Sneak peek: At midnight, Harshikaa Udasi looks over her shoulders a zillion times and files a report on Bollywood’s line-up of spooky stories.
If ‘scary’ is a fun word in your dictionary, then be prepared for some of the best times of your life at the movies. What kick-started with the release of Rise Of The Zombie (India’s first zombie film) last Friday, will continue right through the year. Horror does hit the bull’s eye more often than not at the turnstiles and this time Bollywood is making sure it gives more than just creaky doors, ill-timed grandfather clocks or even flying ghouls to send shivers down your spine.
After cracking the zombie genre, Bollywood’s horror star cast includes a 3G phone, a witch who appears during regression therapy, a sadistic dead father and revisits by a reportedly lesbian ‘MMS’ ghost! It’s as unusual as it gets and the makers are pulling out all the stops to spook you out. So what do we have here? Besides unusual plots and a definitely enhanced technology, the unusual casting of all the horror films has become a talking point. Bipasha and Nawazzuddin Shaikh in Aatma, Emraan with Kalki Koechlin, Konkona Sen and Huma Quereshi in Ek Thi Daayan and Sunny Leone and Sandhya Mridul in Ragini MMS 2.
Cast: Neil Nitin Mukesh, Sonal Chauhan
The story revolves around a phantom call that changes the life of a holidaying couple (Neil and Sonal). It is believed that there are 4.3 billion mobile users worldwide and every minute 60 thousand ‘phantom calls’ are received across the world, which have no known source of origin, no numbers and cannot be traced. The filmmakers would have us believe that these calls are spirits trying to connect to the real world. Basing 3G on a technology-related plot, filmmakers Sheershak Anand and Shantanu Ray (who earlier wrote the screenplay for Neil-Bipasha thriller Aa Dekhen Zara) tell us the story of how a second-hand 3G-enabled phone bought by Sam (Neil) in the Fiji islands brings home the ghosts. The couple soon realises that though unbelievable, the phone is responsible for their world turning topsy-turvy but unravelling its mystery is not without its pitfalls.
Cast: Bipasha Basu, Nawazzuddin Shaikh
Suparn Verma directs this film about a single mother played by Bipasha who starts putting her life together after he husband’s (Nawazzuddin) death.
Trouble starts brewing when her six-year-old daughter begins to talk with her dead father. Initially she dismisses the problem by assuming the young girl has created an imaginary father figure, but the horrifying truth is that the father is really back to take with him to the dead the one person he loved the most — his daughter.
Ek Thi Daayan
Cast: Emraan Hashmi, Konkona Sen, Kalki Koechlin, Huma Quereshi
Apparently Vishal Bharadwaj was so enchanted by journalist Mukul Sharma’s short story that he asked him to expand it to a book and then the screenplay for Ek Thi Daayan. Emraan plays Bobo (?!) India’s leading magician who is experiencing hallucinations but has not even shared this with his girlfriend Tamara. His relationship is falling apart and Bobo opts for regression hypnosis through his psychiatrist during the course of which surfaces the story of a witch (daayan) in his childhood who had destroyed his family and promised to return to haunt him. Bobo denies such a thing but when the irresistible Lisa Dutt steps into his life, he feels that she is indeed the witch.
Ragini MMS 2
Cast: Sunny Leone, Sandhya Mridul
While the story of this one is not out yet, there have been reports of a lip-lock between the leading ladies and speculation is doing the rounds about it being a lesbian horror film. Sunny apparently plays herself in the film and all the filmmakers are saying is that the story takes off from where Ragini MMS left in 2011. Ekta Kapoor is relying on spookiness, sensuousness and Sunny Leone to do the trick.