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How to make a Ramsay Horror Flick...

By: Moses Navgire, IndiaFM

Friday, May 19, 2006

With the success of films like Bhoot, Darna Mana Hai and Raaz among others, there was a sudden boom of Horror films in Bollywood. Now the wave of Horror is back with Darna Zaroori Hai that released recently and a couple more flicks from the genre to hit the theatres soon.

But when we talk of Horror films, one name which is inseparable from the horror genre is the Ramsays. Much before Ram Gopal Varmas of the industry, the Ramsays had a monopoly in Bollywood when it came to horror films. Till just a few years back, the horror films domain was in a way dominated by the Ramsay brothers. When most of the film makers were reluctant of making a horror movie, the Ramsays kept churning out the 'scary movies' from their production house year after year. From Do Gaz Zameen Ke Neechey, Darwaza, Hotel, Purana Mandir to the only 3D horror film till date - Saamri they specialized in all kinds of horror.

But what's interesting about these films is that they all had certain typical elements common to them. We at our IndiaFM research laboratory did an in-depth study of these films to find which ingredients when mixed, constituted the secret formula to make a Ramsay flick.

Not many are aware that after a hiatus, Deepak Ramsay of the Ramsay family is striking back with a horror flick this week titled Aatma. On the eve of the revival of the Ramsays, here's disclosing to you the exclusive formula on 'How to make a Ramsay Horror Film' in 14 simple steps.

  • The film must always have a dark, flashback beginning. It begins with the killing of a demon possessed person or a freaky sage by a group of villagers on the orders of Gaon ka Thakur. But before dying, our to-be-ghost swears that he will return back and destroy the Thakur clan completely. Note that you shouldn't destroy the remains of this person completely. Always bury it, so that it looks logical when you awaken the dead.

  • Now the film should time travel roughly by 100-150 yrs A.D. (after demon). The mood changing completely far from being scary. The descendants of the Thakur now live in an urban area. The daughter of the last left Thakur is the last descendant and the heroine of the film.

  • The heroine should be "ultra modern" which means she should be very "open". And by open we don't just mean open-minded. Skimpily dressed most of the time, she should readily display of her assets. Her entry should also titillate the audiences, with her coming out from the shower and her body covered with just a towel. The heroine is a college student and that is where we'll get the other characters.

  • On the sets of college use all your production assistants and production boys to fill in as college students in the background to create a college ambience. Though it may seem like most of them have never been to a college before, but that's ok. It saves lot of cost. Besides who cares about them when the actress is doing the skin show.

  • Our heroine has a small friend circle in college and a boy friend styled like Anil Kapoor from Tezaab. Do we need to say that he is the hero of the film? The best thing about making a horror film by Ramsay method is that it doesn't require big stars in lead. Just sign up some struggling wannabe actors or superstars of Bhojpuri Films. They might not be well known but ultimately, they will cost you 2% of your whole production budget and which film producer won't be happy with that!

  • But still if you wish to add some star value to your film, you can sign up a known face in Bollywood for the role of tough muscle man of the group. Check if Punit Isssar is still interested in college student roles or else even Hemant Birje will do equal justice to the character.

  • Coming back to the story, these people chill out, make out, never study and one fine day, suddenly decide to go out for a picnic. And of all the possible places on earth, they decide to go to the Thakur's old Haveli. So a group of 3 guys (hero, muscle man and a nerdy boy) and 2 girls (heroine and her sexy friend) begin their journey unaware of the fact that they are racing closer to their death. The famous Ramsay's spooky theme music keeps playing in the background.

  • Finally, they reach the haunted Haveli. It is dark and misty place miles away from human habitation. After 15 mins of yelling 'Koi Hai??' a small lantern appears at a distance. On coming closer, you see this old man with the half burnt face. His face is so scary that he will give an inferiority complex to the all ghosts from Evil Dead. Meet 85.2 yrs old 'Ramu Kaka' who happens to be the sole caretaker of this 100 bhk Haveli. He is the one person who amazingly survives in this haunted mansion. Despite his repeated warnings to the group to go back to the city and stay away from the haveli, the group gives him a deaf ear and still step in the bhoot bangle.

  • The Haveli should be a very dusty place with spider webs all over. The art director will have to work very hard here. In spite of the spooky feel to the place, this people lead a normal life there. You can add some chills and thrills like the ladies screaming at the drop of a spider on their shoulders or when the guys tap their shoulders from behind. These people get excited about the place and in that excitement read out a mantra from an old manuscript over a small puppet doll they find in the basement of the Haveli. Though Ramu Kaka objects and stops them, they don't listen. And the dead bhoot awakens finally.

  • That night as the clock strikes 12, the winds start hitting the windows, curtains sway and they hear scary howls. An owl sits at the bedroom window making the actress scream again.(Talking about the equipments, you need to have a couple of fog machines, big fans on the sets all the time. Also, few litres of fake blood is a necessity on sets.)

  • The killings start. The third guy (other than hero and muscle man) in the group is a weak nerdy person, in short an easy prey. He gets killed in his room by two hands popping out from his bed and choking him.

  • There is no electricity here, so life generally runs on candle light. It is amazing to see the amount of light one small flame can generate. It is brighter than a halogen bulb. Few days after the first killing, the second girl goes out for a bath to the nearby pond at 2 am. You can add a lot of cleavage show as she obviously has to be in swimwear. The evil power kills her in the river. Now, to lighten this tensed atmosphere, cast Joginder the funny man, to make the audiences laugh. Joginder is an amazingly talented artist who can make audiences laugh in any situation. The man is a boon to the industry.

  • Now the lead hero and muscle man decide to kill the ghost. They try to find the way to kill the bhoot. They discover a secret tomb in the Haveli where the bhoot was buried. Unexpectedly, the bhoot attacks them. Without second thoughts, rope in Aniruddh Agarwal as the bhoot. The man is a professional and understands the psychology and depth of the character very well and will portray the emotions of the bhoot perfectly. And this guy will save your makeup cost as he has naturally scary look.

  • The strong muscle man fights the ghost to help the hero and heroine to escape. The muscle man falls weak in front of the ghost though and gets killed. The hero and heroine escape and run and run and run, from the jungle and fields. They run miles and miles but still can't escape the ghost. The bhoot within no time reaches the jungle and attacks them in the middle of the jungle. Now the hero starts fighting the ghost, till that time, the actress accidentally finds a helpful sage (Rajesh Vivek - he's the long bearded Guran from Lagaan). The wise sage suggests that there are 3 ways to kill the ghost. Either use the trishul in the temple nearby to kill bhoot, or expose him to sunlight or burn that small puppet they read mantra on. The hero who is still fighting the bhoot gets hurt badly. He faints down and the bhoot starts chasing the heroine. The tantrik baba then does the trick and with magical powers from god strengthens the hero. The hero wakes up again and using one of the above methods (make your choice), kills the bhoot.

So you see that's the easiest and the most economical recipe to churn out a Ramsay horror! Ready to serve... 

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