In the hall of horror

In the hall of horror

In the hall of horror

It’s 3 in the morning. It’s still dark and you are walking up to the kitchen to get a glass of water. And just when you are there, you hear the door creaking. A gust of spine-chilling air brushes your face. You can hear somebody behind you... Does this seem familiar?  It could probably be a scene straight out of a horror movie or perhaps the hangover of watching one!

Horror films are as popular or even more among young moviegoers these days. Take ‘The Conjuring’ for  instance. Forget the fear factor,  young people just want to lap it up.

Anindita Barua, a graduate of Jyoti Nivas College, says she likes watching horror films and never gets bored of it.  “I have a fondness for suspense and I am always curious to know what will happen next. Though I sometimes get scared and jump out of my seat and scream, I don’t think anything can take away my fascination for horror flicks. I usually go with my sister or friends; I can never dare to watch a horror movie alone.”

 So what’s it that makes horror movies tick?  Dr Roshan Jain, senior consultant psychiatrist at Apollo Hospitals, says that these films today have become more like ‘horror thrillers’. “Horror, or in this case, a thriller gives one a sense of excitement. These kinds of movies release adrenaline which increases blood supply and gives a nice feeling.”

The impact of horror movies, he says, depends on an individual’s personality. “While for some watching a horror flick can bring them out of their mundane and boring life, the same movie can be disturbing for others. It could even lead to disturbed sleep patterns,” he adds.

He highlights that it is not a good idea to take children below a certain age for such movies as they don’t have the ability to differentiate between reality and fantasy. Adults, on the other hand, can rationalise content and have an idea that these movies are dramatised to give out the needed (scary) effect. “These films tend to have a lasting impact on the minds of children. They can suffer from nightmares, anxiety and insomnia. Parents need to be careful and conscious of what they are exposing their children to and at what age,” he details.

Talk about an unusual idea or content that can play with the psychology of the audiences and young filmmaker Akshay Sidharth says, “There has to be an after-effect of watching a movie. I watch a lot of horror movies. I want to try my hand at making one. I have a few concepts written, but to make a horror movie, there is a lot of money involved and I don’t have enough funds.” So what makes him a fan of these movies? He says, “It is largely the visual and sound effects that make me want to watch them. The real thrill is after watching it and it plays on my mind. Watching a movie post-midnight is exciting. I also read a lot of books on horror and my father shares a lot of scary stories too.”

He is of the opinion that only a few movies like ‘The Conjuring’, ‘The Exorcist’ and ‘The Exorcism of Emily Rose’ have had that impact on him. “Movies based on true stories attract a lot of attention. I still remember a  scene from the movie, ‘The Exorcism of Emily Rose’, where the clock stops as soon as it strikes 3 in the morning. Even now, if I happen to get up at that time, I get chills and just cannot go back to sleep. Some scenes just get stuck in your head.”

Akshay believes that a good horror movie needs a lot of research. “These movies have a lot of aspects to be kept in mind and within a limited time. The movie should create an impact otherwise it may turn out to be a comedy film,” he says.

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