How Blumhouse Reinvented Modern Horror
By David Crow
Blumhouse Productions is one of the most trusted names in horror today. But that wasn’t always so.
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Logan Marshall-Green in Upgrade (2018)
Producer Jason Blum was originally a Miramax executive when he founded Blumhouse in 2000.
And in its earliest years, Blumhouse didn’t produce horror, but films like 2006’s adventure-comedy The Darwin Awards.
That changed when Blum was sent a DVD of Oren Peli’s Paranormal Activity in 2007.
Blum became a producer on Paranormal Activity…
Katie Featherston in Paranormal Activity (2007)
…and kept the low-budget horror from being remade by DreamWorks.
It became the then-most profitable movie ever with its $15,000 budget and put Blumhouse on the map.
Katie Featherston and Micah Sloat in Paranormal Activity (2007)
This paved the way for Blumhouse reinventing horror around a micro-budget…
Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016)
Jason Blum: “The whole point of the budget number is if it doesn’t get a wide release, you can come close to making it up on VOD and streaming. That’s why you can take risks.”
Ethan Hawk in Sinister (2012)
In the 2010s this allowed him to create the familiar form of quality directors and actors making small horror.
Samuel L. Jackson in M. Night Shyamalan's Glass (2019)
Before The Conjuring and Aquaman, James Wan reinvented his career on Insidious.
Patrick Wilson in Insidious (2010)
After disappointments like After Earth, M. Night Shyamalan found a revival with The Visit...
Deanna Dunagan in M. Night Shyamalan's The Visit
And a full bloom comeback in Split with its enormous James McAvoy showcase.
James McAvoy in M. Night Shyamalan's Split (2016)
Blum even helped craft modern “elevated horror,” even as he personally hates the term...
Elisabeth Moss in The Invisible Man (2020)
With Blumhouse producing Jordan Peele’s Get Out, a horror game-changer.
Daniel Kaluuya in Jordan Peele's Get Out (2017)
Get Out was the first horror movie to win a screenplay Oscar since The Silence of the Lambs.
LaKeith Stanfield and Daniel Kaluuya in Get Out (2017)