Blumhouse Horror and the Infinite “Why Are We Watching This?”

The last three years have brought more than a few horror movies to theaters nationwide, and more than a few of those were brought to you by Blumhouse Productions. You know, the distribution company that has the freaky haunted house intro before the movie starts? It’s notorious for its suffocating marketing and advertisements on literally every social media outlet. Sadly, it’s also known for it’s below average, PG-13 targeted horror flops. The main attraction for Blumhouse is the supernatural. Ghosts, poltergeists, possessions, the whole lot of them. “A couple moves into a new house, hoping to leave their past behind. But the new house isn’t without its own memories.” Or how about “A young girl comes back to her childhood home in order to start anew but is only reintroduced to the horrors she tried to put behind her.” Sound familiar? It’s the same bullshit plot line regurgitated in virtually every ghost movie nowadays.   Honestly people- why do we keep buying into the supernatural non-spin cycle of horror? Blumhouse is spending truckloads on advertising to reel you into theaters, to sit you down in front of a lack luster, shitty effect movie with a dumb plot with a dumb plot twist, and for what? Nothing worth seeing again and nothing worth remembering. If I wanted to jump out of my seat 3 or 4 times and laugh about it, I’ll watch one of those tricksie-hobbitsies Youtube videos.

At this point, I’d like to disclaim and acknowledge the fact that not every horror film to be distributed by Blumhouse was a box office failure or a critically massacred one. Some were pretty good, some that happen to be in my top 10 favorites. But don’t pretend that you don’t know which ones that I speak of….you know! The ones that were just trash and yet somehow managed to get a sequel. The ones that made you check your phone like 15 times while watching it. Dare I say it- the ones that made you seriously regret that ticket, popcorn, Coke, Sour Patch Kids, and nachos purchase.

According to user reviews on both IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes, recent Blumhouse releases receive consectutively average or below average ratings of 5 stars or less. This does not constitute a good horror movie in my eyes. I’m not the type of person to solely rely on the views of others either. If I damn well like a movie, I like it despite what others think. It can also be frustrating to sit back and pretend to like a movie that you know is absolutely absurd as well. If you do a quick check of Ouija on IMDB or Rotten Tomatoes, you’ll see that it’s averaging a 4.4 out of 10 rating. That’s pretty bad. Not 2 star bad but still enough to prove my suspicions of it being crap and making me feel like a smart, responsible adult for not spending cash or an hour of my life watching it. It’s sequel, Ouija 2, is set to release in 2017. Why? No seriously, why? Because ghosts are cash cows in today’s world of horror. It doesn’t matter if it’s a thrill ride or an intelligent story. It puts asses in seats and frankly, it’s shameful to the genre filled with genuinely intriguing and genuinely disturbing supernatural films.

Here’s a quick list of the less than appealing Blumhouse gems:

  • Ouija: 4.4
  • The Gallows: 4.3
  • Unfriended: 5.8
  • Jessabelle: 5.4
  • Sinister 2: 5.3
  • The Lazarus Effect: 5.2

And not to mention the seemingly endless amount of Paranormal Activity spinoffs.

Now here are some nationally and personally successful and well done films by Blumhouse:

  • Creep
  • Oculus
  • Dark Skies
  • Sinister
  • Insidious: Chapter 2
  • The Visit

What are the key differences between these? I can’t put the blame on casting or lack thereof. Both Creep and The Visit stunned with their performances by small and relatively unknown cast members. The Lazarus Effect starred Olivia Wilde, Mark Duplass, and Evan Peters, and that sure as shit wasn’t on my ‘to finish’ list. How about directors? I’m wary to even say this, simply because all of the teeny bopper Friday night flicks virtually tell the same story, insert the same scares, and come to the same conclusion. Add an ouija board there or a dead best friend here and you’ll basically have the same movie. Same look, same characters, same feel.

Maybe it’s the writing. Maybe directors shouldn’t direct their own screenplays because something gets lost, the true essence of their intended purpose. I don’t know. I really don’t. Why is Blumhouse the main reason theaters are filling the horror bill? I honestly would not care about who or why they have the most released “product” if it was a quality product. There’s been 10 too many bad apples for me to believe that this film farm produces the best around.



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