Emraan Hashmi has acted in a number of horror films such as Raaz 2 (2009) and Ek Thi Daayan (2013). In the recent past, horror movies have failed to strike a chord with the audience. However, internationally, the genre seems to be doing well at the box office. Ask the actor why the genre is not as popular in India, and he says, “Fewer horror films are not only being made in India, but also in the West, because not many film-makers dabble with the genre. Horror is not seen as part of popular culture. More drama and comedy films are being made now.”
Emraan adds that not many horror films are nominated in the award categories too. “At the most, they are nominated for the special effects in the film. A horror movie doesn’t make a lasting impact on people who are the custodians [of cinema], or who dictate what cinema is. If I take up a horror film, I will not hope for a best actor award (chuckles),” he says.
The Azhar actor takes up horror movies “purely because it is an entertaining genre”. “I watch a lot of horror films, and the reactions you get in the theatre are unlike how people react to other genres. You can see people scream out of fear. The next moment, you will hear people giggling out of embarrassment. It’s an unusual response. I find that interesting,” says Emraan.
Citing a Hollywood example, he says, “The Conjuring series almost achieved a cult status. For a long time, one hadn’t seen a good horror film made in the West. In the ’70s, film-makers helmed movies such as the The Omen (1976) and The Exorcist (1973) that went on to become popular. Then, there was a lull. The Conjuring helped revive the horror genre,” says Emraan.