[Blu-ray Review] The 'Blumhouse of Horrors' Ten-Film Collection Opens the Doors on the Best and Worst of Blumhouse
The doors to the Blumhouse of horrors first opened in 2007 with their release of Paranormal Activity, and set the stage for what was to come…
…A found-footage film made on a shoestring budget that blew away audiences and blew up Blumhouse, the studio has been following the same model ever since. Cheap. Unique. And letting filmmakers run as wild as possible with their ideas. For over ten years, that model has worked extraordinarily well for the studio, setting the bar for others and putting Blumhouse at the top of the totem pole when it comes to horror.
With their latest ten-film collection, Blumhouse of Horrors, now available on blu-ray, Blumhouse and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment have worked together to bring what is easily the quintessential set for Blumhouse fans to own. Normally, when you hear about a ten-film set, it’s a collection of half-dead stinkers just looking for a home to die in, but that’s not the case with this set. Containing Get Out, The Purge, Ouija, Split, The Visit, Unfriended, Truth or Dare, The Boy Next Door, Happy Death Day and Ma, this collection consists of some of Blumhouse’s best films, with selections as recent as 2019!
Just thinking of the talent collected on this disc makes me think I wouldn’t mind being subjected to the entire thing all at once, Clockwork Orange style. Directors include Jordan Peele, M. Night Shyamalan and Christopher Landon (whose upcoming Freaky looks like a rain of gore and laughs), with casts involving the likes of Ethan Hawke, James McAvoy, Jennifer Lopez, Octavia Spencer, Anya Taylor-Joy, Jessica Rothe, and many more. That is an assortment of talent worth drooling over like a Halloween basket of candy.
On its face, any set including Get Out and/or Happy Death Day is worthwhile, considering one is one of the most important horror films of all time, and the other is a laughing on the floor because your sides hurt too much riot. These are two of my personal favorite films that Blumhouse has been involved with. I would follow the adventures of Tree (Rothe) anywhere, so hey, keep on making those calls for Happy Death Day 3 heard.
Aside from the obvious hits, the set also collects many of Blumhouse’s more underrated films, such as eerie found footage flick The Visit (a film which predicted the coming resurgence of director M. Night Shyamalan), and Unfriended, a straight up horrifying anti-bullying ghost film, which was one of the early films that got creative and used a computer screen to tell a story. And that’s what’s always made Blumhouse a studio to keep an eye on. With their low-budget platform, the cobwebbed doors are ready to creak open for anyone with an interesting idea, and thanks to the studio spending so little, they’re allowed to take risks. They want to take risks. That’s what they do. Many of horror’s best films come from filmmakers who have to get creative on budget restrictions, and Blumhouse knows that.
Of course, that close your eyes and throw a dart model leads to a lot of, er, less successful work as well, and it’s no surprise that some of those entries in the Blumhouse catalogue made their way into this set. Both Ouija and Truth or Dare, while they have their fans, are largely uninteresting films riddled with cheap digital effects and a propensity for exhausting scares rather than any meaningful plot. And then there’s the Jennifer Lopez starring The Boy Next Door, hiding there in the corner, hoping no one sees it. Don’t worry, Boy Next Door, there are plenty of films here to take attention away from…whatever it is you are.
All in all, this collection is a mix of the best—and worst—Blumhouse has to offer, which should be saying something for Blumhouse, because most of these films range from watchable to Oscar-winning. From ghosts to maniacs to jealous lovers and time loops, the Blumhouse of Horrors collection has an entertaining mix of ghoulish stories to get you through this October season. I think we could all agree that this October, twenty hours worth of films is a much needed escape.
Adding into those hours of entertainment are the loads of special features included with each disc. Most discs in the set contain feature commentaries, deleted scenes (you have to see how Get Out originally ended), short making of docs, etc. The disappointment here is that none of these features are new. If you already own any of the included discs, this set offers nothing more than an extra copy of that disc. At a price of $69.99, that’s admittedly steep for anyone who already owns a good handful of these films. But considering most of these films cost $10-$15 on their own, that’s a deal for anyone who has yet to enter the Blumhouse film library.
This collection allows you to wander the halls of Blumhouse, giving a peek around every dark corner, for better or worse. Mostly, you’ll find underappreciated, well-made pieces of terror, the occasional, hideous creature scurrying out of sight, and a few delightful treasures hidden behind dusty paintings. If you’re a newcomer to Blumhouse, this set offers a welcome stay at the Blumhouse of Horrors.
The Blumhouse of Horrors collection is now available from Universal Home Entertainment.
By Matt Konopka