In only a decade, Blumhouse has become the go-to name in horror. It’s hard to remember that before Paranormal Activity, there wasn’t a studio so acutely associated with the genre. There were companies dedicated to scaring you, sure, but they did not reach the heights where Blumhouse now towers over the rest.
Blumhouse is about to have their first crossover with The Purge on USA Network. The Purge franchise is already four hit movies strong, each telling the story of a night where America has made all crime legal. Now you’ll get a 10-part TV series of The Purge beginning Sept. 4. But first, look at the eight ways Blumhouse has reinvented horror.
Horror is year-round now
Horror movies used to be a Halloween-time treat. Now, thanks to Blumhouse’s robust year-round slate, you can see scary movies in January, summertime (like the Purge feature films), really whenever! Not a month goes by without a horror movie anymore.
It doesn’t have to be gory to be scary
Sure, Blumhouse does R-rated Purge and Sinister movies, but they don’t all have to be graphic. The Paranormal Activity movies are all about what you don’t see and the Insidious and Ouiji films can shock and terrify you with supernatural spirits.
They don’t have to spend a lot to create blockbusters
One of Jason Blum’s beliefs is that films shouldn't break the bank, allowing filmmakers to enjoy creative freedom and experimentation without studio interference. His sweet spot is under $5 million (although he’s been known to creep up towards $10 on special occasions). This means more horror movies without draining studio resources, and -- with grosses of $20 million plus -- they all turn a profit.
They made found-footage films big league
The first popular "found-footage" movies wereThe Blair Witch Project and Cloverfield, made a decade apart -- but after Blumhouse's Paranormal Activity, released in 2009, upstart filmmakers (and even some big-time directors) got the hint that all they needed was a single camera with one point of view to make a whole movie.
They’ve created 9 new franchises (and counting!)
The Purge and Paranormal Activity aren’t the only horror legacies Blumhouse has unleashed. They also keep scaring us with Insidious, Ouija, Unfriended, Sinister, and Split (whose sequel Glass also doubles as a sequel to Unbreakable!). Even Happy Death Day and Creep got sequels!
They resurrected M. Night Shyamalan
With 1999’s The Sixth Sense, M. Night Shyamalan became the toast of Hollywood. He had a good run through 2004’s The Village but then he hit a rough patch. By teaming up with Blumhouse for The Visit, Shyamalan got back to his roots and made a clever horror movie with a cool twist. Then he was able to make Split which led to next year’s Glass, combining the casts of Split and Unbreakable -- we can't wait!
They give new voices a chance
Paranormal Activity creator Oren Peli, Sinister screenwriter C. Robert Cargill, the Oculus team of Jeff Howard and Mike Flanagan, and Ouija’s Stiles White are some of the new filmmakers who may owe their careers to Blumhouse. He also gives established names a chance to do something different. The Purge’s James DeMonaco was a working screenwriter but now he’s created a franchise. Comedian Danny McBride got to do horror by writing the new Halloween and, of course, Jordan Peele got to make his directorial debut.
They released Get Out
This cannot be understated. Get Out, a scathing satire of modern-day society, changed the conversation about race. It also earned Jordan Peele an Oscar for screenwriting and rare Oscar nominations for a horror film. What other company would have taken a risk on a wild story about a family transferring their neighbors’ spirits into the bodies of their daughter’s boyfriends? Movie magic!
Ready for another groundbreaking Blumhouse project? Watch The Purge TV series on USA Network, a 10-episode event premiering on Tuesday, Sept. 4!