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We here at CinemaBlend have spoken at length about the current boom of the horror genre in Hollywood. Between films like IT and Get Out, these creepy movies are achieving critical acclaim and commercial success in ways that we haven't see for quite some time. So what's at the root of it all? Well, we posed that question to Insidious: The Last Key director Adam Robitel during the film's recent press junket in Los Angeles, and he explained that horror has turned into one of the few viable genres that can stand up against big-budget blockbusters. Robitel explained:
Well speaking to larger horror as having a moment, because we're seeing larger movies like Marvel and then everything else in the middle has gone away, people want to be scared in a crowd and a catharsis so I think that's the reason at least horror general is here.
It's no secret that mid-range movies aren't flourishing on the silver screen like they used to. Many people are opting to not go to the movies anymore, and it has mostly turned into a select few tentpole franchises like Star Wars and the Marvel Cinematic Universe making the lion's share of the money. However, horror is one of the few remaining genres that can deliver competitive thrills on small to mid-range budgets, and by Adam Robitel's overall assessment, the experience of getting scared in a crowded theater is still inherently appealing for many audiences.
Raw data certainly seems to back this up. In 2017, we saw several fantastic horror movies play well with critics and make a lot of money in the process. David F. Sandberg's Annabelle: Creation proved itself as another hit for the Conjuring universe, and Andy Muschietti's IT went on to become the highest-grossing horror movie of all time. In blunt terms, things are looking good for the horror genre right now, and it arguably can still compete in theatrical release because of the return on investment that horror movies provide.
From there, our conversation with Adam Robitel turned more specifically to Blumhouse's recent string of horror successes like Get Out and Happy Death Day. Addressing Blumhouse's ability to pump out so many hits in such a short period of time, Robitel explained that it stemmed from an emphasis on simple, catchy stories, saying:
I think with Jason it's always idea-centric first, it's like what's that cool thing that can cut through? It's a high concept in a little package, usually. Whether it's The Purge, or Get Out, or Guess Who's Coming to Dinner with an urban bent. These movies are about something, and ultimately Insidious is a family drama at its core and it's the reason part one was so successful, because you had Rose Byrne, Patrick Wilson, and you really invested in this family.
If you want to learn more about Adam Robitel's take on the success of the horror genre and the keys (pun intended) to the current Insidious formula, then take a look at a clip from our interview with him below!