Mumbai: Actor Emraan Hashmi says horror films fascinate him, which is why he is motivated to collaborate with filmmakers trying to redefine the genre in Bollywood.

The 42-year-old actor, who started his journey in the Hindi film industry as an assistant director on Vikram Bhatt's 2002 horror blockbuster "Raaz", he tries his best to contribute to the genre's evolution in India.

"I've been a horror geek since I was a kid. I used to watch a lot of horror movies and I still do. It's my first choice when I want to watch something. I will pick a spooky movie before I would go to a drama or a comedy. Horror is a genre I love and I'm fascinated with," Hashmi told PTI in an interview.

Since his acting debut with 2003's thriller "Footpath", the actor has appeared in horror films -- "Raaz - The Mystery Continues", "Raaz 3", "Ek Thi Daayan" and "Raaz: Reboot".

Growing up, the actor said he has seen most of the iconic horror films from like "The Exorcist", "The Omen", "Poltergeist" to "The Shining", and is still is an avid viewer of horror stories from not just Hollywood but other international languages as well.

Ramsay Brother movies are something that the actor used to enjoy as a kid but looking back, Hashmi believes the biggest failing of Hindi horror films has been a lack of aesthetics.

"As compared to Hollywood or other foreign languages, we don't make horror films at all. It's like one film will stand out in a couple of years. Generally, aesthetics are something we lack. Like "Ramsay" films used to be entertaining for me as a kid but when I look back, I realise they lacked the aesthetics to lure a larger audience."

The actor said big directors, producers and stars are unwilling to explore horror as a genre.

"If there is no bankable name in the film, be it the producer or the director or the actor, then the budgets are low and that makes aesthetics pretty much non-existent.

"Also not too many actors want to act in horror films. Maybe they don't understand the genre or probably they are not fond of the genre. I'm fond of it, that's why I work in it," he said.

The actor, who is now returning to the genre after five years with "Dybbuk", said it was director Jay K's unique vision that made him say yes to the project.

The film revolves around a couple who start experiencing paranormal activities in their new home after they purchase an antique box.

With Jewish occult at its backdrop, the film had many new things to offer to him as a horror aficionado, said the actor.

"It's the director's new interpretation of how horror should be. In a country where we haven't really learned how to tap in horror effectively, Jay has a very keen eye and very different outlook towards horror, which is very effective. It would really spook horror fans," he said about the Amazon original movie set to premiere on Prime Video on October 29.

"Dybbuk" is the official remake of Jay's 2017 Malayalam blockbuster "Ezra", which starred Prithviraj Sukumaran, Priya Anand, and Tovino Thomas.

Hashmi said even though he had seen the film prior to reading the script, he has not used it as a reference point.

"There are new revelations in how a director sees things... And Jay catches nuances in horror which I love. Horror is not about jump scare moments, it's about how one choreographs those jump scare moments," he asserted.

In the future, Hashmi said he aspires to do a psychological horror or a horror-comedy movie if he is offered a good story.

The actor said his constant aim has been to make good films with good people and moving ahead he will continue pursuing the same.

"That has always been the quest, since the first film, and it continues. How good I've gotten or bad I've gotten, that's for the audience to gauge. I believe one is as good as their last film," he said, adding that action, comedy and sci-fi films are also on his list.

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