The other day, while I was heading home late in the night, my friends tried to prank me by making weird noises. Imagine being alone in a parking lot, which is absolutely silent and suddenly you hear a scream and a couple of whispers. In their head, they were trying to scare the wits out of me. But did I shit my pants? Not at all!
Blame it on all the Bollywood horror movies I've grown up watching, but my idea of scary isn't the obvious. What my friends did was so cliché that it actually got me thinking of all the other such tricks that are typical to almost every Bollywood horror movie.
This also made me realize that we're still faraway from making a genuinely scary horror flick that could actually give you nightmares. Because honestly speaking, if you find a woman in a white saree aimlessly walking on the streets in the night, you'd probably want to help her out (given the safety conditions in our country), let alone be terrified!
So I decided to list down 15 such Bollywood horror movie clichés, which totally put the bhoot community to shame, every time a Bollywood horror film that uses them.
1. A 100-year-old haveli and a 200-year-old watchman guarding it
For a haveli to qualify as an ideal set for a spooky movie, it has to be in the middle of nowhere and has to be guarded by a creepy-looking old man, who himself needs some rescuing. But looks like the old guy has his scene sorted by making peace with the ghosts that haunt the house and is YOLO-ing the last few days of his life in the big-ass haunted mansion.
2. A bunch of idiots who want some 'adventure' in their stupid lives
Horror movies generally start off with a couple of happy friends who hate their happiness so much that they end up in a jungle or worse, a haveli. I mean, if you desire adventure so much, then just go trekking or rafting. Why take a stroll in a graveyard at 3 AM? But, like always, they never learn!
3. Bipasha Basu
Okay, this one is based on a recent trend. Before this, we had Urmila Matondkar leading the brigade, followed by Ram Gopal Verma's favorite girl Nisha Kothari. But, you know it's a horror movie when you have one of these women and the poster looks something like, well, THIS!
On the brighter side, she's got great teeth!
4. The car breaks down. ALWAYS!
A car breaking down is no big deal, right? But not when it's in a horror movie because then you know something is bound to happen to someone. Also, this would always happen in a secluded place or around a creepy AF haveli. Somebody has got to demolish these havelis!
5. Forget people, even your phone's signal will abandon you
Looks like your phone signal is the smartest out of the lot. It knows when something horrific is about to happen and the first thing it does is ditch you there and then. For God's sake get yourself some Airtel 4G- the girl in the ad probably cares more about you than you do.
6. You see a ghost in the mirror, or not!?
Okay, this one has got us confused. While some movies show that you can't see ghosts in the mirror, others find them staring right back. But whatever be the movie, you have got to stay away from the mirror. Or spend extra time admiring yourself in it!
7. Poornima ya Amavasya ki raat
This is the moon logic when it comes to horror movies. The ghosts are the most powerful on a no-moon night, because it's pitch dark. Like, seriously!
8. Absolutely random love songs, because Bollywood
There's something called the 'feel' of a movie. When it comes to Bollywood horror, all the feels only go into making a romantic number. But we aren't blaming them, because that's probably the only original content we get to see!
9. The big, bad tree
There's always a huge tree in the middle of a forest and after every five scenes, a 360-degree shot of that tree would appear, with some jarring background score. It's unfair how a poor tree is always dragged into this.
We're with you, Mr. Bargad/Peepal!
10. The TV has got to switch on, even during a power cut
We don't blame anyone for this. After all, even ghosts deserve to Netflix and chill, right?
11. The ghost can wait, but sex, NEVER!
This is as typical as it gets! The lead couple has to have their dirty time in the middle of nowhere. It's creepy and extremely unhygienic but who cares, right? But hey, while we understand your need for privacy, it doesn't mean you invade that of the ghosts by sexing it up in their effin' hood. Not done!
12. Failed attempts by religious preachers or exorcism specialists
Every time a pandit or a priest fails to shoo the evil spirit away, it really makes me question their professionalism! The pandit would give the guy an Om neckpiece, but that would certainly lose its powers, right in the climax. So what does the hero do now? Well, he fights the ghost by himself and finally wins using some meta-level mind games. WTF!
13. The funny sidekick who HAS to die
There's always got to be a sidey friend cracking lame jokes throughout the movie. If you're bored and how with his presence, worry not, for by the time the film comes to an end, he won't be alive. Thank God for small mercies!
14. A warning dream that's creepy AF
Either the hero's girlfriend or the mother has a horrific dream and warns him about avoiding a situation similar to what they saw in the nightmare. But does he listen? Obviously NOT! He's macho and he is scared of nothing. Till of course, an evil spirit comes disguised as a seductress and kicks his ego in the balls. Should've listened to you mum, Mr. Hero!
15. Kids are more prone to evil spirits than flu
If it's a typical haunted house kind of a story, then you know who's going to be the first one to be possessed. Why can't the kids stopped from messing around locked attics or dumped basements? Because then, we'll have no plot points!
Bollywood, we really need to get creative here. Now!