The mention of horror in the Indian landscape brings back the haunting memories of Zee Horror Show and its eerie theme which actually had the capacity to make us inspect everything around us in slow motion. For years, films like Raat, Bhoot, Raaz and TV shows like Woh kept that legacy alive but the genre soon turned into horror comedy and that was the end of it all.
This generation of cinegoers haven’t really seen much of good Indian horror because they were never really offered something that could make them gasp collectively. With increased exposure to international content and all major Hollywood films releasing in India, it would be fair to say that our content could somehow not match up to the expectations that the audience had. Indian horror films have become synonymous with the erotic-horror films of Vikram Bhatt and the popular perception now include a voluptuous woman who is possessed but is also in love with the film’s hero.
Way before Ram Gopal Varma lost the plot with projects like God, Sex and Truth and was actually a worthwhile filmmaker, he gave some of the best horror content during the 1990s and the early 2000s. Raat, starring Revathi, still remains one of the most well-balanced horror films and with films like Bhoot and Darna Mana Hai (that he produced), the horror genre was in safe hands but that did not last for a long time.
Over the past few years, we have gotten a glimpse of promising films but unfortunately, they fail to deliver. Ek Thi Daayan (directed by Kannan Iyer) is a fine example of the same. While it engulfed the audience with the long braid of Konkona Sen Sharma’s character, the eventual climax was quite disappointing. With multiple sequels of the 1920 series and many reprised versions of Raaz, the horror genre has now gotten reduced to just a few laughs.
The ‘bandh darwaza’ and the ‘purani haveli’ of the Ramsay Brothers gave some great cringe content back in the 80s but even that has become the stuff for mainstream comedy as we recently saw with Amazon Prime’s web series, Shaitan Haveli.
With a plethora of mediocre horror films already in our basket, Anushka Sharma’s Pari looks quite thrilling. With her production house Clean Slate Films, Anushka has been pushing the boundaries and venturing into content that is novel and that also gives a chance to the talented individuals who want to tell their stories. NH 10 and Phillauri were risky projects but Anushka put her faith in them as a producer and an actor as well.
Starring Anushka Sharma and Parambrata Chatterjee, Pari releases on March 2.