The prolific horror producer is ready to end several of his signature franchises while launching another.
Jason Blum owes a lot to the “Paranormal Activity” franchise. The found footage movies helped establish his Blumhouse Productions as a horror movie powerhouse, creating an endlessly profitable formula that has given him the financial freedom to pursue riskier projects. Blum has produced seven “Paranormal Activity” films, from the original in 2007 to 2021’s “Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin.” But the three-time Oscar nominee is not happy with the direction the series has taken.
Speaking to Variety from the Locarno Film Festival, where he is set to receive the Premio Raimondo Rezzonico for Best Independent Producer, Blum did not mince words about the current state of the franchise and his desire to move on from it.
“It’s been enough already,” Blum said. “That last ‘Paranormal Activity’ movie was terrible.”
Though the production company that bears his name has become synonymous with inexpensive horror movies that often spawn multiple sequels, Blum made it clear that he doesn’t feel the need to extend his franchises forever. He also had to pull the plug on Danny McBride and David Gordon Green’s rebooted “Halloween” series, though that one was for business reasons rather than artistic ones.
“With ‘Halloween,’ we only had the rights to three movies, so we said: ‘Halloween Ends’! It ends for Blumhouse, at least,” he said. “With other things, you just have this feeling it’s time to put them to bed. It would come back if some director I love, like Scott Derrickson, said: ‘I have a great idea for a ‘Paranormal Activity’ movie. But it’s not something I want to do.”
While the door is not completely closed for future “Paranormal Activity” movies, Blum has moved on to other priorities, including a reboot of “The Exorcist” from director David Gordon Green.
“We are getting ready to make it,” he said. “Hopefully, we will do the same thing with ‘The Exorcist’ that we did with ‘Halloween’–make it in a way that’s fresh and worth revisiting. And feels different enough so that people are happy we did it.”
Blum is seeking the same balance of respect and disruption that made his “Halloween” reboots a success, which is why Green was his “first choice” for the job.
“He is very good at respecting intellectual property that already exists and putting a new spin on it,” Blum said.