Beginning October 4th, those living in and around Los Angeles will have one more haunted attraction to check out this Halloween season.
Producer Jason Blum has made a significant mark on the horror genre, shepherding films such as the Paranormal Activity franchise, Insidious, the upcoming Sinister, The Bay and Lords of Salem and, now, he’s exploring another medium with The Blumhouse of Horrors, a haunt opening in downtown L.A. at the 88-year-old Variety Arts Center.
Last night, Shock Till You Drop was given an early look the attraction which proved to be an impressive, extravagant affair with stunning production design and, more importantly, terrific scares. Visitors will weave through the labyrinthine building’s multiple floors experiencing not just traditional “boo!” gags but magic as well. And the backdrop of the story – set against the 1930s vaudevillian theater scene – offers many spooky, fog-enshrouded environments to explore and introduces visitors to plenty of interesting, often ghoulish/often gorgeous characters.
At 40 minutes in length, The Blumhouse of Horrors is definitely one of the best new haunts in the area and Shock had a chance to speak to Blum following our tour.
Shock Till You Drop: How did this come about? Was this something you wanted to do earlier but waited until now to pull off?
Jason Blum: We shoot all of our movies in L.A., as you know. A couple of years ago, we were talking about how we do all of these scares for movies and TV and we thought it would be fun to do a live event. For two years, the ideas swirled around and then what really brought it all together was finding this location and we were able to secure it and it came together relatively quickly.
Shock: Was the location something you’ve had your eye on from the start?
Blum: We wanted an old building in downtown L.A. so it would feel historic before we even started dressing it and then we found this one and it fit really well.
Shock: Story-wise, is this all your baby?
Blum: No, it’s a huge thing. Production designers, art directors and a lot of people along the way giving us ideas. I give a few notes along the way, but it’s a big group of people and a super collaborative process.
Shock: How many performers do you have working in the maze?
Blum: In front of and behind-the-scenes, about 100 people.
Shock: What part of the maze are you most excited about pulling off and eager to have people experience?
Blum: Probably the end. I’m excited about the fact that there’s slightly more of a narrative than a normal haunted house, that gets me excited.
Shock: Were there similar haunted attractions in the past that stoked the creative inspiration for this?
Blum: There wasn’t a haunted house, but I was inspired by Sleep No More, the show in New York, and that’s what really got me going. That was more theatrical than this is, but maybe there was a way to mix scares and that. And if we succeeded, that’s what I hope people feel from this.
Shock: As a producer of a number of hit horror films, what similarities or differences do you see between pulling off on-screen frights versus what you’re doing here?
Blum: I think there are a lot of differences and similarities. The similarities are, like in a movie, you want to take your audiences’ attention one way and you want the scare to come from somewhere else. The hard part is doing it live because if you mess it up, you can’t do it again. That’s the challenge is to get it right and to get it right every time for a new group of people.
For ticket information and show dates visit BlumhouseofHorrors.com.