Jack Davis: Aiming to bring horror genre into mainstream in India
India, like the US in the past, looks down upon the horror genre as "B" grade content, says Crypt TV's Jack Davis, who is collaborating with the Mumbai-based production banner Abundantia Entertainment to help bring the genre in the top leagues.
Jack Davis and "Inglorious Bastards" fame Eli Roth started Crypt TV, an American digital horror genre content creation company, in 2015. According to Davis, India, like the US in the past, looks down upon the horror genre as "B" grade content. He is now collaborating with the Mumbai-based production banner Abundantia Entertainment to help bring the genre in the top leagues.
"I know in India, scary is looked at as sort of 'B' level. That's how it's been looked at it in America at times. But the goal is to take it to 'A' level in this country," Davis told PTI.
The 28-year-old senior executive, who was on a business trip to India, said he is looking forward to his association with Abundantia, led by Vikram Malhotra. "Taking scary to 'A' level here is very hard. We tell human stories and we do it across all mediums - movie, TV and digital. That has to be the goal," he added.
Besides increasing the fanbase in India, the core of the association with Abundantia is about co-developing ideas with homegrown talent in local language, said Davis. What horror films like "Get Out" and "A Quiet Place" did for the US, he hopes to do something similar in India with his creative partnership with Abundantia.
"Movies like 'Get Out' and 'A Quiet Place' took scary to 'A' level in the US. How did 'A Quiet Place' do that? It's not a scary movie. It's a movie about two people, husband and wife trying to protect their family and the monsters accentuate that," Davis said.
Horror, as a genre, has seen a creative boom in Hollywood with director Jordan Peele reinterpreting the "scary" to tell stories such as "Get Out" and "Us" and actor-director John Krasinski coming up with a high-concept and well-loved horror survival drama "A Quiet Place". All the three films were critically and commercially acclaimed.
Davis dismissed the notion that horror is all about "kill or scare".
"We look at scary stories as a way to talk about very deep emotions... We're telling stories about humans and unifying emotions like grief, fear and your relationship with your dad or your mom, or coming of age.
"I think we won't run out of ideas because we're touching on human emotions and, human stories last forever. Scary is just a way to accentuate the human story," said Davis.
Calling "Haunting of the Hill House" a "great" TV show, Davis said the hit Netflix horror series also delves into a family. "And sometimes, there's nothing scarier than family," he quipped.
Davis further gave an insight into what goes behind creating Crypt TV's monster universe, which has popular content like short film "The Birch", series "Ghosted" and series "The Look-See".
"When you look at Crypt monsters like 'The Look-See', our seven-foot monster suit that comes and takes a literal piece of you, you can't let go of your grief.
"Or 'Miss Annity', one of our best new monsters, it is about conforming to society's expectations we all sometimes feel. Since we're focusing on emotions, I think we'll always have fresh stories to tell," said Davis.
He argued Crypt TV is not trying to "export our characters", adding announcement on the "many" India projects that are in the works will be made in due time.
"The goal of our partnership is to both bring Crypt's monsters here and also create new stories together. We're going to co-develop both new ideas and bring our best monsters and develop them in local language with local filmmakers."
Davis said India, particularly the Mumbai-based entertainment industry -- TV and films -- has the potential to become the exporter of content.
"I think sometimes America ends up in the habit of thinking we're the centre of the world and we'll just export our media. You want it to do well here, but I think this market should be doing what the US does.
"This market should take its media with this audience, and go to us and across the world. But first it has to be truly true to this audience with filmmakers, and writers and actors from here," he added.
(With inputs from PTI)