Indian filmmaker Bishal Dutta explores his culture through horror – El Sol de México

The director of Hindu origin Bishal Dutta grew up listening to horror stories about demons from Hindu culture, and today he brings those anecdotes to the cinema with the film “Don’t Open It”, where an entity torments a teenager.

In interview with The Sun of Mexico, explained that the inspiration for this script came to him since he was very young, and came from an experience of his grandfather. “When he was a young man in India, he went to a friend’s house, and his daughter was carrying a jar and she was talking to him,” he says.

“One time my grandfather told her that there was nothing in that jar, but she got upset, opened it and threw something at him. Absolutely nothing came of it, but then she started having paranormal experiences,” she added.

For the process of writing the libretto, he resorted to some texts on Hindu mythology, and also discovered the existence of some rituals that for centuries have been believed to help people free themselves from evil.

In that process he realized that his story was not only going to scare those who knew those horrors, because “horror is a universal language, it transcends borders, because something that scares in one country will probably scare in another. “It’s a way to share stories and find common ground.”

The film, starring Megan Suri, follows the life of a girl who seeks to get away from her Hindu roots to fit in at school, but is forced to re-approach her culture when one of her friends is abducted by a mysterious entity that appeared in the stories they heard when they were children.

Addressing the conflict of identity also arises from his own experience, since having grown up in the United States, he experienced firsthand the transition between two worlds, and he considers that a story of this genre allows him to explore it in an organic way.

“It’s something I haven’t seen in a movie, as I grew up I felt trapped in being Indian and being American, it’s a very difficult thing. That’s why I wanted to make a horror film, the most honest way to portray that internal conflict is to externalize it in the form of horror.”

“I hope that those who go to the cinema feel different in some way, because I think this film is close to everyone because we have felt that way at some point. I hope people see that what makes them different makes them special in some way,” he added.


Bishal shared that it was very important to him that the monster that appears in the film be realistic and terrifying, so he turned to Hollywood prosthetics expert Todd Masters.

“We talked about the challenges of translating the sketches into 3D and making it feel like a living creature that exists in our reality. Making it feel inhuman and tangible was the hardest thing,” he noted.

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As detailed, a person was wearing the suit, which was complemented with the technology used by animatronics, for the movements of their tongue. In his opinion, having someone inside a suit makes it more terrifying.

“There were some CGI modifications, like the faces on their chest, and the way they screamed, that was added later. It was our duty to use all possible techniques to make this a reality.”

“Don’t open it” opens in movie theaters this December 7, it is suitable for teenagers and adults.

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