The scary minds behind 'Insidious' and 'Emily Rose' team up for more horror
EXCLUSIVE: In just over a month in theaters, "Insidious" has pulled off a difficult feat: The horror film has become a hit almost entirely on the strength of its word-of-mouth.
As the movie -- made for just under $2 million -- nears $50 million in domestic box office, one of the producers behind it is putting together another film project that aims to continue the low-budget genre model.
Jason Blum, who also spearheaded the microbudget-picture-turned-horror-franchise "Paranormal Activity," says he's working with Scott Derrickson on a new movie. Derrickson is best known for directing the well-received "The Exorcism of Emily Rose" -- Laura Linney's 2005 supernatural tale grossed $140 million around the world. (The director was also behind the Keanu Reeves sci-fi remake "The Day the Earth Stood Still" in 2008.)
The plot line for the untitled Derrickson picture, which aims to shoot this summer, is being kept under wraps, Blum said, but he described it as a horror story with a crime at the center. The goal is to make a movie that puts a clever idea and a vision ahead of pricey stars or splashy effects.
"It's hard to do, but when it works, it's much more effective both on the screen and the bottom line," said Blum, who later this year is also planning on shooting a new Rob Zombie witch movie, "The Lords of Salem," using the same model.
"Insidious" is proof of the phenomenon for Blum, as well as director James Wan and producers Steven Schneider and Oren Peli. (Peli directed the first "Paranormal.") The film, which premiered at last year's Toronto Film Festival and generated buzz there, hit theaters last month and has become a hit despite a very limited amount of broadcast marketing.
Working off a script by Leigh Whannell, "Insidious" tells of a suburban boy named Dalton who communicates with the spirit world, much to the horror of his parents and, eventually, the audience. Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne play the horrified parents; newcomer Ty Simpkins plays Dalton.
While Wan's stock in the horror community has ebbed and flowed since he directed "Saw" seven years ago, "Insidious" earned strong reviews from most (if not all) fan horror sites. But the most important aspect may be how people leave the theater. "A lot of people try to create movies that scare you," Blum said. "But this is a movie that's genuinely scary -- it's like a throwback to those classic '70s horror films -- and people are responding to that."
Photo: "Insidious." Credit: FilmDistrict