Director Anees Bazmee is all set to delve into the horror genre with his upcoming film Bhool Bulaiyaa 2, starring Kartik Aaryan, Kiara Advani and Tabu. The film, a sequel to Bhool Bhulaiyaa, the 2007 Hindi film starring Akshay Kumar and Vidya Balan, will have more horror elements and will not be a psychological thriller like the last one, says Bazmee.
“Bhool Bhulaiyaa was an outstanding film and it was definitely a challenge to make a sequel to it. The first film was a psychological thriller, but my version is a proper ghost story. Of course, there are a lot of thrilling aspects to it but these will not be psychological. The film will revolve more around the horror aspect.”
The director, who has previously helmed hit comedy films like Welcome and No Entry, is experimenting with the horror genre for the first time here.
“The genre has expanded so much and doesn’t only rely on unnecessary jump scares that were used earlier to attract audiences,” he notes. “Loud music, jerky shots will always be contributors to thrill when it comes to horror films. But, nowadays, there is no whitish scary makeup or irrational scare sequences. Instead, we pay more attention to the anticipation of the audience and how we can surprise them with the narrative itself.”
Bhool Bulaiyaa 2 is set to release on March 25, 2022. The film, however, is completely ready, says the director.
“We decided to release it next year because there are several other people eager to release their films to avoid further losses. We can feel their pain and so we wanted to give them a chance first. Of course, there is also the question of competition as many films are releasing by the end of this year and we don’t want the schedule very crowded.”
The shooting of Bhool Bulaiyaa 2 began before the pandemic struck. But the film was wrapped only in September this year. The director says the pandemic delayed the production a lot and also increased the costs immensely.
“Last March, we were in Lucknow when [the Covid-19 pandemic] started and then the shooting had to stop. I went to my home in Lonavala and stayed there through the lockdown. When we attempted to restart shooting after the lockdown by erecting a huge set and preparing other production needs, some of our crew members got infected by Covid-19. So, the shoot stopped again. Thankfully, we were somehow able to complete filming this year.”
The makers decided on a theatrical release instead of going the OTT route because the film was envisaged for the big screen, says Bazmee. “If it had to go to OTT, my approach towards this film would have been very different.”
The climax of Bhool Bulaiyaa 2 is something the audience should watch out for, the filmmaker adds. “It is larger than life and people will witness something new in the climax. Tabu has done a fabulous job and so have Kiara and Kartik. All of them have done so much justice to their roles. In fact, during the shoot of the climax scene, Kartik was so into it that he even hurt his vocal cords from all the shouting.”
“But it all turned out great in the end,” Bazmee affirms.
The director is currently looking at three other scripts, but says it is too premature to talk about them now.
When asked about his long-overdue film with Salman Khan, however, Bazmee chuckles and simply says, “No comments.”