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From Prime’s Chhorii to Netflix's Ghoul, a look at why makers prefer OTT for horror genre

Film producer and trade business analyst Girish Johar says makers of horror content are preferring OTTs because they save cost on marketing and distribution.

November 26, 2021 / 07:14 PM IST

Finding less traction on the big screen, creators of horror content are banking on streaming platforms to increase the appeal of the genre among the Indian audience.

Crypt TV, an American digital horror genre content creation company, founded in 2015 by Jack Davis that has partnered with the production banner Abundantia Entertainment released its first Indian production, the Hindi horror venture Chhori that was released on Amazon Prime Video on November 26.

"OTT (over the top) platform has the best potential for the horror genre. The thing about this genre is that it caters to a global audience irrespective of language and this is what makes it more suitable for OTT. Also, the demographic of the audience that OTT caters to works well for the genre. The young audience likes horror content. Plus, it allows Hindi films to reach a global audience. Scary stories are global stories," Davis told Moneycontrol.

Film producer and trade business analyst Girish Johar said makers are preferring OTTs because they save cost on marketing and distribution.

Also, OTT is self censorship, unlike a theatrical release where such films get an adult certificate and that makes it difficult at box office. So, it is less risky in terms of an OTT release," said Johar.

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In the last few years, streaming platforms have offered a lot of content in the horror category unlike far and few horror ventures on the big screen.

From Netflix's Ghoul which is among the platform's most popular titles to Amazon Prime Video's Chhorii, many OTT platforms have invested in the horror content as the genre has a sticky audience.

Along with Ghoul, Netflix came out with a thriller series called Typewriter, and three films including Ghost Stories, Bulbul and Kaali Khuhi. Other OTTs have offered shows like Parchhayee: Ghost Stories by ZEE5, Booo Sabki Phategi by ALTBalaji, among others.

There is and will be increasing acceptance for this genre, said Davis who thinks that scary in India is looked down upon like in America sometimes.

He wants to do what horror ventures like Get Out and A Quiet Place did in the US.

Johar said that horror is one of the most successful genres, especially when mixed with comedy. "Many makers are trying to make it less risky and make it more audience friendly," he added.

Horror comedies have fared well at the Indian box office. Ajay Devgn and Tabu-starrer Golmaal Again that released in 2017 had collected over Rs 200 crore at the Indian box office. The 2018 venture Stree had entered the Rs 100 crore club by doing a business of Rs 124 crore.

Davis, who thinks that the horror genre has the potential to grow in India, said that the success of this category on OTT can translate into its success on the big screen as well.

"OTTs can create a lot of chatter. It will create a better culture around scary films," said Davis.
Maryam Farooqui
first published: Nov 26, 2021 07:14 pm
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