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The chills and thrills of 1920

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New Delhi (UNI) After the "chills and thrills" of Ram Gopal Varma's Phoonk, Horror films seem to be back in focus in Tinsel town with 1920, filmmaker Vikram Bhatt's attempt to recreate the success of 2003 superhit horror flick Raaz, drawing in the crowds in cinema halls across the country.

A period horror film dealing with the supernatural, 1920, being produced by Vikram Bhatt himself along with ASA Production and Enterprises Pvt. Ltd. (of Mumbai Salsa fame), is proving to be another hit cinematic venture in the horror genre this year after the surprise success of Phoonk.

What makes the film's good showing at the box office all the more satisfying is that despite being pitted against a movie like The Last Year, boasting of an ensemble cast comprising superstar Amitabh Bachchan, the current rock star Arjun Rampal and top ranking actress Preity Zinta, 1920 is drawing in more crowds.

This is notwithstanding the fact that 1920 features in the lead two new talents, debutantes Rajneesh Duggal, a well-known model, and Adah Sharma in the female lead. Infact, those associated with the film claim it has taken a bigger opening than even Phoonk, the only other film of the horror genre to release this year.

Set in the year 1920, the film traces the love story of an Indian boy and an Anglo Indian girl. An architect, Arjun (Rajneesh) manages to win an assignment that involves the breaking down of an ancient, but beautiful castle-like house in a hill station and construct a hotel instead. The house is isolated in the wilderness has a secret.

It is waiting for the curse to come true. For years everyone who bought the house and tried to pull it down died under strange circumstances. It is like the building has a will and life of its own.

Arjun' and his wife Lisa (Adah) move into the house. The haunting begins. Strange and inexplicable events start taking place. The curse says they will not survive. They will have to depend on the love and faith if they are to come out of this alive.

Trade sources said 1920 opened on Friday to nearly 60 per cent collections in metros like Mumbai and Delhi, which was slightly better than those of The Last Lear. The collections also remained steady during the week days.

The sources attribute the good showing of 1920 when compared to The Last Lear to the fact that while the latter being an English Language film is appealing to only a particular section of the audience, the former being a Hindi film is targeted at the general audience. This coupled with fact that after success of Phoonk, the audience curiosity for horror movies genre has increased.

Those associated with the film, however, assert that the encouraging response to 1920 is due to its unique storyline where for the first time a period setting has been blended with the supernatural.

Says the producer Director Vikram Bhatt, ''I saw in my mind a horse drawn carriage through the mist and a castle. That is all that I had when I started thinking about 1920. It was an instinct that when the period setting will blend with supernatural it will produce something unseen.'' For the success of 1920 is sweet more so since it is first hit in several years, with several of his directorial venture over the last few years evoking a lukewarm audience response at the box office.
"For six years I have seen my films not performing well at the box office. Now with 1920, I am happy to have come out of the bad phase. It has been a long wait, but at last, I tasted success. It should only get better from here on," he said.

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