What with Mahesh Bhatt’s (often plagiarized) Vishesh films announcing a third installment of the ghastly Raaz (tagline: The mystery gets even more boring) and Percept launching its own horror film division, the question is, will Bollywood track the success that the horror genre has enjoyed in the US?
To be sure, we have the elements in place – a bunch of audiences (the college youth, the itinerant workforce, the Ram Sene panty-freaks) who can be fed the same low-budget, exploitative sex and gore formula which continues to send US teens into a tizzy; a healthy appreciation of the supernatural, a definite fondness for schadenfreue and a peculiarity which can, at a pinch, be deployed to terrify even the most hardy horror fan – the creepy lady in the white sari.
Rediff has this great slideshow tracing the history of the genre – from Mahmood’s early screamfests to Ram Gopal Verma’s sense-assaulting nightmares.
But if BIG Pictures expects to replicate the success of Dimension Films, which produced BOTH the most successful horror (Halloween, Scream, Hellraiser) and horror spoof (Scary Movie) franchises, it has to do better than 13b – which, going by the promotional material, looks to be a total yawnfest.
The film’s posters are particularly laughable – at a time when Indian film poster design has moved resolutely into the realm of the slick, and, dare I say, the eclectic – these inexpertly lit and sparsely conceived ads look like a student effort for an anti-Balaji campaign.
Speaking of Balaji, Ekta Kapoor is someone who should seriously consider the horror genre – she could repurpose her makeup teams, her sound effect people and indeed most members of her wild-looking cast. The only problem is, none of them ever die…