The first look of Ram Gopal Varma’s Phoonk 2 was unveiled on Monday at the Cinemax, Andheri by RGV and director Milind Gadagkar. When the original Phoonk was released, producers challenged viewers to watch the film alone in a cinema to win a cash prize of 5 Lakh (just over $10,000). The competitor only lasted 30 minutes before exiting the theatre in terror, prompting allegations that the competition had been fixed.
This time viewers who claim not to be scared by horror films, are invited to watch Phoonk 2 alone, and will be fitted with an ECG device to monitor their heartbeat and pulse. A medical team will be able to determine whether the participant has experienced fear, by observing changes in their emotional state on a monitor positioned outside the auditorium. The contest will be launched on 10th March at the official Phoonk 2 website, with the film scheduled to hit the box office April 9th. A medical professional will be on hand during the selection process, with entry restricted to healthy adults aged between 18 and 60 with no history of heart disease.
To ensure contestants are not tempted to cheat by closing their eyes, a night vision camera will film the entire event. An ambulance will also be on standby at the theatre in case of unforeseen circumstances. If the viewer is able to watch the whole film without exhibiting signs of fear, the cash prize will be awarded immediately after the screening. With such intriguing publicity tactics behind the release, Phoonk 2 looks set to emulate the success of the original a surprise hit at the box office in 2008, and could turn out to be even more terrifying than Sholay remake Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag.