To work, hor­ror films need top ac­tors

The Nation - - WORLD -

CALL MOST peo­ple cheap and you might ex­pect a slap in the face, but hor­ror film­mak­ing leg­end Ja­son Blum wears his par­si­mony like a badge of hon­our.

From “Para­nor­mal Ac­tiv­ity’ in 2007 to this year’s crit­i­cally­ac­claimed “Get Out”, the 48-year-old pro­ducer has made many of the defin­ing hor­ror films of the last decade – al­ways on a shoe­string.

Pay­ing ac­tors peanuts, but work­ing with stu­dios that en­sure that his films get world­wide dis­tri­bu­tion, he has re­couped some US$3 bil­lion ( Bt100 bil­lion) at the box of­fice from a port­fo­lio made for less than a twen­ti­eth of that amount.

“The most im­por­tant part to mak­ing a suc­cess­ful low-bud­get hor­ror movie is the story and act­ing has to be great. Not the scares – the scares are less im­por­tant than the story and the act­ing,” he says.

By cut­ting bud­gets down to the bare bones – typ­i­cally $5 mil­lion for an orig­i­nal movie and $10 mil­lion for a se­quel – Blum has re­de­fined genre film­mak­ing.

Of his most re­cent work, Jor­dan Peele’s “Get Out”, M Night Shya­malan’s “Split”, James DeMonaco’s “The Purge: Elec­tion Year” and Mike Flana­gan’s “Ouija: Ori­gin of Evil”, have grossed $664 mil­lion on a com­bined bud­get of $27.5 mil­lion.

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