Betaal is the latest Netflix Original Horror Series to hit our streaming screens. The Horror web series is the brainchild of Patrick Graham, who earlier gave us the Netflix mini series Ghoul. I caught with him and and had a telephonic interview, given the lockdown. Here’s the complete transcript:
How did Betaal happen?
After Ghoul, we were looking for another horror idea. I didn’t want to make anything like Ghoul. Another thought in my mind was that it’d be nice to make something fast paced and action packed. I wanted to make something that had more entertainment and suspense without trying to go down the Ghoul road once again.
I always wanted to do one zombie siege horror. The, it struck me. For the Indian audiences, I could do one with the East India Company, with zombie soldiers. I don’t think I have anything like that before.
I did some research in the myths and the mythology in this state and then I locked on on Betaal. That’s because many characteristics of Betaal are like the Western vampires. Apparently, Bram Stoker took many of the Betaal aspects into his Dracula story.
So yes, then we had the story of this vampire who commands an army of zombies.
Netflix was great. It was pretty much the same scene, when I was working with them on Ghoul. We had the same people that we were working on with Ghoul. So I was familiar with everybody. I had Blumhouse and Ivanhoe working with me.
Watch Betaal Trailer here:
Ghoul had the army aspect as well. Is that going to be a regular Patrick Graham trademark?
A lot of my favorite horror movies have them. My favorites are had Aliens and Predators and 28 Days Later. These kind of movies pitch the monster against the army. Starship Troopers is one of my favorites as well.
I like the aspect of pitching cops and armies against supernatural presences because then you have the scenario for some gunfights and some actual physical fights. I also like stuff like Assault on Precint 13 that’s about the police fighting some spooky criminals.
Zombies generally translate into action. Is Betaal action packed as well?
It certainly has a lot of action. It’s full of suspense – whether that suspense is in the form of dialogue or action, there’s a lot of that stuff, but it’s not just about action. For example, the second episode is all about building the spooky atmosphere. Each episode varies in tone.
How long did you take to get this project done?
The entire project took one year, from the writer’s room to the beginning of production. We had a researcher who took a trip to all the places that are in the script. He did research on the kind of architecture that we wanted. He also did research of Betaal temples and soldiers.
What are your favorite Bollywood horror movies?
I really enjoyed Stree and Tumbadd and liked how that movie mixed up fantasy elements with horror. I have seen the Ram Gopal Varma films, some of them are really cool. Other than that, I haven’t really seen many horror movies.
What’s next for you?
Its the lockdown, so I have sent several treatments to several people. I am trying to branch out in different genres now. My goal is to work in different genres at any given time.
Betaal is one of the anticipated Netflix Original Horror Series at the moment. It will stream on 24th May.
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