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Updated: November 1, 2012 19:54 IST

‘I like to sell fear’

Sangeetha Devi Dundoo
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Vikram Bhatt
The Hindu Vikram Bhatt

As ‘1920: Evil Returns’ opens today, Vikram Bhatt says he isn’t tired of horror genre

Barely days after Raaz 3D opened to scathing reviews, Vikram Bhatt is back with 1920: Evil Returns this Friday.

He has written the story for the film directed by Bhushan Patel, starring Aftab Shivdasani, Tia Bajpai and Vidya Malwade. We spoke to Vikram Bhatt about horror becoming his mainstay. Excerpts:

Some of the recent films you’ve directed, produced or written — ‘1920’, ‘Haunted’, ‘Shaapit’, ‘Dangerous Ishq’ and ‘Raaz 3D’ — are all set in the horror genre. What lures you to this genre?

There are many answers to this question. Primarily, the entertainment industry is in a period of branding. You don’t get points for being prolific, you need an identity. You talk about a K.Jo kind of a film or a Mahesh Bhatt kind of a film. I focussed on horror.

By doing so, aren’t you getting repetitive? How do you keep your interest levels up?

Each film is a challenge in itself. The story and setting are different. After Raaz and 1920, I discovered that I like to sell fear. With Haunted, I experimented with 3D and it turned out to be successful.

‘1920: Evil Returns’ is not a sequel of 1920. Are we looking at another franchise here?

1920: Evil Returns has the same gothic mood and setting as that of 1920. This is a story about two people, who’ve never met, falling in love. It might sound unbelievable in this age where we converse through mobile phones, messaging services and social networks, but setting the story in the 20s gives us the luxury of narrating an old-fashioned romance.

Is this why a few of your verses are also being used in the film?

Yes. The story is about a poet and some of my poems (in English) have been translated by Sanjay Masoomm in Hindi for the film. I’ve been a closet poet for a while. I hope to bring out a collection of my poems some day.

None of the reviews for ‘Raaz 3’ were positive.

But the response from the audience was phenomenal. Numbers matter, not reviews. If I were to make films to please critics, I wouldn’t make money. There are many good filmmakers who are twiddling their thumbs at home. I don’t want to be one of them. Forget Raaz 3, I don’t remember any of my films getting good reviews. And I am fine with it.

What made you choose Aftab, whom we haven’t seen in a while?

Aftab Shivdasani and I go back a long way, since the days of Kasoor. He had gone through a rough patch and approached me saying he wanted to re-invent himself.

He took a sabbatical for a year so that he could distance himself from the past. This will be his second coming.

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