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Betaal is an Indian horror series by Blumhouse Productions.

The series is written and directed by Patrick Graham and co-directed by Nikhil Mahajan. Produced by Red Chillies Entertainment, the web series stars Vineet Kumar Singh and Aahana Kumra in significant roles. Betaal is released on Netflix, making it the second collaboration between the production house and Netflix.

The plot based in a remote village in India that serves as the battleground between East India Company Army officer Lt. Colonel John Lynedoch, his battalion of zombie redcoats from the Indian Rebellion of 1857, and the fictional CIPD force.

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The series provides examples of:

  • Armies Are Evil: While the undead British colonialists are a pretty straightforward example, Vikram's loyalty to his squad and the atrocities they are ordered to commit are a big part of his character development.
  • Big Bad: Colonel Lynedoch
  • Blind Obedience: Vikrams biggest flaw
  • Break the Cutie: Saanvi has to see her mother die, witnesses a regional Zombie Apocalypse, is sold out to the leader of the zombies by her own father, finds out about her fathers other evil deeds and is then betrayed by the one surviving soldier she came to trust because he becomes posessed by the Big Bad. Eventually, she can stop him from killing her and frees him from Lynedoch's influence, only to be forced to blow him up together with the undead. Then it turns out that this was the trigger for a country wide Zombie Apocalypse.
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  • Cassandra Truth: The Adivasi villagers have warned the other characters about the undead threat, but nobody believed them, which lead to the unleashing of the Sealed Evil in a Can. Later, Vikram finds out what's going on, but the rest of the squad refuses to believe him and Puniya until Haq is revealed to be undead.
  • Children Are Innocent: Saanvi and the girl from Vikrams flashback
  • The Dead Have Eyes: Most of them have glowing red eyes
  • Deal with the Devil: The source of Lynedoch's powers. Mudhalvan later makes a deal with Lynedoch but is put into a cage when he fails to deliver his part of the deal.
  • Demonic Possession: Betaal does this to Lynedoch, and Lynedoch in turn does it to Tyagi and later Vikram
  • Devoured by the Horde: Vikram's fate
  • Dirty Communists: In a particularily Indian variation, the villagers are often claimed to be Naxalites, which includes any political organisation that claims the legacy of the Communist Party of India. In reality, the villagers in the series are mostly just people trying to live their life, but the Baaz squad kills them because their villages happen to be in the way of building projects or because they try to prevent Mudhalvan's company from freeing the Sealed Evil in a Can. They are only labeled Naxalites to justify the killings.
  • Elite Zombie: Colonel Lynedoch is one of the Smart Zombie variant
  • Ethnic Magician: The Adivasi villagers are the only ones knowing about the zombies sealed inside the tunnel, but nobody believes them until it is to late. They also know how to combat the dark powers. For example, Puniya creates a magic barrier from ashes, turmeric, and salt.
  • Evil Brit: Colonel John Lynedoch
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: Mudhalvan tries to make a deal with Lynedoch, but after he fails to deliver Saanvi to the Colonel, he is put in a cage and later dies in the explosion caused by Vikram
  • Ghost Ship: After Betaals shrine is destroyed, his power is set free and causes undead attacks all over India. This includes an armada of British colonial Ghost Ships attacking Mumbai.
  • Glowing Eyelights of Undeath: The most defining feature of the undead.
  • Hive Mind: The undead Brits have some sort of hive mind, with everybody who becomes a zombie immediately assimilated into it.
  • Just Following Orders: Vikram just wants to be a good soldier, so he blindly follows Tyagi's orders even if it means killing an innocent child or does he?. He eventually breaks free from this mindset
  • Leave No Witnesses: Tyagis reason for ordering Vikram to kill the young girl.
  • Locked into Strangeness: After falling under the control of Lynedoch, Tyagi's hair turns white.
  • My Country, Right or Wrong: See Just Following Orders
  • Nazi Zombies: In an interesting subversion, we have British Colonialist zombies.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: In the end, Saanvi succeeds in destroying Betaal's shrine and thus defeating Lynedoch. But shortly after, she reads that the shrine should never be destroyed because that would set Betaal free. Cue GhostShips with British flags appearing at the coast of Mumbai.
  • Night of the Living Mooks: The British soldiers
  • Not Using the "Z" Word
  • Psychic Link: See Hive Mind
  • The Raj: The backstory of the villain. During British colonial times, the powerhungry British East India Company Lieutenant Colonel John Lynedoch used black magic to turn himself and his army into immortal undead in the hopes to become emperor of India, only to be sealed into the tunnel by Indian fighters. 150 years later, the tunnel is opened, which sets the plot in motion.
  • Redemption Equals Death: When Vikram finally faces his guilt about killing innocent people for the sake of being a good soldier, especially one girl, he finally gets the strength to shake of Lynedochs influence. Shortly after, the is Devoured by the Horde and then blown up together with the undead army.
  • The Renfield: Tyagi is this to Lynedoch. Vikram takes her place later
  • Revenant Zombie: Colonel Lynedoch fits the trope. Some others like Haq don't seem to be aware of their previous life, but are intelligent enough to pretend to be.
  • Virgin Sacrifice: The Colonel needs a sacrifice, preferably female and before her first period. Saanvi is the only one around who fits the bill.
  • Would Hurt a Child: An important theme:
    • Prior to the events of the series, the Baaz Squad got the order to kill a group of rebels who turn out to be just some villagers. Vikram has a particular memory of a young girl whom he is ordered to kill by Tyagi which he actually did.
    • Mudhalvan would sacrifice his own daughter to get a part of Lynedochs powers
    • Lynedoch once sacrificed his own son to get Betaal's powers. Now he needs a prepubertal girl to expand those powers even more.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: Lynedoch plans to become more powerful and overrun all of India.
  • Zombie Infectee: Everybody who dies could be assimilated into Lynedoch's army.
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