Blumhouse has risen quickly through the ranks to become one of the most prominent production companies for mainly horror content, while also establishing its ground into other successful genres. Founded in 2000 by Jason Blum, the original company model has been to produce primarily smaller-budget movies, allowing directors to expand their creative freedom. Originally named Blum Israel Productions, they had an exclusive first-look deal with Miramax up until 2002, when it became Blumhouse Productions.
Although Blumhouse has inked deals with Universal Pictures in 2010 and Amazon Studios and Mattel Films in June 2019, the company has always stayed true to its origins in providing opportunities to up-in-coming directors, aiding them in allowing their projects to become viewable on a mainstream scale, while staying true to their respective creative ideas. Finding overwhelming notoriety in mainstream feature films, Blumhouse has additionally collaborated with streaming powerhouse, Netflix Studios, to make the push into television streaming, developing a limited Stephen King series. While there are a plethora of Blumhouse’s total accomplishments, joint ventures, awards, and nominations, let’s dive right into their most prestigious, already-released horror projects.
Unveiled to audiences in 2014, Creep emerged as a distinctly chilling found-footage horror film. Mark Duplass, recognized for his contributions to indie cinema and comedy, dared to tread into the horror realm by bringing to life a character named Josef who employs a videographer to chronicle his existence. Alarmingly, as the day unfolds, things get creepy with Josef beginning to suspect something is not right with the videographer.
This film revolutionized the found-footage genre with its pared-down methodology. Instead of depending on visual theatrics or gore, the movie employs straightforward narrative strategies to induce terror. It exploits the eerie unknown, the dread of unfamiliarity, and the discomfort of the characters to build a framework of suspense and horror.
Fear is grounded in the movie through seemingly benign daily routines that metamorphose into signs of foreboding as the plot develops. Duplass’s unpredictability secures the viewers in a state of suspense, curious about the next odd twist the narrative might take. Patrick Brice, the director who also assumes the role of the videographer, and Mark Duplass collaborate to fabricate a growing atmosphere of dread and suspense. Duplass’s uncanny performance is highlighted by Brice’s direction, culminating in a terrifying film that leaves audiences doubting the motives of those in their vicinity.
Hitting cinema screens in 2016, Split sees James McAvoy embodying one of his most demanding roles yet. The narrative trails Kevin, a man fragmented into 23 separate personalities, who abducts three teenage girls. Interaction with his various identities becomes the girls’ lifeline as they seek escape before the emergence of a horrific 24th personality, “The Beast.”
It extends beyond being a psychological thriller, morphing into a physiological spectacle that demonstrates how Kevin’s multiple personalities alter his physical state. The film invites viewers on a voyage that illuminates the eerie potential of the human psyche. It revels in the concept of the mind’s ability to warp reality, converting mental distress into physical prowess, a notion both spine-chilling and captivating.
The combination of M. Night Shyamalan’s direction and McAvoy’s exceptional performance escalates the film’s resonance. Shyamalan’s narrative prowess is prominently displayed, escalating tension through nuanced cues and abrupt plot pivots. The commendable versatility in McAvoy’s performance, fluctuating effortlessly between personalities, is truly noteworthy, solidifying the film’s status as an essential horror thriller in Blumhouse’s collection.
8 The Invisible Man
Dreadfully unsettling, The Invisible Man focuses its storyline on the fear of the unseen. That’s the crux of this eerie, psychological horror film, released in the year 2020. Shrouded in fear, the narrative encircles Cecilia Kass, a character brought to life by Elisabeth Moss. She is thrown into a terrifying conviction that her supposedly deceased, abusive ex-partner has gained the power of invisibility to continue his torment. A perilous game of hide-and-seek ensues, with Cecilia desperate to persuade others of this invisible menace.
