This year at New York Comic Con, I had the chance to interview Jason Blum, who is the founder and CEO of Blumhouse. Along with being a three-time Academy Award-nominated, two-time Primetime Emmy Award-winning, and three-time Peabody Award-winning producer, he has done over 150 movies and television series through Blumhouse. Most recently, the company released Five Nights at Freddy’s, which is in theaters and streaming on Peacock.
I asked him about which movies had the most surprising audience reactions, what Blumhouse fans can look forward to, why he loves the horror genre, and more. Keep reading for our full conversation!
So nice to meet you. First of all, I have to say I’m a huge fan of Blumhouse.
Jason Blum: This is great news.
And I’m not even a horror person.
I’m being so genuine, Blumhouse are some of the only horror movies I watch.
Wow, I love that. Well, thank you.
You had a great movie lineup this year, Totally Killer and now you have Five Nights at Freddy’s, so I’m curious, do you have a top three Blumhouse films where you were surprised by the audience reaction?
Oh, top three– so, that’s a good question. Surprised by the audience reaction… I was surprised by the reaction to The Purge, but I love those movies, you know, all The Purge movies. I was surprised and happy about the audience reaction to that. Surprised and happy about the audience’s reaction to Happy Death Day, probably — very surprised and happy about that. And maybe The Invisible Man, I was surprised and happy by the audience reaction.
I have to say, I’m a Truth or Dare girl.
Truth or Dare was great.
I remember going to the theater to see it with my friends so vividly. I’m a big Lucy Hale and Tyler Posey fan.
Truth or Dare was a lot of fun. We have a new movie by him called Imaginary. Yeah, it’s Jeff Wadlow’s new movie.
There we go, new trip to the movies.
Trip to the movies, it comes out next year.
Next, tell me what’s coming up for fans. Let’s start with Five Nights at Freddy’s.
Yeah, so we have Five Nights at Freddy’s, [which is] a movie we worked on for a long time. We partnered with Scott, we had a great partnership. I think Emma did a terrific job on the movie. Matthew Lillard — we got a great cast and fans of the game are gonna love the movie, I guarantee it. It’s a personal guarantee. Then, we had such a good time on M3GAN with Atomic Monster, we partnered with them again on Night Swim. We’re at the end of the process of putting the two companies together, so I’m excited about that and they originated this movie, which is going to make it as scary to get in a swimming pool as it was to get in the ocean after Jaws.
I don’t know if I need that.
You need it, you need it.
The movies already keep me up at night! But with Five Nights at Freddy’s, I was so excited about Josh Hutcherson in the leading role. I’ve been a big fan of his since Bridge to Terabithia and I’m thrilled to get him back on the big screen.
Yeah, Josh does a great job.
Is there anything you could tease about his performance in particular?
I mean, are we surprised?
Not at all.
Everything he does is great.
He’s so good, such a good actor.
And what about the horror genre overall? If you had to narrow it down, what keeps you coming back?
I love horror movies because it’s a way to like, smuggle subversive stories into the mainstream. So often these strange unusual stories are relegated to independent releases and tiny releases, and no one sees them, but horror is a great way to get subversive stories supported and told in the mainstream. That’s why I love horror.
Actually, you led me into my next question perfectly. I’m a firm believer that no matter what the genre, there can alway be some sort of takeaway or theme, a message that either the audience relates to or that you can take away from the movie in some way, shape, or form. When you think back, whether it’s a Blumhouse project or any film that you’re a fan of, is there a theme, message, or anything specific that resonated with you or was unexpected when going into the movie that still stands out?
I don’t know if there was a theme but two horror movies this past year that I really liked at Warner’s — I thought Smile was really cool and inventive, and I thought Talk to Me was a great inventive movie. So, it doesn’t really answer your question, but I really like those movies.
Shout-out to those movies! Last quick question, what is it like seeing the fan excitement for your projects? Have you gotten to maybe pop into a theater with an audience watching one of your movies? I feel like I would want to do that.
Yeah, I do, I go a lot. It’s really fun. Well, the fun thing of doing horror movies is you get to hear people’s reaction. You know, you make a drama, they might love it, but you won’t know because the audience doesn’t move. So, with horror and with comedy, you know if the people like the movie or not by how much noise they’re making and that’s very satisfying, when they’re making noise.