At the release party of Ouija on Blu-ray in Los Angeles, Nerdist had the opportunity to speak with Jason Blum as he was on his way to screen the latest cut of the much buzzed about Unfriended, written by Sleepy Hollow scribe and frequent guest on the SleepyCast Nelson Greaves. Blum offered updates on what’s next for the horror production company, Insidious Chapter 3 and The Purge 3, clarifying that James DeMonaco might not direct the third installment after all…
When you think about mainstream horror film, it appears to be a very trend-heavy genre and one thing I don’t see going away anytime soon is the rise in PG-13 theatrical offerings. I asked Jason Blum, mega producer and CEO of Blumhouse Productions, about this and he agreed, saying, “That’s who really likes scary movies the most, the people who are sneaking into horror movies so now they don’t have to sneak in!” Blum spoke about his latest feature to hit Blu-ray, the successful teen horror movie Ouija. “It’s hard to make a Ouija board dramatic so we tried to figure out how to do that and I think they did a pretty good job trying to make it feel original. That’s what I always try and tell people when we’re working on a movie is, ‘How do you try and make it different?’ That’s very un-Hollywood. You see a lot of repeats. We don’t always succeed [but] we try.”
Blum continued on the topic of non-R rated horror explaining who taught him the most about the youth friendly rating. “When James [Wan] did Insidious, his one caveat was the only way I’ll do this is if it’s PG-13 because he didn’t want to be known as just the Saw, R [rating] guy so he insisted on PG-13. The person I really learned the most about PG-13 scary movies [from] was James and he wrote the script and he really crafted the movie with that end in mind. That was very important to him.” Blum added, “I’m psyched for you to see [Insidious Chapter 3], it’s really good. Leigh [Whannell] is such a good director.”
Blumhouse Productions is known for making movies with small budgets and major financial returns as well as breaking trends within the genre. What does Jason Blum see as the next big thing in horror? Said Blum, “I think Unfriended is the next generation of scary movie. It’s totally different than any – whether you like it or not, no matter what people think of it they’re going to say, ‘I’ve never seen anything like it before.’” He added, “The thing I get most excited about is something that feels new, that we haven’t seen. Movies are tested so much but… I’d rather have a movie that feels different than the highest scoring movie.”
Finally, I asked Blum about the future of one of his most popular movie franchises, The Purge, with the last two installments being written and directed by James DeMonaco. What could the producer tell us about the third film due out in the summer of 2016? “I just read the newest script and we’re going to start shooting relatively soon and it’s definitely a new chapter in Purge. It feels very new and hopefully James [DeMonaco] will direct it. He hasn’t said for sure. He wrote it but he hasn’t said for sure that he’s going to direct it but I really want him to. I’m praying that he directs it. He hasn’t declared yet but it’s really cool.”
Ouija, written by Juliet Snowden and Stiles White, directed by Stiles White, and starring Olivia Cooke, Ana Coto, Bianca A. Santos, Shelley Hennig, Daren Kagasoff and Lin Shaye, is available on digital, Blu-ray and DVD now!