A magic box that grants wishes. A tale of a girl who is haunted by an unknown ghost throughout her life. The psychological horror film Horror Stories, directed by Sayan Basu Chowdhury, is set to release this Friday in theatres. A candid chat...
Sayan Basu Chowdhury
We have grown up on a steady dose of Bengali ghost stories. Does Horror Stories take off from that?
Horror Stories definitely takes off from there. Both the shorts are also heavily inspired from urban legends, like certain cultures believing in spirits possessing certain objects, how our fate is predetermined and also depends to a certain degree on our actions.
What is the genesis of Horror Stories?
The concept for both the stories came from a simple idea that how our decisions can sometimes take us down a rabbit hole of destruction and death.
Tell us about the storylines?
Alivia Sarkar Sourced by the correspondent
The first story, Chinese Box, starring Alivia Sarkar, is about a girl who finds a magic box that grants wishes, and its after effects. The second story, starring Rupsha Mukhopadhyay and Mainak Banerjee, depicts a tale of a girl who is haunted by an unknown ghost throughout her life. What the ghost stands for metaphorically forms its crux.
Why make an anthology?
Growing up, anthologies like Creepshow, Goosebumps and certain other films have always made me curious about how different stories are all tied through a single thread. The idea of exploring this made me create Horror Stories.
How did you zero in on the cast?
Choosing the cast was a hard job as I wanted people with skill and also having some resemblance with the characters. I used to close my eyes and think who would match which character. Alivia came to my mind first for the story of Chinese Box, followed by Rupsha Mukhopadhyay and Mainak for the next story. Luckily they all agreed at one go after hearing the script. Alivia Sarkar plays Ananya. Supratim Saha plays Raj. Rupsha Mukhopadhyay plays Amrita and Mainak Banerjee plays her lover Prodyut.
How was the shooting experience?
The shooting experience was both wonderful and hectic and the entire film was shot in 11 days. Good thing was that I never felt under any pressure due to all the cast members doing their homework and giving top notch performances with ease. Everyone understood their characters properly. Got to learn a lot from all the artistes working here.
Does the film send out a message?
Yes, the film gives out a simple message that your decisions decide your fate. So choose wisely between good and bad.
What were the most challenging horror scenes to shoot and why?
Our motto is not to scare the audience but tell good stories. If a good jumpscare comes then well and good, otherwise not to force anything and make a detour from the original storyline. There was a scene showing a freak accident in the film, which was really tough to shoot as it involved green screen and as it was my first time working with one, it took a lot of effort.
One day we were shooting a sequence inside a car in New Town late at night... the actors were supposed to give out a loud shout. Unfortunately, a police patrol car stopped our shoot thinking someone may have been abducted. They let us go after seeing our cameras and equipment.
Who are your fave horror film-makers?
My favourite is Mike Flanagan, for he is one of the few directors who focuses on characters and how real horror lies within all of us rather than showing stupid jumpscares and artificial CGI ghosts.
Did any spooky incident happen during shoot?
Nothing spooky really happened during shoot but on the first day of our edit just as the hard drive was connected to the computer, we lost power of the entire area. Paranormal incident or a coincidence, I don’t know!