New Bollywood wants to bring horror to mainstream

Speak to any of the veterans of Bollywood horror and they’ll say that mainstream Bollywood has never really embraced them. The bias isn’t just technical – the Censor Board automatically gives an ‘A’ certificate to a horror film, it’s within the system too.

When I spoke to a model who looked like the next Anirudh Aggarwal, he told me that he didn’t want to get bracketed into that zone. Even Anirudh has accepted, during the launch of the book Don’t Disturb the Dead, that working as Ramsay’s in-house demon ruined his career. But looks like the new generation of actors is okay with doing at least some kind of horror.

It all started with Golmaal 4, which could be said to be a horror comedy. Director Rohit Shetty pulled away from the dark, intense props and put in some colorful, fun ones to make it a family entertainer. I have not seen the film yet, but I am sure the liberal doses of sex won’t be anywhere to be seen in Golmaal 4.

Golmaal 4 isn’t the only Bollywood film looking to bring the horror comedy genre home. Anushka Sharma tried that with Phillauri and now she’s making a balls-out horror film titled Pari. The initial posters of the film look intriguing.

Resident intellectual Abhay Deol is also doing a Bollywood horror comedy, titled Nanu ki Janu. That film was announced in early 2017 via a Facebook post. Two days ago, Rajkummar Rao announced his horror comedy, Stree, where he joins the screen space with Shraddha Kapoor.

All this is good news for the horror film industry. All the names working in the horror industry currently are either at the peak of their career or have nothing else to prove – and yet, they are trying their hands at horror.

Rajkummar Rao working in a horror film in 2018 at this stage is equivalent to Ajay Devgn doing it in the 90s, or even a Kajol going down the horror road in the late 90s. It should be noted that Ajay Devgn has never done a horror film in his entire career, though Kajol and he came together for the immensely entertaining Toonpur the Superhero, a fantasy film that released in the early 2000s.

This proves that the Industry is finally waking up to the fact that horror if done right, will recover its money. Also, the stigma of horror being just sleaze with smoke and mirrors might just change with the industry heavyweights lending their star power to this genre.

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