Jason Blum is here in Austin, Texas for SXSW to tout a pair of new genre films carrying the Blumhouse Productions name: Creep and Oculus.
While Creep doesn't have a release date yet, Oculus is arriving April 11th. What makes them similar is that they're both films Blum was not involved with from the beginning. Rather, he entered the project after they were shot.
Blum sat down with Shock yesterday to discuss this and to provide us updates on his forthcoming slate like The Purge: Anarchy, Sinister 2, Insidious 3 and Paranormal Activity 5.
Ryan Turek: How did you get involved in Oculus?
Jason Blum: I saw it in Toronto – same as Paranormal Activity, I saw it finished – I was like, this is awesome, I want to help get this out into the world. I think FilmDistrict was going to release it, but they dropped it and I teamed up with Relativity to get it out into the world and give it a wide release. We'll do a ton of marketing.
Turek: Has the film changed any since Toronto?
Blum: A few changes. We tinkered very little with it. I just felt like there was a wide release in this movie. It's different, the acting is great, the dual storytelling and how one dovetails into the other is so innovative. I'm psyched to help it get out there.
Turek: Is this opening the door to a collaboration with Mike on the ground floor of a potential new project?
Blum: I'd love to work with Mike. Mike and [producer] Trevor Macy were closely together, but if they were to invite me to their party again, I would definitely come.
Turek: Let's look ahead – how's Paranormal Activity 5 coming along?
Blum: We're excited to get 5 out. The Marked Ones did much better internationally than it did domestic. We're still futzing a lot with 5. Toying around with that is always fun. I'm very excited about the sequel to The Purge. I see a cut of it next week and James [DeMonaco] is really excited. I'm looking forward to extending the story, it's such a great concept.
Turek: What prompted the release date push?
Blum: It felt like a better weekend to us. There was nothing really else to it. It's always hard to put smaller genre movies out during the summer and I'm happy Universal wants to do that. I'll tell you on the Saturday after the movie's release if it was the right move. But, it gives us some breathing room.
Turek: How does it feel to have two projects here at SXSW?
Blum: I love it. Next year we'll have eight. [laughs]
Turek: The other film here, Creep, how did that one float your way? You and Mark Duplass are pals, yes?
Blum: Yeah, I looked at a real rough cut of the movie about a year and a half ago. I thought it was great, but better served as a scary movie with laughs as opposed to the other way around. Insidious is a scary movie with laughs. Paranormal 3 has as much funny stuff as there is scary stuff. In most great horror movies, there are jokes in them to give the audience a rest. James [Wan] and Leigh [Whannell] are great at that. With Creep, we can keep the funny moments, but really push the scary stuff.
Turek: Ah, so you came into this one well after it was shot…
Blum: Yes, but we shot a bunch after I saw it. Found footage movies are much easier to reshoot or do additional shooting for…
Turek: Well, funny you should say that. I heard you were getting grilled this morning during your key note speech about Area 51.
Blum: [laughs] I will say, very much on the record, every movie we do will get a release. Some just take longer than others. Area 51 is an extreme example. There's no benefit to not releasing a movie because there's always a market. There's ancillary value to these movies. That's not necessarily true for larger movies, but all of our movies will come out and that goes for Area 51.
Turek: And Sinister 2?
Blum: Sinister 2 is coming along great. The script is done. We're hoping to shoot this summer.
Turek: Tonally in line with the first one?
Blum: Yes. It's got a great script. Cargill and Derrickson did a great job writing it. If you love the tone of the first film, you'll love this. Plus it's got a lot of new stuff in it.
Turek: You're hoping for a 2015 release?
Blum: Yeah, 2015. Next year…
Turek: And, finally, how's Insidious 3?
Blum: Script is done. We're hoping to shoot that this summer, too.