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PHOONK and the oeuvre of horror and the unknown

Enkayaar, Bollywood Trade News Network
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The realm of unknown and the morbid fear of treading into this territory has been a source of eternal inspiration for the filmmakers to revisit it. As a genre of filmmaking horror films have been hitting the marquee on a regular basis and have been scoring bulls' eye as well. No wonder, Ram Gopal Verma, who was one of the first in the modern times to use this genre with PHOONK, is visiting this brand of film making for the fourth time in his career. His first foray in this realm was through RAAT, which established him as a director who had the ability to scare the wits out of your souls and give it a drubbing. It was followed by BHOOT, DARNA MANA HAI and PHOONK is following in this genre from the stable of Ram Gopal Verma.

If one were to explore the commercial reason for revisiting this genre, these kinds of films take very less time to complete, as unknown does not need a star to sell the product. Besides, it does not entail different locations one location serves the purpose. If all the horror films were viewed from this perspective, it would be found that most of them begin and end on a single location and the films culminate at that location as well. It would be owing to the fact that the element of haunt is perceived either to be in an individual or in a physical structure and therefore it becomes a fulcrum around which whole of the films revolve.

Ram Gopal Verma was different in the sense that he used established and mainstream stars like Urmila Matondkar, Ajay Devgun, and Rekha in his second film BHOOT and seemed to draw inspiration from Raj Kumar Kohli, who was a specialist in making multi-starrer horror films of the like of JAANI DUSHMAN.

The biggest boost to the genre of horror films was the success of BHOOL BHULAIYA. The success seemed to be owing to the fact that the specter of horror was interpreted with scientific rationality. It is what appealed to the multiplex going generation of the present times.

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There however is a flip side to this argument that the belief in horror, spirits etc., has more profound beliefs in the semi-urban areas and rural areas. As a result, it is always an existentialist dilemma for the filmmaker whether to interpret the realm of unknown through religion and beliefs or interpret it from a rationalist perspective.

Keeping in view the manner in which the education and the awareness is increasing, probably it would be a better choice to interpret it from a scientific perspective as well, as it would facilitate in bringing established film stars to this genre as well. It would also open up and expand the market and this may lead to more experimentations and broader canvas. Would PHOONK initiate this beginning?



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