Blumhouse is responsible for many modern horror franchises and they’ve continued to push the genre forward in exciting ways. Welcome to the Blumhouse pursues stories that usually go underrepresented and taps into something special as a result. Jeremy Gold, producer from Welcome to the Blumhouse, speaks out on the power of storytelling, the importance of diversity in filmmaking, and how to help push genre television and films to challenging new places.
You’re a producer on a number of these Welcome to the Blumhouse pictures, but what initially draws you to these projects and what are you hoping to say with them?
Jeremy Gold: So just for some background, I come from Blumhouse Television, and these four movies—Black Box, The Lie, Evil Eye, and Nocturne—are part of the Welcome to the Blumhouse series that we produced for Amazon. It’s remarkable that they all come from underrepresented filmmakers and we partnered with Amazon to develop this slate of genre films from underrepresented voices. It’s been amazing to find this talent and give them a real opportunity to tell their stories. A lot of these filmmakers had very personal stories to tell through their films. It’s exciting to see how many of these young or fresh voices can traffic in a lot of complex stories.
All of these movies kind of look at families in dissolution and humans that experience a loss of identity. Is that similarity intentional?
Jeremy Gold: In building the slate of films, we hunted for the best material that we could find. As more scripts and treatments started to float to the surface we started to extract from that a lot of the themes that were turning out to be more popular across the board. That’s what led us to these meditations on family and betrayal, but it’s all born very organically by just embracing the best material from our sources.
It’s an odd detail to fixate on, but many of these films also begin with home movies and footage of babies during the opening credits. What was the desired effect there?
Jeremy Gold: That’s interesting! That’s not intentional and kind of a coincidence, but there was a moment where we realized it and were kind of like, “Oh, that’s cool” and leaned into it. But that wasn’t the intention from the start.
It’s also a lot of fun to see how these movies tackle different sub-genres within horror, like how Black Box is more science fiction and that Nocturne even has a bit of a Suspiria vibe. Did you look for contrasting content like that?
Jeremy Gold: By intention we were looking to develop a diverse slate where filmmakers can tell their stories. We certainly had some guidelines, but we more so provided a lot of freedom. We were non-specific about how genre or non-genre the stories should be. So you’ll see that some are drama, a little more of a thriller, and the tones are all very different, by design. We wanted them to feel different from one another with unique tones and energies. One of the nice things about genre storytelling is that anything inside of that umbrella makes people more aware of their fears, which I think all of these films accomplish.
It’s so satisfying to see how multicultural these films all are and that they depict so many different types of people. Was that an important thing that you wanted to represent across these different movies?
Absolutely, we wanted to lean into cultural specificity with these stories. That was present in the scripts, but also like in the case of Evil Eye, we specifically went looking for the filmmaker that’d be the best suited to bring that story to life and properly understand its cultural sensitivities, rather than the other way around.
Some of these films are adaptations of foreign films or audio plays. Are you looking for strong stories in other forms of media that could work as movies?
Jeremy Gold: At Blumhouse Television, and with the film company too, we have a very voracious appetite for material, so we’ll gather content from everywhere. We look to books, articles, podcasts, older movie or television titles, but we’re just looking for great storytelling, wherever that may come from. Something that’s a hallmark of how we develop and produce material is that we try to remain as fundamentally true to the story as possible, whether that’s the story that led to the writing of Evil Eye, or our adaptation of The Good Lord Bird, where we strived hard to remain as authentic as possible to the voice of that story. We will always lean heavily into the intent behind the intellectual property and be as genuine with it as possible.
What are you excited about regarding the future of horror and where the industry is heading?
Jeremy Gold: It’s not just the monsters under your bed that keep us up to tonight, so I think just beyond horror there’s a lot of exciting stuff going on right now with genre storytelling. They’re about stuff that start discussions and engage in important subject matter. Audiences today are very astute, but they also now have higher expectations towards storytelling, which causes us all to raise our game. There’s never been a better time for this sort of stuff and television is at its height. People can take wild chances and tell these stories that historically wouldn’t have been possible earlier on television.
Back in the ‘70s you were either a lawyer show, a cop show, or a comedy and if you were anything else you basically didn’t get on the air. I’m excited that audiences continue to push their own boundaries of what they’ll watch and the type of show that can not just get produced today, but actually thrive. Like for instance, would Ramy have been as big of a deal ten years ago? I don’t think so. The audience has to mature and get ready for something like that, which they are now.
Welcome to the Blumhouse premieres on Amazon Prime on October 6.