It is a known fact that Mollywood is a highly superstitious industry. Many directors and technicians have cited practices such as the day to be avoided for the very first shot’ to ‘certain words that shouldn’t be there in the title. One of the popular superstitions is about horror films.
Mollywood nurses a notion that a filmmaker cannot reap success in his career if he comes up with a horror film. True to the fear factor, no films in that genre have become a box office hit in the past few years even though the industry has had many cult horror films, including Bhargavi Nilayam and Kalliyankaatu Neeli, around 30 years back.
But now, certain directors are gearing up to break the myth by trying their hands on horror. Jayaram-starrer Aadupuliyattam, Leela-fame Parvathy Nambiar’s Ghost Villa and Ranjith Sankar’s Jayasurya film Pretham are the new films in that list.
Kannan Thamarakulam, director of Aadupuliyattam, confirms that there are myths related to horror movies. “While doing this film, I was pretty much aware of the rumours. Most filmmakers and producers dread that horror films won’t collect money. Naturally, producers won’t come forward to fund such subjects. But I chose to do Aadupuliyattam because of its challenging subject,” he says.
“Aadupilyattam has no cliché pattern of horror films. We did not use any gimmick to give the ‘horror feel’ as we had a strong screenplay. When we approached our producers Hasseb and Noushad, we did not initially tell them that it was a horror movie. But after they heard the story, they agreed to do it as they loved it. If we have a good subject and a good team, we can try our hands on any genre,” says the director who wants to do yet another horror movie.
For Ranjith Sanker, who has directed socially committed movies Passenger, Punyalan Agarbathis and Su…Su… Sudhivathmeekam, Jayasurya-starrer Pretham is his first tryst with horror. From the sets of the film, Ranjith opens up about his love for the genre. “It is one of my favourite genres. Even my very first screenplay was for horror serial Nizhalukal.”
Ranjith has been planning a horror flick from the release of his debut movie Passenger. “I had written many horror scripts, but I tried social subjects as the director in me was not too confident though my friends were. A filmmaker’s primary commitment should be towards the audience. So while planning a film, my first thought is that it should entertain my audience,” he says.
Then why Pretham? “Thinking about this subject, I could sense many comedy sequences coming automatically to the storyline, which makes it a horror-comedy, which is not much tried in our industry,” says. However, some deny the superstitious beliefs associated with horror movies.
“It is not anything connected with superstition. If the subject is good, people will definitely go and watch the film in the theatres, irrespective of the genre,” says Kerala Producers Association president G. Suresh Kumar, citing the houseful shows of Hollywood horror films in the Kerala cinemas. “But the fact is that horror films won’t get viewers if the makers come up with the stereotype ghost in a white sari. New concepts should be incorporated to make this genre a success,” he sums up....