Fear is not what scary we see; fear is what we can’t see. It’s all in the mind.
Gone are the days when horror movies scared the hell out of us. Haunted Havelis, Old temples, ruined post offices and forts were the residences of ghosts – Especially white gown was the favorite outfit of female ghosts May be even ghosts wanted to stay in trend. Were these white gowns designed by Manish Malhotra? The ghosts were categorized in various forms – the cursed ghost, the avenger ghost and the waiting ghost. The waiting ghosts are mostly romantic, waiting impatiently for their soul mate who has taken birth somewhere in rich mansions. The most popular of this category of movies was ‘Bees saal baad.’ It featured the gorgeous Dimple Kapadia as ghost waiting for her lover Mithun Chakraborty. She looked more as a model, less as a ghost. The scariest of them all was ‘Woh kaun thi’. Though it was a suspense movie, the settings and storyline looked spookier. Nowadays, even such female ghosts will be noticed, our young kids will ask for Wi-Fi password from her. According to the current trends, even ghosts have to stay net-savvy. May be, they too click selfies with their ghost friends in haunted bungalows and share it on FB. Earlier, the hairy ghosts in movies like ‘Jaani Dushman’ looked more like beasts. Maybe the appearance of these hairy beasts evolved into a mutant named ‘Wolverine’.
The arrival of new horror genre with Ramsay Brothers changed the face of scary movies. It had sensuality, steamy songs, haunted bungalows, spooky faced servant named ‘Ramu Kaka’ and comedy scenes to add more entertainment value. Most importantly, the ghost had to be disfigured, grotesque and fearsome. The ghost preys on his victim mostly at nights. The night has to be ‘Amavasya’. Rest of the nights, the ghosts are working in haunted call centers Ramsay Brothers gave several hit movies like ‘Darwaza’, ‘Purana Mandir’, ‘Saamri’, ‘Veerana’, ‘Tehkhana’ etc. These movies ran to packed houses in 80’s and 90’s. With the passing times, people got fed up of seeing the same disfigured ghosts in Ramsay Movies. More the ghosts tried to scare audience, more it started getting hilarious. Sad part is that Ramsay Brothers didn’t change their movie making according to current trends. Their movies looked more humorous. The most tragic part is that even kids are not scared of watching their movies.
Directors like Ramgopal Verma and Vikram Bhatt created their own horror movie franchise with movies like Bhoot, Darna Mana Hai, Phoonk, Raaz series, 1920 etc etc. The ghosts in these movies were caricatures of ‘Exorcist’, ‘Unborn’, ‘Conjuring’ and ‘Insidious’. The movie ‘Raaz’ was based on Hollywood movie- ‘What lies beneath’.
Majority of the Indian horror movies are copy of Korean horror movies. The heroines in Indian scary movies don’t do anything except screaming and running helter skelter. The funnier part is that the ghost can be killed only through some divine trishul, knife, or fire. To save his heroine from the spirit, our hero will go to any length to kill the ghost with the divine weapon.
Movies like ‘Conjuring’, ‘Insidious’ and ‘Ring’ have changed the concept of fear. May be there will be a time when these Hollywood movies will turn hilarious. No one will want to play the video cassette and wait for the wet ghost to arrive from TV. Our kids are brave enough to kick her back in TV. The recent movie that I watched was 1920: London. What a fun-filled spooky movie!! May be the makers will come up with more series like 1920 Bengal, 1920 Bihar, 1920 Africa etc. The recent movie to hit the theatres this month is ‘Raaz Reboot’. How funny!! Was the director running short of ideas for the movie title?
It is time for Indian makers to re-invent their style of horror movies and give some scope for our desi ghosts. Like the tigers, even our ghosts are getting extinct. Please save our Indian ghosts