When was the last time you sat on your seat, leaning on the person sitting next to you, gripping them so tightly that your nails dug into their skin and you howled every time you were terrified by the sudden appearance of a supernatural being on screen? Isn't that the effect that every horror movie should have on you? Maybe not anymore!
Try thinking of any horror movie that created any ripples of fear when you watched it. Hardly any! Do our Indian filmmakers lack the skills to make spooky movies? The horror genre has become outdated and primitive. The black cat, the lady in a white saree, isolated bungalows or stormy nights are all we get to see in the name of horror. These movies have become predictable and foreseeable.
Indian filmmakers have always been successful in creating the illusion of threat among their audience. Movies that had created a stir in the box office in the past like Bhooth and Raaz are proof that Indian filmmakers can evoke fear in their audience. But as time passed, these movies repeatedly served the same spooky tales, which no longer scared or impressed their audience.
Are Indian filmmakers more skilled and experienced in spreading love, romance, and laughter rather than invoking fear? They try to recreate a novel script and direct it differently just to fail miserably. They also lack good ideas and a good base for their films. The variance continues, so do these horror movies really leave you stiff or do they make your heart beat faster?
It is true that filmmakers throughout the world deliver sensations. They sell tears delight, romance, love, and sometimes fear.
"I have a different way of dealing with the horror films I make. I try thinking about horrifying things in the middle of the night till it scares the shit out of me. Only if the idea succeeds to scare me enough, do I put it into the film. I need to feel the terror and understand that it is only possible to create fear, if I feel it myself" says Vikram Bhatt during the shooting of Raaz.
Amongst all the genres, fear is the most difficult to create. Fear happens to be the most primitive and the most basic emotion, as a matter of fact, fear is the root cause of a lot of other kinds of emotions. Fear of being lonely is love, fear of losing someone is insecurity, fear of hunger is greed, and fear of being isolated is the origin of society. Everything can be trailed to this very basic sentiment and yet it is the most difficult to produce on screen, simply because one needs to be proficient enough and to know the proper technique.
To make a drama or a comedy, what you need is a good script and a good cast with a hint of cinematic razzmatazz. While making a horror film, you need a good ambiance, right camera directions, suitable sounds, and a good background score. Also, the director needs to create an aura as spooky as possible. And getting all these things on point may not be easy.
"I have always drawn inspiration from my life in my movies. The screams that Bipasha Basu hears in Raaz, is something straight out of what I had personally encountered and even in my film 1920, I have used an occurrence from my life".-Vikram Bhatt
Once the director himself feels the panic, he writes the scene down. After this phase, it's technicalities all the way. You need to break it down into cinematic segments and then check out the final effect with the audience. They might either laugh it off if they do not find the scenes spooky or they might jump off their seats out of fear.
"My friend Adnan Sami, the music composer for 1920 had a screening of my film and somewhere through the second half, I found his wife running out of the theatre. She was so frightened that she could not see the film anymore. I guess it is the only time in my entire life when I was overjoyed that someone has left my film halfway! ". –Vikram Bhatt