“The atmosphere of a film is the most important thing. Very early on I was fascinated by the moods and atmospheres which emanate from places and people. People in certain situations – in moments of terror, for example – especially interest me. They live more intensely, and we’re able to learn more about who they really are.” — Roman Polanski.
As a child ,during the long hours of power cut during summers, I loved to recreate my dark world of vampires, witches wizards, ghosts, demons, werewolves, dragons and other rulers of the dark. If friends or cousins were around then it would add to the fun. Each one will put a white sheet over the head and hold a lighted torch inside to give the effect of a walking ghost .We would do planchet, spin up stories, enact them, fantasize about scary creatures and walking dead .My mom and the rest of the family thought it was completely outrageous but never stopped us .
That was the beginning of my interest in the world of darkness .I started reading whatever I could lay my hands on. There were not many books available at that time and movies were out of question.
Director John Carpenter said “Fear is the most powerful emotion in the human race and fear of the unknown is probably the most ancient. You’re dealing with stuff that everybody has felt; from being little babies we’re frightened of the dark, we’re frightened of the unknown. If you’re making a horror film you get to play with the audiences feelings.”
As a teenager I developed my interest and watched some of the best horror movies (I prefer to call them movies of ‘unexplained’) and read some good books on the subject. I took a liking to science fiction, fantasy, super powers, paranormal and the supernatural, psycho killers. I began to think of having psychic abilities and maybe I did have.
Watching horror movies in the darkness of a movie theater was one big experience. Unfortunately, I discovered that most of these movies were either comic or gross .When I watched Exorcist ,I was 12yrs old and there were hardly any people in the theater .We had decided to watch the 9-12 show .The movies made me laugh. I have seen my fair share of good horror movies and bad horror movies. Too many films are out now-a-days that contain pointless gore.
In a good horror movie there is always one scene that opens up the perceived realm of normality to that of fear and confusion.
What a true horror movie fan would want is they have to be unexpected, original, and tense, have brilliant acting, and involve your worst nightmare .We like the adrenaline pumping through our body, making our hearts race and reach for the cushion. We all like a good scare.
For me; a good horror movie needs to be a cross between horror and thriller. I personally get confused sometimes between the horror and thriller genre because they are too similar sometimes, but it would be great if the two were mixed together so brilliantly. I need to have that tension, I need to have that chase, that gore, that torture, but most of all, and I need to be convinced. For me, sometimes the ‘horror’ is best not to be seen, or never found out. When I am left guessing, I like it.
In Bollywood we hardly had good horror movies ever. There were some interesting movies like Mahal, Hawa, Naina, Raaz, Kaun etc.
These are movies I have watched and most of them I loved .They cover all the genres that I was looking for.
The Exorcist – (1973, William Friedkin) (avoidable)
Psycho – (1960, Alfred Hitchcock)
Jaws – (1975, Steven Spielberg)
The Silence of the Lambs – (1991, Jonathan Demme) (average)
The Sixth Sense – (1999, M. Night Shyamalan) (v good)
Bride of Frankenstein – (1935, James Whale)
Frankenstein – (1931, James Whale)
Rosemary’s Baby – (1968, Roman Polanski) (awesome)
A Nightmare on Elm Street – (1984, Wes Craven) (awesome)
Dawn of the Dead – (1978, George A. Romero) (good)
The Phantom of the Opera – (1962, Terence Fisher) (v good)
The Omen – (1976, Richard Donner) (v good)
Bram Stoker’s Dracula – (1992, Francis Ford Coppola)
Scream – (1996, Wes Craven)
Friday the 13th – (1980, Sean S. Cunningham) (awesome)
What Lies Beneath – (2000, Robert Zemeckis) (very good)
Night of the Living Dead – (1990, Tom Savini) (awesome)
When a stranger calls (awesome)
Fingerprints (v good)
X-Men series (must watch)
AeonFlux (must watch)
Planet of Apes
Stalker (must watch)
The day the Earth stood still
Close encounters of the third kind
Pirates of the Caribbean (must watch)
Premonition (must watch)
The Covenant (awesome)
I hope someday movies will be made which have original subject line and can really keep us glued to the seats which will take the horror movie genre to the next level and give millions of fans something to rejoice.