Vikram Bhatt who likes to make films with stories close to his life is back with Raaz 3. Harshikaa Udasi catches up with the master of horror

He’s the new master of horror with five films in that genre in the last five years (1920, Shaapit, Haunted 3D, Dangerous Ishq and now, Raaz 3), the last three being in the 3D format. Ask him about his obsession with horror and he says with a straight face, “I am most comfortable with ghosts; they are predictable, unlike humans.”

Vikram is back with another story from the netherworld in his upcoming Raaz 3. The film revolves around an aging and out-of-form actress (Bipasha Basu) who uses black magic to try and oust a newcomer (Esha Gupta) who is stepping into the spotlight. The film brings in a lot of Vikram’s life too as his lead actor Emraan Hashmi plays a director caught between two actresses. The director is candid enough to admit this. “I had very close relationships with two actresses. I know how they are without make-up, how vulnerable they are to competition and how easily they get shattered. I have not based this story on my personal relationships with the two but, yes, I have worked on the emotion I felt as a director being involved with them and on their reactions to an evolving situation,” he says.

Raaz 3 is a decade apart from the first film in this series, Raaz, which starred Bipasha Basu and Dino Morea. Raaz 2 (not a sequel) was helmed by Mohit Suri in 2009. With this one, Vikram is back in the Bhatt camp (Mukesh and Mahesh Bhatt) with whom he had successfully collaborated on many films.

For the only time in the interview, Vikram turns diplomatic, “I had never gone away. There was a fight in the house. I don’t even remember what it was about. I think we had some differences over Murder 2. But I realised I wanted to go back to my guru (Mahesh Bhatt). I called up Bhatt saab and told him that there was no one in the country who did horror in 3D better than him and asked if he would make Raaz 3 with me. He said yes and we’re back.”

Raaz 3 is also being touted as one of Bipasha’s finest performances and Vikram nods to concur. “She is superb. I think she is going to break some rules about ‘heroines’ in our country. Bipasha knows she is not what she was four years ago. I think agreeing to play the role of an actress losing her grip over stardom is by itself a brave attempt as the obvious question will be ‘is it what she is undergoing right now’,” he says. “But this is not her story. We are all insecure people in the film industry. We live Friday to Friday and if one film flops, it means a huge setback. I have experienced it and hence I can speak with authority about what one undergoes then,” he adds.

The director feels making horror films in India is special as there is always a story involved. “In Hollywood you don’t need an emotional drama along with the horror quotient but it’s not so in Bollywood. Besides, people here expect things to leap out of the screen and scare them. In India, 3D is not a technique but a form of gimmickry,” he laughs.

Talking about his foray into the horror genre, Vikram says that certain supernatural events changed him as a person.

“I was introduced to psychic meditation by an acquaintance on Facebook and was shocked at what it could reveal. Also, after a spate of flop films, I was disillusioned with God and my inner voice guided me to look for God within and in other people. That was when I went and apologised to people, including my wife whom I felt I had wronged. It made me feel good and more creative. I have had hits ever since,” he smiles.