I like horror movies. I am one of those people who can watch a horror movie in all their rational minds and laugh at how fucked up the explanation for the occurrence of the ghost is, and then one night (may be a decade later) get spooked out for no reason, remember the ‘irrational’ things and sleep with the lights on. Those who see the lights on in my room throughout the night (most of the days) will probably think I’m one of those studious night owls.
I have always been interested in the paranormal. Books, reality shows, movies, serials, almost everything. Though, I am not a fan of Bollywood horror movies. In these movies the ‘ghost’ is either a sex starved, evil spirit, eager to get hooked up with the heroine or it is the vengeful spirit of some innocent woman who must have been raped and killed (or committed suicide when she was about to be raped…you see, Indian women have to preserve their ‘chastity’ at any cost, resulting in an ‘ideal Indian ghost’ seeking revenge). At the end, I always feel like a good fuck would’ve have solved half of the problems. If scaring the shit out of people is the aim of the genre, then Hollywood is surely good at it. But, they never explain why the characters have to go exploring in the dark and only in the dark, or why the person who is in danger is always left alone, or why, after hearing a noise in some creepy place like a basement, one of the characters always moves towards it, unlike normal people who would get the shit out of there. But then, it’s paranormal and I guess people dealing with it need to be a little ‘abnormal’.
It was my best friend (yeah, the guy who gets me into shit all the time…after all that’s what best friends are supposed to do, right?) who suggested I start watching Japanese movies.
“They are the best when it comes to horror.” He stated.
Of course, I had heard, by then, about movies like The Grudge and The Ring which were listed among the scariest movies. He told me that I should watch the Japanese version of these movies and not the Hollywood version. He sent me a YouTube link of The Ring and I settled down to watch it, with a cup of coffee. I must admit it was scary, right from the beginning.
The Spooked out Me: Woman, you are alone in the entire wing. What if there is a power cut?
The Rational Me: There is nothing in the darkness. All the horrors are within one’s mind.
The Spooked out Me: LOL! Say that when you are sitting in the dark and you hear something moving outside your window.
Of course, the Rational me silenced the Spooked out me for a while and I continued watching the movie. During the climax:
The Spooked out Me: What are you going to do if that thing comes out of your laptop screen and kills you?
The Rational Me: Shut up! Such things are not possible. There are no such things called ghosts. Even if there were, I don’t think they can operate computers.
The movie was over, while I was trying to convince the Spooked out me that there are no ghosts. I was about to close the tab when the creepy thing happened. The asshole who had uploaded the video had added some shit at the end. It said, “Now that you have watched this video, you have entered the curse of the ring. You will get a call in sometime and a child will tell you that you are going to die in seven days.”
It scared the shit out of me. Being an Atheist, I was too proud to ask that Grand Old Gentleman to protect me from the cursed video (by the way, does the all-powerful God speak Japanese?). Just when I was about to tell myself not to be so stupid, my mobile began to ring. Spooky! It was an unknown number! I didn’t pick it up. I was sure it must be that ghostly kid, calling to inform me that I am going to die in seven days. It kept ringing. And I was determined not to attend the call. As if the ghost will not kill me in seven days if I’m not informed about it! After sixteen missed calls, I received a message.
“Hey, I guess you are busy. Call me back when you see this message. This is my new number. –Arjun.”
Arjun! One of my friends since school…I called him back immediately.
“Why do you keep changing your number?” I yelled at him.
“What do you mean? This is the first time I am changing my number. You really expect me to use my Kerala sim in Delhi throughout my stay here? And who’s going to pay for all the roaming charges? You?”
“I didn’t know you were at Delhi.”
“I called to inform you that.”
“You are stressed out. I think you need some rest.”
With that he hung up. And I felt like a fool. The phone rang again. This time it was my best friend.
“Hey, I have sent you a link. It’s another horror movie. Japanese.” He told me.
“What’s the name of the movie?”
“One Missed Call. Random people start getting missed calls from an unknown number and they die a week later.”
“Please! Not again!”