The movie turned out to be a shining testament to Blumhouse’s finesse in redefining traditional horror narratives with a modern flare. This film employs the antiquated notion from H.G. Wells’ 19th-century science fiction narrative, reshaping it into a potent dissection of gaslighting and domestic violence, thereby resonating with today’s viewers. The narrative is engrossing, presenting the horror of invisibility not as a marvel, but as a ruthless instrument of control and mental anguish.
Reputed for his impressive contributions to Saw and Insidious, Leigh Whannell flexes his directorial muscle once more with his direction of this movie. Elisabeth Moss’s enactment, on the other hand, is beyond captivating. In her portrayal of Cecilia Kass, a woman teetering on the brink of sanity due to the unseen dread, she gives an awe-inspiring performance. Her role provides depth and emotive substance to the film, solidifying this film as a genuine tour de force in Blumhouse’s repertoire.
7 Paranormal Activity
As the first horror film to ever be released by Blumhouse, Paranormal Activity is about a couple, Katie (Katie Featherston) and Micah (Micah Sloat), who make the move into their new house together. Once strange occurrences start to happen in the couple’s home, Katie’s backstory comes to the surface, revealing that she and her sister Kristi have been tormented by a demonic entity since childhood.
The scariest part about Paranormal Activity has to be that the project is shot in an unfiltered, found footage format, solely from a handheld recorder. Also, the fact that the actors’ real names are utilized as the characters’, and that the film opens by thanking their families and pretending everything was real, brings an authentic element into the film’s atmosphere.
The supernatural thriller Insidious revolves around a local family who begins to experience a series of disturbing paranormal events after moving into their new home. Married couple Josh (Patrick Wilson) and Renai Lambert’s (Rose Byrne) son suddenly enters a blacked out state, where his physical body becomes a placeholder for demonic possession from entities to enter at any time, through an unidentifiable astral plane. Basically, before you move into any new home, do extensive research.
5 The Purge
The Purge is one of the most organically terrifying films to be released in the current era; just the thought of having a whole night where any type of violence is legal and justified is petrifying beyond anything explainable. In the film, prisons are beyond crowded and citizens have become increasingly angry about everyday circumstances and stressors. While the government sanctions a yearly 12-hour period during which all criminal activity is legal, people in the film are able to “cleanse” themselves by committing crimes for the night. What’s interesting is that the government does this to justify murdering innocent people of color, but covers this up with the cleansing talking point.
4 Get Out
Dating has never been the same since Get Out was released. After appearing to be in the next stage of their relationship, Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) and his girlfriend Rose (Allison Williams) become more serious. When Rose invites him to meet her parents at the family’s secluded countryside home, the film takes a turn for the worst when Rose and her parents scheme to rework Chris’s mind and sell him off to their various friend groups. Chris, who’s a Black man, uncovers the family’s secrets, and their horrendous treatment of Black bodies, as he also tries to escape before it’s too late.
The 2018 feature film reboot of Halloween project stars Jamie Lee Curtis, reprising her role as Laurie Strode. After being institutionalized for nearly 40 years at Smith’s Grove Psychiatric Hospital for his killing spree in Haddonfield, Michael Myers is set to be transferred to a maximum-security prison. He obviously breaks out (because he’s Michael Myers), leading him on his decades-long quest to capture and kill his remaining family member (according to some Halloween installments), Laurie Strode.
The meaning of the horror film Us, is heavily related to racial and economic identity, navigating away from the typical horror film plot line as it explores facets of politics from the 21st century. The idea of being afraid of outsiders and anyone who appears to be visibly different is a crucial component of the film, which interrogates a society that has become conditioned to be afraid of those who either aren’t from the same background as us or have a different view point than ours. The point is that the worst enemies of human people can sometimes be ourselves.
On a typical night in Unfriended, several teenagers are all online, participating in a group video chat session. Once an unidentifiable user, “Billie22,” logs onto the chat, odd events begin to happen when one of the users begins to get a series of direct messages from a classmate who had killed herself. Forcing the group to reveal their darkest secrets, the rest of the users begin to get killed off, one by one, in this excellent and frightening example of social media in movies.