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Q&A With Rahul Nath, Director of MONSTER

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Name a Horror character you relate to on a spiritual level? Who is your Horror spirit animal?
I would say that would be Damien from Omen. If you are going to go for it why not be the spawn of evil himself and plan to take over the world. But on a serious note I believe if given a choice he wasn’t evil, he was born into it and that makes him sympathetic. This specifically shows when he kills his brother.

You’ve gotta go through some bad ideas to get to the good ones. Tell us one of your bad ideas. How do you get past the bad ones to find your spark?
The worst idea I ever had is one where a person is denied entry to heaven due to overcrowding so he decides to go to hell for transit. It was supposed to be a horror comedy but soon got gory and by the end the protagonist ended up romancing Lucifer. The best way to get past these ideas are a) Keep writing b) watch a lot of Hitchcock c) Keep writing

Do you consider yourself part of a horror community?
Absolutely. I started watching Horror around age 6. I was the only person in my family who was drawn to it. To make a good nuanced horror movie is one of the hardest things for any filmmaker. Plus, who does not love being scared. It’s not flight or fight. It is flight or fright.

When you’re building the world of your film, where do you look for inspiration?
I try to build worlds which I have seen, which I have experienced so in a sense I base the world on reality. I do not want to have a world people cannot relate to because horror is best when people feel it could happen to them too.

As an example, while writing and directing Monster the movie was inspired by a very small real-life incident. I was buying some dvd’s back in the day and a person around the same age as my father (55-60) was standing near me. He looked like a “normal person”- office attire, family man and someone you would see around the neighborhood until he asked the shopkeeper to give him a DVD where bad things happen to animals. That to me signifies Monster, they are all around us but they blend in.

What would you do if you woke up inside of your film?
Not trust a father and daughter who go around offering free meals to beggars.

Who would be on your ultimate horror villain squad?
Annie Wilkes (The ruthless one), Damien (The Leader), Freddy Krueger (The cunning one), Sadako (The one who misleads)

Lightning round: Freddy or Jason? Stephen King or H.P. Lovecraft? Practical or CGI? Post Apocalypse or Pre Apocalypse?
Freddy, Stephen King, Practical, Pre Apocalypse

How do you go about creating the props and sets for your film? How do you create objects that are relatable but unfamiliar?
We have one fixed rule while writing the screenplay. The story should be designed such that it could easily play out anywhere. Therefore, although the textures of the world may be associated with a certain city or a country, the set and screenplay will be constructed in a manner that is not uncommon to anyone.

Coming back to Monster, the movie, as I saw it wasn’t about the evil deeds of the characters but about a parent’s love for his child. That is relatable across the world. So once I had that down I designed a small world which would emulate an area which could be found in any city around the globe. So we change the textures, colors and feel of the world but the set itself should be something relatable as horror is best when we know it can grab us anywhere.

And finally, Ghostface would like to know ‘What’s your favourite scary movie?’
It was Psycho until The Wailing came about and now all I think about is why I could not be a part of that movie!