Vishal Furia wrote and directed the successful horror film Lapachhapi in Marathi in 2016. Now, he has remade it for a wider audience base and the Hindi version, titled Chhorii, is streaming on Amazon Prime Video. Nushrratt Bharuccha reprises the role of a pregnant woman, who has to fight unknown terrors for the safety of her unborn child.
Lapachhapi is a horror film unlike many. It brings a pressing issue into the mainstream. When News18 asked Vishal about the inception of the story, he shared that the producers were unwilling to invest in his idea initially and he made it on a smaller budget first for the local Marathi audience.
“I was working in the broadcast industry and after 14 years realised this is a good time to enter the film industry. I had ample experience of shooting and direction by then. I was thinking about what new things could be done and in which genre. I love horror films and have felt that good horror films are very scarce in the film industry. I was hoping to get a push with a good horror movie script. This happened back in 2012, when I wrote the film and went looking for producers. I realised people are not looking for novelty and newness and that it is very difficult to tell a fresh story. I struggled to find the right people. Then I had to make it in Marathi first because the audience is more evolved. The producers there are also more accepting. They encourage a lot of new scripts."
He continued, “When it was released, the female audience loved the film. They came out in huge numbers to watch it. I somewhere felt, this story is connected with the women and they are relating to it. I started looking for makers to make it in Hindi. That is when Nushrratt and the producers, Vikram Malhotra and Shikhaa Sharma (of Abundantia Entertainment) came on board and it worked out well."
Vishal says his movie makes references to masters of horrors of international cinema. “There is the influence of Guillermo Del Toro, Takashi Miike and the writing of Stephen King. Since I have grown up watching the films of these directors, the references come in subconsciously."
Chhorii is set in the outskirts of the city, in total seclusion, which is a familiar horror film trope. About shooting in 9-inch sugarcane fields and finding a suitable location for the set up, Vishal shared, “The location is Pipariya village, which is about four hours away from Bhopal city. It was a very interesting and exciting aspect. We had made the pathways narrower than before. When we took the first shot with Nushrratt, the visual was looking very dynamic due to the height difference. The well is a very strong element in the film. The one in our location was about 400-500 years old. The location is very integral to a horror setting otherwise the impact will go missing. To design a house in the middle of all this was a very interesting journey. I personally did not want to shoot in the previous location, which was in Maharashtra, because that way I can show something different to the audience. Otherwise my frames would look similar."