Bhubaneswar: Recent releases such as Stree, a Hindi movie starring Rajkummar Rao and Shraddha Kapoor, and The Nun, the latest installment in the Conjuring series, has got moviegoers hooked to the horror genre again.
Gone are the days when a Hindi horror movie was stereotyped with a white saree clad woman walking with a candle in a dark stormy night or the shrieking of owls, combined with mind numbing level of predictability.
However, recently some of the horror movies and web horror series such as Pizza, Pari, Stree and Ghoul, to name a few, with their novelty have again made horror a cash cow genre.
With Panic Shorts, the first-ever Odia horror series, Odisha has also debuted in the digital world with horror as the genre. The series was premiered on YouTube September 10 and since then it has become the talk of the town.
Interacting with Orissa POST, Roshan Bisoi, writer of the series, said, “I was never a fan of jump scares and makeup. In fact, I was never a fan of any horror element.” However, when the idea of writing a new-age horror script was conceived which mostly relied on conversational scenes, I got interested, as it was an out-of-the-box thing, he added. Bisoi claimed that the present generation horror genre has “significantly improved in terms of quality.” Pointing out the latest horror web series Ghoul and the American horror flick Get Out which was shortlisted in the final list of Best Picture at the 90th Academy Awards, Bisoi said, “Gone are the days when someone wearing a mask would come up and would yell “Boooo” and you would fall off your seat, scared. Now, it is more about the story, the idea.”
Barsha Patnaik, the actress in the series, said, “I think the genre (horror) is redefining itself for good. As you mentioned, movies like Stree and series like Ghoul are the kind of stuff the horror genre needs. The taste will develop only when there is a constant supply of quality content.”
Panic Shorts is directed by Anupam Patnaik, who earlier directed the first Odia biopic Tulaasi Apa. The series which consists of five episodes was shot in six days in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Narangarh.
For filmmaker Amartya Bhattacharya horror is a “strange genre.” “It only tries to scare you. The genre works well because it easily connects. Any other film, be it emotional or intellectual, might fail to connect because people have varied perceptions and receptive skills. But horror usually scares most people. The only problem I see in this genre is that cinema takes a back-seat,” he said. He lamented that the over-emphasis on scary elements takes the focus away from cinema making the films “lousy”. The only horror film that I love is The Shining by Stanley Kubrick, he added. The ‘impact without thought-provocation’ factor in horror movies might appeal to a lot of people in our country, Bhattacharya pointed out.