Indian horror films yet to come of age
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Shagufta Rafique, Screenwriter
I believe that India has not yet made a great horror film that can be compared to The Omen or The Exorcist. By far, the best Indian horror film that I watched is Vikram Bhatt's 1920. We have very few directors who are good in this genre. Everybody aspires to make a horror film but do they really succeed in making it? We have not even come up with an idea that can scare the daylights out of you. Of course, every film is promoted as the scariest film till date but do they really frighten you?
In India, there are only two-three kinds of horror films being made. The directors who are largely known for making films in this genre are the Ramsay brothers, Ram Gopal Varma and Vikram Bhatt. The films made by Ramsay brothers fall under the category of fantasy horror where monsters pop out and kill people which may not happen in real life. In RGV's films, the horror quotient will be less but he creates a situation which will be scarier. Vikram Bhatt has the tendency of bringing in the element of horror in a believable story. All three of them have exceeded in their own space but their horror films that have been successful at the box-office are only the ones which are closest to human imagination. For instance, RGV's Raat and Bhoot. In our country, the horror genre cannot work unless we have a story that is believable. Take for example, in Raaz 3, the actress has a problem and she does black magic, which is very believable. This does happen within various sections of our society.
Today, 3D technology has become an important element for horror films but that is only an enhancement tool. If there is no horror in the DNA of the story, then the 3D element will be an artificial scare. According to me, Paranormal Activity is a film that would work with the Indian audiences because it deals with spirits, something that we are familiar with. For our audiences, you have to write about the elements familiar to them.
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