“It Is A Wrong Perception In The Minds Of People In India That A Horror Film Has To Be Gory” - Wilson Louis

September 4th, 2010 - 2:00 pm ICT by Sampurn Wire  

September 4, 2010 (Sampurn Wire): Wilson Louis, director of “Mallika’ tells Jyothi Venkatesh that he does not want to be compared to Ram Gopal Varma or Ramsays because he wants to become India’s Stephen King

In what way is your second film “Mallika’ different from your debut film “Ho Sakta Hai’?

Though both “Ho Sakta Hai’ and “Mallika’ are horror films, I have no qualms to confess that “Mallika’ is a film which I have made for the masses. Some times you make mistakes and learn from them. Though the script of “Ho Sakta Hai’ is lying in the Oscar library, in India no one saw the film. Frankly I thought that producers would come flocking to me with bagful of money after I made “Ho Sakta Hai’. I was disappointed and even frustrated when no one came to me

What brief did you give to Sheena Nayyar who has made her debut with “Mallika’?

When I cast her for the film after Shailendra Singh of Percept suggested her name, the first thing that I told Sheena was that my work was done if she could not only scare the audience but also get scared as the character that she sets out to play.

Do you think India has a market for horror films?

Have you forgotten the fact that India has produced horror films like “Madhumati’, “Woh Kaun Thi’, “Bees Saal Baad’, “Gumnaam’ etc? They were classics made by very good directors. “Madhumati’ has been copied over a hundred times by various filmmakers including Farah Khan who made “Om Shanti Om’. They had elements of not only horror but also comedy, melodious music, super stars and glamour in abundant measure

Do you feel super stars shy away from agreeing to work in horror films?

It is wrong to say that super stars do not work in horror films. Dilip Kumar had acted in “Madhumati’, Biswajeet had worked in “Bees Saal Baad’ and Sunil Dutt had worked in “Mera Saaya’. All of a sudden stars stopped working in horror films because Ramsays started making horror films on a very low budget, with only the masses in mind, which was a very wrong step, though they may have had their own agenda. Even Ramsays have had made some very good films in the genre of horror like “Do Gaz Zameen Ke Neeche’, “Veerana’, “Darwaza’ etc but eventually the genre had to die, because it had lost out to the classes.

How were you inspired to make horror films?

Honestly, it was “Do Gaz Zameen Ke Neechey’ that inspired me to make horror films. I had seen the promo of “Do Gaz Zameen ke Neechey’ when I went to see “Sharabi’ twenty eight years ago. People took Amitabh Bachchan whereas I took along horror with me after I saw “Sharabi’. In recent times, the credit for having revived the genre of horror films ought to go to Ram Gopal Varma, who made “Raat’ with the usage of technology in terms of sound design and camera work

Since Ram Gopal Varma has made horror films like “Bhoot’, “Darna Mana Hai’, “Darna Zaroori Hai’, “Phoonk 1′ and “Phoonk 2′, do you think he is your competitor in the horror genre?

I do not have any competitor today. I do not want to compete with Ramsays or for that matter Ram Gopal Varma. I want to become Stephen King, who is the biggest super natural horror film maker today in the world

What ails the genre of horror films?

There is a very thin line between the masses as well as the classes when you set out to make a horror film. When you make a horror film, you have to spoon feed your audiences and explain the various links unlike when you make a film in any other genre. Also there is this wrong perception in the minds of people that a horror film has to be gory. I beg to be different. Not a single film of mine till date has been gory.

Why is there then a limited audience for horror films in our country?

The audience for horror films is unfortunately limited in our country. I know my audience but it is very restricted and hence I am putting commercial elements because I need to make myself as a brand to increase my audience base. I think the best way to make a horror film which will be seen by the families is to maker a horror comedy film with a U certificate. When your film is certified for adults only, your audience automatically shrinks. It is indeed amusing that the Censors come down harshly on a horror film and feel that every horror film ought to be given an A certificate, when on the small screen you have popular serial like “Aahat’, which have all time great TRPs which cater to the family audiences.

What according to you is the USP of your horror films?

Though the USP of the horror films that I make is horror, in future I want the USP of the horror films that I make to be Wilson Louis, because today there is no other filmmaker in India who is dedicated to the genre of horror films. If Ram Gopal Varma also makes “Rakta Charitra’, Ramsays are also making films other than the horror genre, whereas every film that I have made till date has been a super natural film.

When are your films like “Kalo’ and “Shout’ being released?

My next film “Kalo’ will also be released this year itself. I am quite proud of the fact that it is India’s first ever creature based super natural film which has been shot only in the day, since there is not even a single shot which has been shot at night in the film. “Shout’ which stars Seema Biswas, Sayali Bhagat and Ashish Vidyarthi will be released by December this year. It is a psychological thriller with super natural elements

What next?

I am now working on the script of my next film which will be a comedy with super natural elements. By October I will be able to announce the film. In India too super stars will slowly agree to work in super natural films, like abroad in films like “Inception’. I will be happy if I am able to approach a star and he or she agrees to be a part of my film

–Jyothi Venkatesh / Sampurn Wire

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