Two big horror movies are being released this week, one in theaters and one on DVD/Blu-ray, both of which rock the epic tagline of “From the Producer of Insidious and Paranormal Activity”, which is a powerhouse of awesomeness right there, especially for the modern-day horror fan. But let’s be honest: people rarely keep track of producers, so no one really knows who this nameless producer is… other than he’s produced some pretty dope shit. Well that veil of secrecy is lifted today as we aim to dissect the hot-producer in horror right now himself, Jason Blum. What’s he done in the past and what does he have in the future? We’re about to find out!
As the infamous tagline already states, Blum produced both PARANORMAL ACTIVITY and INSIDIOUS, and that right there is just about as good as any one producer could wish for. Say what you will about PA, but it’s a pretty goddamn good movie for what it is, with decent scares, a unique and interesting concept, and let’s face it… the f*cking movie changed the face of horror as we know it today. It breathed new life into the whole “found footage” genre (for better or for worse), it became the latest genre franchise, dethroning SAW from the coveted Halloween weekend, and maybe most impressive, it’s one of the most successful movies ever made. Not bad, Blum… not bad.
But he didn’t stop there, as he also took on INSIDIOUS, a movie that scares the shit out of me every flipping time I watch it. A lot can be attributed to director James Wan, but behind every great director is a great producer, and goddamn did Blum knock it out of the park with this new twist on the haunted house subgenre. One of the scariest movies to come out in the last decade and it still only managed to rock a PG-13 rating. Blum also produced the surprisingly awesome PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3, which proved to me that while we’re being overexposed to stupid found footage movies left and right where most are complete garbage, there is still a good found footage or two out there, and this was one of them. Again, another superb job at creating suspense and scares across the board.
Speaking of the PARANORMAL ACTIVITY franchise and crappy found footage movies, that brings me to Blum’s worst works… PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2 and PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 4. I loved parts 1 and 3, so maybe that’s what makes these two stink so bad, but hot f*ck these two movies are utter and complete garbage. PA2 just about killed the PA franchise for me completely, as there was really nothing good or substantial about this one: the biggest scares can be attributed to a pool cleaner and the best actor from start to finish goes to the dog. Everything else was just blah and let’s face it, PA2 is one boring piece of found footage basura that should have been a whole lot better.
On the subject of movies that should have been better, there’s PA4. After PA3 redeemed the franchise and made it awesome again, PA4 went right on back and followed PA2’s shitty streak. Once again the franchise went back to being one long boring piece of cinema, where the majority of the 82 minutes was spent waiting for something to happen (and when it does happen… it’s not all that scary). While it wasn’t as bad as part 2… it was a huge disappointment after the awesomeness of part 3. Blum definitely wasn’t on his A-game when he made this one, but hey… it still made a ton of money, making it a success through the producer lens, so… there’s that!
It’s hard to pigeonhole a producer’s trademarks when they dip their stick into a variety of projects, but let’s face it… Blum knows horror. And that’s his biggest attribute… he knows which projects to get behind, knows what filmmakers to bring on board, and he more or less picks projects that don’t overtly suck ass. And he knows a thing or two about ghosts and haunted shit, as the majority of his movies (both previously made and in the queue for the future) dabble in haunted houses, people, entities, and all sorts of paranormal shenanigans. Basically, if Blum is behind the next haunted whatever movie, you can pretty much bet your ass that you’ll have a good time.
SINISTER hits DVD and Blu-ray this week, and while it’s widely known for being a solid piece of horror cinema that blends a few genres together, as well as it being both a regular movie as well as a found footage movie, it didn’t make a ton at the box office and not a lot of people have seen it. And honestly, I’ll be the first asshole out there to admit that I fall into the latter category, as I was holding out for video… so I will be seeing it this week, but I haven’t seen it yet. But even without seeing it, the word of mouth is so good for this flick that I think everyone needs to be aware that now’s the chance to check this f*cker out and enjoy it for possibly becoming the next modern-day horror classic. The rest of just have to see it first!
Blum is probably the busiest guy in horror right now, as his docket for genre projects he’s working on is as long as it is impressive. We mentioned DARK SKIES already, that hits theaters on Friday, and it looks like a pretty freaky little movie. Right now you can check out THE BAY on VOD, but then that bad boy comes out on DVD/Blu-ray on March 5th. I’m not a big found footage guy, but I’ve heard it’s not bad. Blum also has Rob Zombie’s much anticipated return to straight-up horror (sans hillbillies) with THE LORDS OF SALEM, a sequel to one of the scariest movies ever with James Wan’s INSIDIOUS CHAPTER 2, and few haunted something-or-other flicks like GHOSTS, THE AMITYVILLE HORROR: THE LOST TAPES, and (of course) PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 5. And as if that wasn’t enough, Blum’s also the producer behind Oren Peli’s AREA 51, the long-awaited found-footage flick set in the notorious secret government site with aliens and shit. And all these flicks are scheduled to hit theaters this year… and that doesn’t even include his TV and non-horror related stuff he’s working on!
With the big producer names in horror mostly belonging to Platinum Dunes or (previously) the Weinsteins (via Dimension), it’s nice to see there’s fresh blood on the producing docket with Jason Blum, a guy who’s track record proves he knows his shit when it comes to producing some quality (haunted) horror. If he just had the PARANORMAL ACTIVITY franchise under his belt, that’d be impressive enough, but adding in SINISTER, INSIDIOUS, THE LORDS OF SALEM, and DARK SKIES (amongst the many others) to his producing credits, and it’s impossible not to recognize Blum as the new “IT” name in horror. And now you know just who the guy the tagline “From the Producer of Paranormal Activity and Insidious” is referring to… and knowing is half the battle!