We asked our Twitter followers to pose questions to horror producer Jason Blum, the man behind Paranormal Activity, Insidious and The Purge . Here be your answers!
Which was the film to first terrify or disturb you and did it inspire you in any way? (@The-LizMarshall)
Friday The 13th . I saw it when I was too young, I saw it in LA at my aunt and uncle’s house and I was alone at night. I was too frightened. I didn’t see another scary movie for, like, three years, it damaged my brain. And it probably also is a lot of the reason why I’m so into horror movies now, I think part of it was conquering my fear.
Sinister 2, will it be ready for 2015 (please say yes)? (@infinitefeels)
Yes, for sure. We start shooting in six weeks, we shoot in Chicago and it will definitely be out for some time next year. The best thing I can tell you about it is that Scott and Cargill who wrote the first movie wrote the second movie, and Scott’s been very hands on, very involved.
We worked the shooting schedule around his schedule because he’s busy with Dr Strange , and so his handprints will be all over it which to me as a producer I think is the most important thing I could accomplish, to keep Scott involved in the movie. So far (knock on wood) I have, I was pretty good at getting James back on Insidious and so far I've gotten the same thing with Scott which to me is the most important thing I could do.
Can you see yourself producing something other than horror, maybe sci-fi, comedy or drama? How do you pick your films? (@lukerobinsonoff)
So we did two movies that weren’t horror movies this year, we did A Normal Heart , which is a Larry Kramer play we did for HBO which Ryan Murphy directed and which was Julia Roberts and Mark Ruffalo, which is about AIDS. I mean a kind of horror, but it’s not a horror movie like our other movies. Then we did Whiplash .
The way we did Whiplash was that someone who worked for me was very involved in the short for Whiplash and knew the director. So if I see something that I really think is awesome, and its not a horror movie, then we’ll make it, but we’re really still looking for scary movies, we’re not looking for more Whiplashes and more Normal Hearts. But if they fall into out laps we’ll do them.
What does it take for horror films to successfully stand out from other titles? (@TyronePeiris)
It needs to be different, and original, more than anything else. More than ‘make it scary!’. I always think, and always tell the directors, if you’re going to make a low budget movie take advantage of that. If a movie is cheap you can try new shit, like I remember I said to James [Wan] and Scott [Derrickson] when we were doing Insidious and Sinister I said ‘what have you always been told that you can never do, in development, what has the studio always said ‘you cant do this’? And with Insidious the best example of that is the Further.
James, when he pitched Insidious , said the Further is going to be like David Lynch, and if he’d said that to a studio they wouldn’t have let him make the movie, they would have been like ‘wait a minute, you’re supposed to be making a popcorn horror movie, how is it David Lynch?’.
I’m smart enough to just say, ‘great, go for it’, because James Wan’s idea of David Lynch and someone else’s idea of David Lynch are very different. James Wan’s idea of David Lynch is very poppy and fun. I think the most important thing is to try new things, and if you’ve got something new the scares and everything come.
You have consistently found and produced the best horror films in recent years, what do you look for in a story? (@HOLLYWOODRUFF)
We look for things that feel new and different. We don’t work with first time directors, we only work with directors who have at least done one and normally more movies, so I look for directors that I really believe in, and who have made at least one movie that I thought was really cool, not even necessarily if it was a horror movie, but that it was interesting.
The Purge: Anarchy is out now. To read an extended interview with Jason Blum pick up the new issue of Total Film, in shops Friday 1 August - it's just one part of our MASSIVE HORROR PREVIEW!