Filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma has challenged the public to watch his upcoming horror film Phoonk 2 alone in a theatre, promising a cash prize to the person who manages to do so.
Varma threw the challenge while promoting his film in Mumbai.
Varma said he would award Rs five lakh to the one who would be able to finish watching the film all by himself or herself.
The film tells the story of an evil spirit ruining the peace of a family that has shifted to a new town.
Varma had issued the same challenge before the release of Phoonk in 2008, but the person who took on the challenge was unable to watch the film for even 30 minutes, and exited the theatre.
'When a person says that he doesn't gets scared, it is like you are challenging the film to scare you. So in the wake of this, we had put a contest in Phoonk that if a person can sit alone in the theatre and watch the film without getting scared and completes it, he will be rewarded a certain amount of money as prize. Now after a certain selection process, a particular guy was chosen and within 30 minutes he ran out of the theatre and obviously did not get the prize money,' said Varma.
He said that some people had protested afterwards that the contest was rigged.
Consequently, Varma has now come up with a scientific evaluation for his new film's fright quotient, and has declared that a machine would be installed to monitor the pulse rate and heartbeat of the person who watches the film alone.
'The new contest that we have drawn up now is that a person who challenges that the movie cannot scare him, he is going to be put in a theatre and we are going to attach him with an Electrocardiography machine,' said Varma.
The readings of the machine would be shown live on a screen outside the theatre to both the media and the crew of the film.
To assure that the viewer does not close his eyes while watching the film, a night camera would also be hidden inside the theatre.
Directed by Milind Gadagkar and produced by Ram Gopal Varma, Phoonk 2 is a sequel to his earlier film, Phoonk -- the word refers to a ritual in black magic -- and is a supernatural thriller. Varma has said that Phoonk 2 is much scarier than the prequel.
Image: Ram Gopal Varma at the launch of his movie Phoonk 2 in Mumbai. Photograph: Pradeep Bandekar