Exactly a decade after Raaz (2002), Raaz 3 will hit the theatres with Vikram Bhatt as the director. "It’s great to reconnect with Mukeshji (Mukesh Bhatt) and the company (Vishesh Films). During Raaz, I was a young, unsure director who many thought was headed the Ramsay way. But to everyone’s surprise, Raaz brought horror back in a big way and signaled a victory for the small film," reminisces Vikram.
He’s tight-lipped about the details that will be announced soon but lets slip that Raaz 3 toplining Emraan Hashmi will probably start rolling next January and open towards the end of 2012. For now, Vikram is focussed on Dangerous Ishq that weaves past life regression into a complex, erotic supernatural thriller.
The surprise success of Haunted has given him a new technique to explore and experiment with. "Yes, both Raaz 3 and Dangerous Ishq, like Haunted, will be made in 3D. There were many who believed Haunted didn’t merit the additional expense. Some critics even added that it was a film they wouldn’t download even in 2D. But hey, it went on to become the highest grossing horror film in Hindi," Vikram exults.
Did he expect the film to do so well given that it was coming during the IPL seasons when others dared to tread? "All my horror films made money. Raaz made a lot, 1920 (2008) was a good earner and Shaapit (2009) was a ‘coverage’ film. So yes, with Haunted I knew I was in ‘safe’ territory," he admits, surprised that not many filmmakers want to dabble in this genre.
"I guess that’s because horror doesn’t lend itself to ‘feel good’ cinema which is why our A-list stars, whether in Hollywood or in Bollywood, are wary of being associated with it." Vikram seems to have found his niche in the horror genre and has even admitted to being spooked on location while shooting some of his chiller thrillers, including 1920 (2008), Shaapit (2009) and Haunted (2010). Are all his muses for real?
"Well, like the James Bond and the Star Wars franchise, horror too can’t be autobiographical. All you can do is use your own fears to try and scare the audience," he muses. So what’s Vikram Bhatt afraid of? "Plenty," he grins. "Particularly at night. I have a vivid imagination thanks to which, I see spirits that others perceive as shadows. And what’s more, I believe they are around us too."