Phir Se Ramsay
Saasha Ramsay, the daughter of horror film specialist Shyam Ramsay, is charged with continuing her family’s legacy. In Phir Se
Ramsay, a series of shorts available on the youth-focused YouTube channel 101, she brings the screams, the flickering lights—and some gore too. The result, sadly, is not all that frightening. On the other hand, what the banal works most certainly do showcase is that Saasha has inherited her family’s penchant for camp.
“Thoda skin show karna padta hai (one needs to have a little sex appeal),” says Shyam Ramsay in one of the rare watchable introductory shorts, where the co-director of cult horror films like Purana Mandir and Purani Haveli shares his thought process. “Relaxation ke liye hum filmon mein daalte hain (we put in sex appeal because it helps people relax).”
For her part, Saasha Ramsay says that the series is her attempt to revive the 1980s era and the genre. Unfortunately, there’s little ingenuity on display here. Instead, viewers are treated to familiar tropes: abandoned villas (havelis are passé) in isolated settings, the dead rising from their graves, skin-show and of course, the seductive chudail (a.k.a. the witch).
That said, brushing aside the Ramsay legacy would also be a disservice. The Ramsay films came at a time when Indian moviegoers didn’t have easy access to Hollywood and world cinema. These days, with portals like Netflix and HotStar offering plenty of Hollywood and independent horror films, Ramsay’s five shorts fall short on both thrill and chill. Better viewing would be India’s Scariest Man Rises From The
Grave, a short documentary on Aniruddha Agarwal, the actor who played Saamri (and other monsters) in many of Ramsay’s films.