Bhanu Pratap Singh: What I Was Reading While Writing Bhoot – The Haunted Ship

In this series, we try to get a glimpse into artistes’ creative process by asking them what books, movies or music they turn to for inspiration. Here’s what the director told us
Bhanu Pratap Singh: What I Was Reading While Writing Bhoot – The Haunted Ship

In Bhoot: The Haunted Ship, an investigating officer (Vicky Kaushal) must not only contend with the hallucinations of his dead wife and child, but also a ghostly presence aboard the Sea Bird, a dead ship he's been ordered to get up and running again. Director Bhanu Pratap Singh, who also wrote the film, took us through the movies and music that influenced his debut:

"Besides visiting actual ships, I watched whatever I could on shipping and ship-breaking yards just to get a feel of the world and the insides of the ship on various video platforms. I obviously saw The Ghost Ship (2002). I knew my film would be compared to it. The ships in both The Ghost Ship and Bhoot: The Haunted Ship are very different – that's an ocean liner and mine's a merchant vessel. One thing was sure of was that I wasn't going to light my ship the way they lit their interiors, with that water ripple effect in every scene. Mine had to be very grungy and dark.

The other films that I watched during Bhoot:

The Shining (1980)

I watched it for those long corridors, to see how getting stuck alone is very eerie and how his hallucinations are driving him nuts.

The Exorcist (1973)

The best logical horror movie ever made. I had to dig deep into it to figure out how they created a logic for everything. PS: This is my favourite horror film.

The Conjuring (2013)

It shows you how to create terrifying horror without letting the audience breathe. It helped me in terms of writing as well….how to create horror on paper.

Annabelle: Creation (2017)

It has the most clichéd storyline but is the most effective in terms of horror. It's a complete horror package. I love it.

In terms of music, I was very sure I didn't want to use strings, because they've been used in almost every horror film. I wanted to do something different and thought that since I had this huge metal clunker, I could incorporate that metal in my background music and as sound effects. I'm glad I did. Also Ketan Sodha (who did the music) and I discussed going electronic for our background music."

The pieces that he listened to the most were:

Blade Runner theme (both versions)

Vangelis (Conquest Of Paradise)

It Follows (Heels)

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