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Lucio Fulci, a titan of the cinema of fear, said that horror cinema is above all “a cinema of ideas”. AND Blumhouse Productions – The American House of Horrors penned by the authoritative Matteo Marescalco and published by Bietti, demonstrates how right the Italian filmmaker was and how brilliant and farsighted Ilaria Floreano is always in her editorial choices. In guiding us to discover the extraordinary “creature” generated by Jason Blum, the volume with an anthology of data, numbers, reflections, quotes tells us that at the origin of successes such as Paranormal Activity e Run away -Get Out there is always a strong, immediate and captivating idea. A subject, a concept that can be summarized in a paragraph, in a handful of lines. And it is for this reason, in the words of Charles Layton former president of Blumhouse Productions that “Blumhouse has transformed itself into a brand capable of meaning something to the public”.
From Paranormal Activity to Scappa- Get Out, the power of ideas
Enhanced by the foreword by Patrick Brice, director of the two very valuable and disturbing Creeps, the book explores in intriguing style how Blumhouse transformed a film into a resource of multiple media products. Thanks to ingenious marketing campaigns, but also through mistakes (rifiutaronor Blair Witch Project), Blum revolutionized a genre, launched authors such as Jordan Peele, Mike Flannagan , James DeMonaco, Leigh Whannell, Damien Chazelle. By virtue of the very rare privilege of the final cut, the production house has involved directors of the caliber of M. Night Shyamalan, set aside by Hollywood, producing The Visit, Split And Glass. In short With one eye on the budget and the other on creativity, Blumhouse has succeeded in the often impossible mission of combining box office receipts with quality and making a horror film win an Oscar for the first time, that is , Escape which won the statuette for best original screenplay.
Between Sinister, insidious And Halloween
Sinister, Insidious, Oculus the reflection of evil, Ouija, unfriended, Upgrades, Wishplash, Blackkklansman, Death Wishes, Truth or DaretoNothe, The Hunt,, black Christmas, The invisible man and the sequel to Halloween didirected by David Gordon Green in 2018. These are some of the films that Marescalco tastefully dissects to reveal how fundamental the presence of Blumhouse was for these works to be realised. Just think of Ethan Hawke, who has always been reluctant to act in a horror film and who instead in the role of Ellison Oswalt, in the feature film directed by Scott Derrickson, proved to be a valid follower of Jack Torrance from Shining. The essay also analyzes the TV series produced by Blumhouse: da sharp objects to The Good Lord Bird -The story of John Brown.
Horror plays home
In short, through the analysis of the American house of horrors, the book illustrates the evolution of the horror genre between 2019 and 2021, a period rightly defined by the “revolutionary” author, between the pandemic, the cinema crisis and the position increasingly dominant of video-on-demand giants and platforms. On the other hand, as David Mamet teaches “Things change”. And Marescalco wisely closes the book with these words. “Between analogue and digital, independent film and blockbuster, display and big screen, images, at the cinema and in streaming, will continue to tell stories, insinuating themselves into the folds of the social world and continually redefining their identity. So long live Horror, long live the amazing books published by Bietti, long live Blumhouse and the Haunted House movies, so loved by Jason Blum. As Mario Praz wrote: The house is the man, tel le logis, tel le maitre.