Ghoul dropped on Netflix on Friday, August 24.
In total, all three episodes of Ghoul have a total runtime of 2 hours and 16 mins, similar to a horror film.
Ghoul comes from the makers of Insidious, Oscar-winning film Get Out and the critically acclaimed Bollywood film Udta Punjab, starring up-and-coming Sacred Games actress Radhika Apte and actor Manav Kaul.
The Netflix synopsis reads: “Ghoul is a chilling series about a prisoner who arrives at a remote military interrogation centre and turns the tables on his interrogators, exposing their most shameful secrets. You can fight the demons of this world but what about the ones that aren’t?”
Where is Ghoul on Netflix set?
Ghoul is set in the near-future in a remote, secret detention centre in the “near future” according to the opening credits of the first episode.
A military interrogator, Nida Rahmin (played by Radhika Apte), is sent there to extract a confession from terrorist Ali Saeed Al Yacoub (Mahesh Balraj).
There, the terrorist is revealed to “not of this world”. He has supernatural powers which reveal the interrogators deepest secrets.
The show has been hailed by critics for addressing difficult issues faced in todays world and in the past, regardless if that was the intention of the series.
Director and writer of the show, Patrick Graham explained in an interview with VICE: “The primary goal of Ghoul as a story is first and foremost to provide entertainment. And that story is within the context of a dystopian future, and with a dystopian future there are certain boxes you have to tick, otherwise, it’s not a dystopian future.
I would hesitate to say that there is a very specific political statement. Whatever the audience wants to interpret, they are welcome to.”
Ghoul is set in an unknown country where those who oppose the government are imprisoned in military detention centres.
It is never confirmed in the series where Ghoul is set, however, Killian Kerwin from Ivanhoe pictures explained: “Ghoul is an Indian story, it’s going to have a universal appeal. Ghoul has been a collaborative effort to tell a story that is rooted in India, in a manner that will appeal to audiences around the world”.
The cast of Ghoul features a mostly Indian cast as well.
Ghoul will drop on Netflix this Friday, August 24
Ghoul is based on Arabic folklore. Netflix explained: “According to Arabic folklore, a Ghoul is a demonic phantom or an evil spirit that blends in right with humans.
“The Ghoul is flaccid and can take the shape of any human. A human can trade his/her soul to call upon the Ghoul. It is also considered a fiendish Jinn who dwells in your past guilt, feeds on it and makes you feel remorseful.”
In the third trailer released by Netflix, fans were given a hint of what to expect in the miniseries.
A voiceover explains “Anyone can summon the Ghoul, by making this symbol with their blood and agreeing to sell their soul to it”.
Ghoul is set in a fictional remote detention camp
Where is Ghoul on Netflix filmed?
Ghoul was filmed in India and began in 2016.
Actress Apte, speaking at a Ghoul press event that the cast had to spend 14 hours a day over a month in a claustrophobic dark “leaky, damp, and horrible smelling” place.
The majority of Ghoul was filmed in the basement of a suburban hotel in India. Manav Kaul who plays Colonel Dacunha in Ghoul told FirstPost: “It was all damp..there was a stench. There were certain passages in the hotel where I would never venture again.”
Director Patrick Graham described the filming location as “grim”.
Ghoul was originally intended to be a horror film written and directed by Patrick Graham. However, after shooting some of the film, he and others felt a longer format would do more justice to the story so they began to change the direction of Ghoul into a miniseries.
Netflix officially bought the rights to the project in February 2018 making it the first Indian thriller series on Netflix according to Cinestaan.
Nation Baid, an editor on Ghoul, spoke to Cinestaan about the filming process. He said: “We shot some new stuff which added a layer to every character and created more depth overall. Primarily, with a mini-series, it was to figure where we start and end. Patrick had figured the cliffhanger moments from the film and the rest was quite easy.”
Ghoul co-produced by American production company Blumhouse productions and Indian production company created by Phantom Films, India.
Phantom films was created by Sacred Games director Anurag Kashyap and the director of the company is Vikramaditya Motwane also director of Sacred Games.
Ghoul is filmed in India and is a co-production between Blumhouse productions and Phantom Films
Who stars in Ghoul on Netflix?
Radhika Apte stars as the lead character, military interrogator Nida Rahim who is sent to a remote facility to extract a confession from a terrorist. Nida was selected for the was because she was fearless enough to turn her own father into the authorities when she suspected him of being an anti-government activist.
Apte has already starred in two other Netflix Indian Originals this year including the anthology film Lust Stories and as Anjali Mathur in Sacred Games.
Manav Kaul stars as Dacunha, another military interrogator
Kaul is an Indian theatre director, playwright, actor and filmmaker.
Mahesh Balraj plays sinister terrorist Ali Saeed Al Yacoub, who alongside demonic powers, has the ability to read everybody’s secrets.
Balraj is a Bollywood actor most notably starring in Haider, Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Gangs of Wasseypur.
Other cast members include Mallhar Goenka as Babloo and Ratnabali Bhattacharjee as Laxmi.
Ghoul arrives on Netflix on Friday, August 24 at 8am