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“Durj” : A Suspense Thriller with Strong Emotional Underpinning Needs a Better Marketing to Work

About a month ago we got to witness the nail biting trailer of the forthcoming movie Durj which marks the directorial debut of Shamoon Abbasi. The movie is based on some horrific real life incidents from Punjab and deals with taboo topics like cannibalism and necrophilia. Now making a movie on such topics puts a great responsibility on the makers regarding the treatment of the narrative. Having watched the 3 minutes long trailer, one must say that although it does not give away much story, but the dark setting, brilliant dialogues, powerful acting and intriguing visuals make you both uncomfortable and curious for more.

After watching the trailer, it is safe to say that it does not look like a typical family movie which may appeal to every cine-goer. We need to understand that in Pakistan, high percentage of audience has a different taste and only a specific niche audience enjoys the horror and thriller genre. It is very important that the makers market the film in a certain way to attract the right audience. It is crucial for the marketing campaign to clarify what is the genre of the movie so the audience may decide to watch or not watch the movie.

Cannibalism? Necrophilia? “Durj is Essentially a Suspense Thriller with Strong Emotions” says Shamoon Abbasi

We have seen in the past that movies with great potential and critical acclaim don’t work at box office because of vague or misleading marketing. The recent example of this is the Anushka Sharma starrer Pari, which just like Durj, was also a hybrid genre but was marketed as a pure horror which ultimately effected on the collections of the movie. In a recent interview to PakistaniCinema, Shamoon shared how they have tried to tone down the movie for Pakistani audience,
“The trailer might give the impression of a dark horror film, but trust me, Durj is a lot more and is actually a suspense thriller with a strong emotional and romantic underpinning. The trailer just reveals certain bits about the movie, but there is much more to it than the dark themes. Watch the movie and you will be surprised. ”

In the trailer, we do see glimpses of romance in the mountains and a wife’s love and struggle to find her husband, for the film to have a lighter side so the trailer has it all from action, suspense, drama, love, and thrill which gives us some chill. All in all Durj is a bold step and creative experiment but poor marketing might turn it into a financial risk.

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The film is produced by Dodi khan. Starring Sherry shah, Shamoon Abbasi, Maira Khan, Dodi Khan, Nouman Javaid, Hafeez Ali in major roles, Durj is all set to release in cinemas next year.

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