Created and written by Vikram Kumar, ‘Dhootha’ (‘The Messenger’) is a Telugu crime thriller on Amazon Prime Video that follows a series of eerie, unnatural deaths and incidents drawn on old scraps of newspapers. Sagar, an accomplished journalist who has recently become the editor-in-chief of his publication, lives with a wife, who shares his profession, and their daughter. Their picture-perfect life is thrown off by a series of unexplainable deaths, beginning with their pet, seemingly perpetrated by an invisible force targetting corrupt journalists.
With the incidents revolving around Sagar, he becomes a prime suspect in Officer Kranthi Shenoy’s investigation. The dark plot intensifies, and a connection between Sagar and the supernatural clippings begins to surface. The gripping and unique plot and premise of the show are complemented by its unsettling presence, and looming atmosphere, leaving one wanting to experience more such hair-raising series. Here are 8 shows like Dhootha just for you.
8. The Last Hour (2021-)
Dev, a young shaman in North East India, is on the run from those who would seek an end to his gifts. Arup, a Mumbai cop, is transferred to the region at the precipice of a series of brutal murders beginning with a Bengali actress. Dev and Arup’s paths cross, and the young medium tries to convince the investigator of his abilities to commune with spirits and relive the last hour of their lives. Having few other leads, Arup is forced to rely on his abilities and keep his superiors from figuring out his outlandish means of pursuing the killer.
The case is thrown into further disarray with the appearance of dark figures from Dev’s past, his romantic involvement with Arup’s daughter, and the dead telling him much more than he bargained for. Created by Amit Kumar and Anupama Minz, the Bengali language series on Amazon Prime Video takes us on a suspenseful mystery, made further intriguing by testimonies from the murdered. The show’s thematic similarities with ‘Dhootha,’ relating to the protagonist’s past, supernatural elements surrounding him, and a grizzly mystery, make it a worthwhile watch for fans of the latter.
7. Bhram (2019-)
A psychological horror web series directed by Sangeeth Sivan and Amit Bathija, Zee 5’s ‘Bhram’ stalks Alisha (Kalki Koechlin), a woman who develops PTSD after an accident. She begins to see visions of a girl lurking, watching her from a distance. Alisha’s family begins to think she needs help, but she investigates further, only to find out that the apparition had died 20 years ago.
Alisha begins investigating her story with the pretext of writing a romantic book; however, all the people related to the girl’s death start to die horribly, one after another. The mystery and supernaturally disturbing elements in the series will appeal to those who have been thrilled by similar aspects of ‘Dhootha,’ delivering a shocking and mind-bending experience.
6. The Stranger (2020)
Adam Price and his family’s seemingly perfect life gets turned upside down after a stranger reveals a devastating secret about his wife. As he delves deeper into this revelation, he discovers a series of interconnected secrets that entwine the lives of various people in the town, having ominous implications. ‘The Stranger,’ created by Harlan Coben, keeps viewers on the edge of their seats with its gripping storyline and intense character dynamics. If you were enthralled by the unexpected twists in ‘Dhootha,’ ‘The Stranger’ is sure to hold you in taut suspense with its unnerving narrative and dangerous secrets.
5. The Outsider (2020)
Based on the novel by Stephen King and created by Richard Price, ‘The Outsider,’ is a chilling crime drama that blends elements of horror and the supernatural with a perplexing murder investigation. The series unfolds as Detective Ralph Anderson investigates the brutal murder of a young boy, with strong evidence pointing towards a respected community member. However, the case takes a mysterious turn when contradictory evidence emerges, raising questions about an unexplainable entity and challenging the boundaries of reality. Themes of suspense, horror, and psychological unease permeate the narrative similar to ‘Dhootha,’ as the investigation delves into the unknown, blurring lines between the natural and the inexplicable.
4. The Chestnut Man (2021-)
The Danish crime thriller series, created by Miso Film, revolves around a series of gruesome murders in Copenhagen, where the victims are found with a handmade doll made of chestnuts and matchsticks placed near their bodies. Detectives Naia Thulin and Mark Hess lead the investigation, uncovering a trail of clues that connects the killings to a case from the past.
As they delve deeper into the intricate web of mystery and intrigue, they confront their demons while racing against time to apprehend the elusive killer. With its dark atmosphere, intricate plot, and compelling characters, ‘The Chestnut Man’ presents a gripping narrative of suspense and psychological thrill in line with Vikram Kumar’s work in keeping audiences on edge with its twists and revelations.
3. Ghoul (2018)
‘Ghoul’ follows Nida Rahim, a recruit sent to a secret interrogation facility headed by a proud Colonel and his brutish second in command. The top security institution brutalizes a steady stream of anti-national rebels, innocent or otherwise, until a blank-eyed man said to be the rebel leader is captured. However, a fellow insurgent realizes something is terribly wrong and tries to warn Nida, as the new prisoner speaks in an ancient Arabic tongue unknown to any of them.
Set in a dystopic totalitarian India, the Netflix mini-series, created by Patrick Graham, masterfully sets its pace with gritty characters and a foreboding atmospheric setup, only to switch gears with all hell breaking loose as the story progresses. If you enjoyed the eerie horror elements of ‘Dhootha,’ ‘Ghoul’ will present nailbiting tension and outright terror with methodological finesse.
2. Dark Winds (2022-)
‘Dark Winds’ introduces us to Tribal Police Officers Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn as they investigate complex and mystifying cases in the Southwestern United States. Created by Graham Roland and Vince Calandra, based on Tony Hillerman’s detective novels, the series explores the intricate relationships between the land, the Navajo culture, and the confounding investigations pursued by the officers. The detectives navigate cultural complexities, supernatural elements, and modern crime while unraveling intricate criminal cases within a unique and mystical landscape that will surely draw in those gripped by the cultural roots in the mystery of ‘Dhootha’
1. Aranyak (2021-)
Netflix’s ‘Aranyak,’ by Charudutt Acharya and Rohan Sippy, takes us up the misty hills of Himachal Pradesh, to a small town filled with colorful characters. A brutal rape and murder of a French girl prompts station chief Kasturi (Raveena Tandon), and her to-be replacement, Angad, to scour the town for answers. A sinister discovery at the crime scene is made when claw marks are found around the girl’s neck. A dense web of lies, red herrings, and coincidences make the series a riveting recommendation for fans of Vikram Kumar’s show. As the case unfolds, a living urban legend and a twist in the investigation only serve to elevate the thriller.
Read More: Best Crime Shows on Netflix