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Top 10 Blumhouse Horror Movies!

Man, who in the film biz has it better than this Jason Blum fella? F*cking Di Caprio? That Chalamet chap? In just a dozen short years, this Blum dude has turned his indie production company into one of the most lucrative power players in Hollywood. Over 80 feature film releases have been produced by Blumhouse Productions since 2006, most in the horror genre, and almost all of them have turned a profit by keeping within the contractual $5 million maximum budget range. Commercially, the results are inarguable. Critically however, you know as much as we do that there have been just as many hits as misses along the way. Blumhouse’s most recent release, HALLOWEEN, finds itself in that rare sweet-spot of being a hit among both the masses and critics alike. Question is, which movies in the Blumhouse canon belong to sit comfortably next to HALLOWEEN? Find out below when we bust out our Top 10 Blumhouse Horror Flicks!

#10. UNFRIENDED (2014)

A lot of debate went into what should be honorably mentioned (THE VISIT, THE GREEN INFERNO, THE LORDS OF SALEM, etc.) and what ought to launch this mother*cking missive, but in the end, we decided to go with an entertaining kind of horror flick we hadn’t quite seen before. UNFRIENDED, which managed to keep eyeballs glued despite (or perhaps because of) the entire film being shot from the POV of computer screens, is a unique conceit that’s executed well. All of the action of what amounts to skillful techno-slasher film takes place on one static avatar, with various windows popping up in a Skype-like video chatroom. The sequel unwisely ditched this template!

#9. INSIDIOUS (2010) 

To be real with y’all, I always found the Darth Maul starring INSIDIOUS to be wildly overrated. Still, given how much record breaking cash it raked in, given when it came out, given the sequels its spawned, and given how it was one of the first super successful, post-PARANORMAL ACTIVITY Blumhouse properties, there’s no short-selling the impact INSIDIOUS has had on the horror landscape over the past decade. James Wan has gone on to become a DC superhero director, Leigh Whannell has gone on to direct his own films (INSIDIOUS CHAPTER 3, UPGRADE), Patrick Wilson went on to do THE CONJURING pictures, and Lin Shaye has appeared in damn near all of them!

#8. PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3 (2011) 

Where in the Horror is Oren Peli? Honestly, for awhile there I began to confuse Jason Blum for the director of PARANORMAL ACTIVITY, the inaugural low-budget-high-return horror template that turned Blumhouse Productions into a moneymaking powerhouse. Oh wait, Peli’s AREA 51 banished him to movie jail after returning just a paltry $7,500, that’s right. Oh well, onto PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3, which is by almost every metric, the best home-video-haunted-house chapter of the lot. Part of the reason for this is taking it back to ’88, where the nostalgia of new VHS and camcorder technology made the franchise formula feel oddly fresh by those CATFISH dudes Joost and Schulman.

#7. CREEP (2014)

CREEP and CREEP 2 are on the lower budgetary spectrum of the Blumhouse production template, but are in no way inferior to the some of the higher profile cash cows. The two Patrick Brice/Mark Duplass concoctions have yielded a tone of equal parts awkward humor and uncomfortable horror. From moment to moment, you’re not sure whether to let loose and laugh or keep your guard up and hide, which is a testament to the fine line the two guys ride in both movies. These are short, odd, bittersweet little curios that rely on character first and foremost, and allow the f*cked up action to grow out of their motives. Here’s hoping for more of the same from CREEP 3, which is currently in development.

#6. OUIJA 2: ORIGIN OF EVIL (2016)

Mike Flanagan might be the most prolific of all quality horror directors working at the moment. The dude’s currently filming DOCTOR SLEEP while his 10-part HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE continues to terrorize Netflixers. And honestly, we could have easily opted to award OCULUS or HUSH as worthy standout Blumhouse/Flanagan joint productions, but personally and preferentially speaking, what he did with OUIJA 2: ORIGIN OF EVIL under a PG-13 constraint is the most impressive. Particular given how utterly unwatchable first entry was. Of course, Flanagan’s usual stable of actors including wifey Kate Siegel, Elizabeth Reaser, Henry Thomas and Annalise Basso give primacy to the drama, allowing for the horror to unfold secondarily.

#5. THE PURGE: ELECTION YEAR (2016)

It was a bit sad to see James DeMonaco depart THE PURGE franchise right when he found a directorial groove and hit a franchise high-note with the third entry, ELECTION YEAR. It’s no doubt the cream of the crop, as DeMonaco was able to hone the already brilliant conceit, learn from the mistakes of the first two, and deliver a truly enthralling, character-driven, socially relevant blitz of intense anarchic violence. The election year storyline adds to the immediacy and urgency, but remains entertaining without being preachy. To watch it now in 2018 is all the scarier a prospect. Seriously, the stakes of this movie may actually transcend mere fiction one day soon.

#4. SINISTER (2012)

The great Ethan Hawke lends instant bona fides to not just an extremely solid horror story, but a budding Blumhouse production company that heretofore largely relied on unknown actors. Scott Derickson wisely saw something in Hawke to play washed-up crime writer Eli Oswalt, who uncovers a, ahem, sinister plot involving a ghastly serial killer dating back to the 60s. SINISTER’s greatness derives from being both an intriguing investigative thriller and a downright mortifying horror yarn that happens to feature a top-notch starring turn from Hawke, who would continue his working with Blumhouse by agreeing to star in THE PURGE the following year.

#3. THE GIFT (2015) 

Score one for Gordo! Indeed, Joel Edgerton’s deeply disturbing and duplicitous tale of childhood vengeance in THE GIFT is not only one of the most deftly written and superbly acted Blumhouse joints to date, it’s one of the few movies to actually nail its ending as well. The feeling you leave this one with tows the line of queasy ambivalence and satisfying triumph, making you feel numb, lost, and needing a goddamn hug. Never mind the mysterious gift-boxes Gordo leaves on Simon and Robyn’s doorstep, the final act of payback is where it’s at. Remember, Gordo leaves Simon guessing, and us as well, whether or not he’ll have to live with just the memory of his wife being violated, or live with the physical consequence of it.

#2. HALLOWEEN (2018) 

$76 million on opening weekend? F*ck me. No wonder why Michael Myers is no longer Strode’s kin, the fucker’s turned into a goddamn Lehman Brother! All jesting aside, the care and craft put into resurrecting HALLOWEEN and Michael Myers as a formidable force once more cannot be overstated. Gordon Green, McBride, Curtis, Carpenter, and Blum deserve all the credit in the world for approaching this affectionate sequel with candor and quality across the board. Not only have they found a way to make Myers a truly menacing maniac again, they’ve created human characters to be his foil that we really side with and want to see prevail. Go see HALLOWEEN if you haven’t already!

#1. GET OUT (2017) 

Yo, when your little $5 million May release goes on to cull a cool quarter-billion at the international box-office, win universal extolment among jaded critics and wide-eyed audiences alike, scare the piss out of both, then go on to win the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, yup, Jordan Peele’s GET OUT is the surefire slam-dunk best horror flick Blumhouse has yet to release. The topically trenchant social commentary, the mordant humor, the f*cked up blend of Twilight Zone surrealism and the stark American climate it was released into, etc. - there’s no denying the impact GET OUT made on pretty much everyone with a pulse in 2017. Hell, I think we all live in the Sunken Place nowadays!

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