The Blumhouse Effect: A New Era of Horror

Anyone who has seen a horror movie in the past decade will undoubtedly have seen an opening credits sequence set in a creepy worn down room, filled with a little ghost girl and floating objects.

Happy Death Day 2U. Photo Credit: Variety

For anyone who appreciates a well-done horror flick, you will know that this means you’re in for a good couple of hours. Blumhouse Productions, founded in 2000 by Jason Blum, has gone from strength to strength since its first breakout hit Paranormal Activity in 2007. After the horror genre went through a bit of a lull over the 2000s, Blum’s mix of low budgets, world-class directors and masterfully crafted scripts, has rebooted the genre and lead the way for a new era of horror film gold.

With Happy Death Day 2U hitting the screens in the past week, and Glass, in the past month, the production house kicks off another year of success with films such as Us and Ma already set to be hits. Outside of Blumhouse, the genre also has The Curse of La Llorona, Pet Sematary, and IT: Chapter 2, the follow-up to the wildly successful IT. With demand increasing, the likes of Blumhouse and New Line Cinema fall under a new pressure to keep up, while maintaining the quality they have established.

IT. Photo Credit: CNBC

Collaborating with the likes of M. Night Shyamalan, James Wan and Jordan Peele, Blum has been rewriting a new chapter of horror; bringing the genre to the forefront of popular cinema once more, in an age of superhero/sci-fi domination. From the days of Alfred Hitchcock and cult-classics such as Rosemary’s Baby (1968) and Night of the Living Dead (1968), through to 1970s and 80s slasher’s like Halloween (1978) and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), film-goers over the generations have witnessed the evolution of the horror genre. By the 1990s, Wes Craven’s Scream literally laid out the rules of horror, and turned them on their head.

Scream. Photo Credit: Horror World

Since then, directors have had to up the ante on every new release, in order to gain any traction, and eventually gain a cult status. While there was a lull during the early noughties, with what seemed like nothing but torture-porn and gore splashing across our screens, recent iterations of the genre have clued on to what people really want. Critically acclaimed hits, including The Conjuring (2013), Get Out (2017), The Visit (2015) and the sequel to the aforementioned Halloween (2018), have impressed movie goers and critics alike, giving a new authority to the genre.

The Conjuring. Photo Credit: New York Times

With such expectation, can Blumhouse maintain this streak? With far more diverse and multi-dimensional characters, this most recent wave of horror flicks has gained a new level of appreciation from audiences, and have so far, been able to stay out of the repetitive trap. However, there can only be so many killers hiding behind the door and ghosts terrorising unsuspecting families in their new home. So far Blumhouse have managed to keep the creative ball rolling, and I for one hope they can maintain this momentum, as the once niche genre gains the mainstream success it truly deserves.

What horror movie are you most excited for in 2019? Let us know in the comments.