In case you haven't heard, we are in the midst of a horror boom. We've not only seen a surprising number of legitimately great scary movies in the last year, but audiences are also eating them up and generating shocking box office numbers. It's a very exciting time to be a fan of the genre -- but according to Blumhouse founder Jason Blum and the legendary John Carpenter, folks should really enjoy it while it lasts. Says Blum,
My feeling about horror being a big deal right now is that it's very cyclical. It's a big deal, so now everyone's going to make horror movies. There are going to be a lot of crap ones, and then everyone's going to say, 'Horror's not working anymore!' And then there's going to be much, much less horror. Then there's going to be a great one because there haven't been that many, and they're not going to get made unless they're really good, and then there's the boom.
Jason Blum has spent the last decade becoming one of the biggest names in horror, and he's seen the genre go through some massive changes in that time. As such, when he looks at the current "renaissance" -- which he very much helped kick-start by backing Jordan Peele's Get Out -- he doesn't really see a lasting trend, but instead a series of ebbs and flows.
The producer spoke about the current state of horror last month during the Los Angeles press day for David Gordon Green's Halloween, where he was paired with John Carpenter for roundtable interviews. Preceding his statement, he noted his curiosity about Carpenter's thoughts on the matter as well, and the genius director bluntly agreed:
You've got the secret. You haven't forgotten about Japanese horror, have you? Way back then - you haven't forgotten. That was a big deal! It went away. And [Jason Blum is] partially responsible for bringing in the new horror stuff.
Of course, John Carpenter is referring to the period in the early 2000s when Hollywood fell in love with creating English-language remakes of Japanese titles like Ringu (The Ring) and Ju-On (The Grudge). Fitting in with the conversation, that fad eventually died thanks to oversaturation, and then a few years later the exact same thing happened with the found-footage craze -- which was initially jump-started by the Jason Blum-produced Paranormal Activity.
During the interview, Jason Blum noted that specific experience, and even went as far as to map out a rough timeline of how the whole system operates:
Since I started it's dipped and come down. Paranormal Activity took off, and then it dipped around about five or you know, whatever, I don't know, four or five. It dipped, and then now it's ramping back up again. And I guarantee you in 12 months there'll be so many bad horror movies people will be like, 'I'm never going to see another horror movie again.' Because now it's like, 'Oh, we can make money if we make a horror movie!' And then they're bad... That's the market. That's how Hollywood works.
Jason Blum and John Carpenter's comments aside, it is worth noting that there is something somewhat special about the current horror boom in that it can't be readily defined. In the past couple years we've seen titles like the aforementioned Get Out, Andres Muschietti's IT, and John Krasinski's A Quiet Place become phenomenal successes, but there really isn't anything that ties the titles together beyond genre categorization. One has to wonder if there's a possibility that the variety involved might sustain things for a little longer -- but we'll just have to wait and see.
For now, the current horror boom is operating at full strength, and should provide a perfect cinematic atmosphere for the arrival of David Gordon Green's Halloween, which is in theaters this Friday.