sep 24, 2018
    Not very scary, but an interesting plot. Its nice and short (3 ep's).
  • Sep 16, 2018
    Decent 3 episode serie. Actually it's a movie cut in 3 pieces.
  • Sep 14, 2018
    The worst netfilx series have ever seen.
  • Sep 09, 2018
    Superb. Lots of references to classic fictional and historical prison and torture regimes - Orwell's 1984, The Shawshank Redemption, Nazi concentration camps, Guantanamo Bay the obvious ones - all brilliantly woven into the tense and frightening plot. Fantastic acting, particularly by the female lead. Nice touches too, the ashen faces of the two actors lending them the look of zombies, for example. If you're an adult, definitely watch it. But here's the thing. Netflix have given this a TEEN rating, and though I know kids can watch all sorts of stuff on You Tube, that format doesn't boast a rigorous regulatory element. Netflix has a responsibility to offer guidance. The intensely graphic scenes of violence, particularly torture, and the overarching adult theme of the plot make this a 5 minimum. Given that that sucks in 13/14 year old viewers, I'd possibly go for an 18. At least then you know what to expect. This is terrifying and gory from start to finish.

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