While it has only been three event years since the last time The Horrors of Blumhouse made (its 2nd appearance), the world of horror has shifted. Blumhouse was already a juggernaut at the time, but one could argue that Black Phone and Freaky are among the most financially successful films from the studio. Given their star power, and being one of the few IP houses at this year’s event, expect this one to get crowded fast.
EXPECTED WAIT TIME
30 – 60 Minutes
CHARACTERS/EFFECTS WE HOPE TO SEE
The Grabber – Obviously, the instantly iconic villain will make his appearance throughout the house. The question is, how many versions will we see? The ever-changing mask offers plenty of variations for the Scaractors. My official guess is six variants of the Grabber, but we hope to see more.
Ghost Children – This could be a touchy subject, but it would not be the first, second, or third time we’ve seen creepy kids at HHN. However, given some of the controversy around Black Phone (in terms of framing The Grabber as a repressed gay man acting out his trauma), this might be wise. This does present some of the most interesting makeup effects of the film, so these characters would be nice to have. Yet staying away from potential red flags might be best for Universal.
Max – It could be a lot of fun to see Max. Given the events of the film, they could loop him in as an extremely fun nod, while also helping add to the scares. For those who do not remember, Max portrays the brother of a significant character. He is, well, hilariously incompetent.
The Blissfield Butcher – Our masked killer in Freaky does not stay that way for long. Yet when he’s donning his own creepy mask, he terrifies the audience. With the mask already popping on House T-Shirts, we will likely see a lot of the Blissfield Butcher in the house.
Millie’s Body – For a Freaky Friday situation to go down, you need an actual body to swap. Look no further than Millie and the Blissfield Butcher, who swap places to Millie’s chagrin. The Butcher uses Millie’s small frame to get people to underestimate her, but he never stops his killing ways. The red-leather costume already appears in the commercial.
The Grabber’s House – Not only is the location especially spooky, but there’s a fair amount of production design to recreate. A board of newspaper clippings might be fun, and forcing the audience to sneak past The Grabber could result in some very good scaractor surprises.
The Streets of Denver – We’re able to see the world build up around Black Phone because of the uniqueness of Denver as a city. We are hoping that the creative team put some thought into this, and specifically introduces a set reminiscent of locations from the film.
The Basement – The main set piece of the film is included in the house, but then again, it stands apartment from the rest of the film.
Meat Freezer – We cannot hoist ourselves up and climb through the wall, but we can certainly find our way into the devilish underground room with the right design.
Blissfield Valley High School – While Freaky showcases many non-descript locations, one that stands out from beginning to end is the high school. Not only are there numerous sequences that occur within its halls, but it becomes the chief location for several key killings. To fully experience this high school, we need to visit the following:
The Woodshop – Where the Blissfield Butcher measures twice and cuts once.
The Cryo Tank – Easily the most visually enjoyable sequence in the film occurs when a character is cryo-frozen to death. I’m guessing this makes its way into the house.
WHAT TO WATCH
Black Phone (2022) – Directed by Scott Derrickson
Set in the late 1970s and emanating peak Bad News Bears energy, Black Phone provides Ethan Hawke a showcase role. Hawke previously collaborated with Derrickson on Sinister, and Blumhouse on the original Purge film. This character stands out amongst the batch, with Hawke taking on the villainous role of “The Grabber,” a child-killing psychopath.
Freaky (2020) – Directed by Christopher Landon
While Black Phone featured an actor that’s been involved in 3 houses, Freaky‘s inclusion marks director Christopher Landon‘s second Horrors of Blumhouse appearance. His body-swapping slasher follows up Happy Death Day and features an incredible performance from Vince Vaughn. However, due to the body-swap nature of Freaky, not only do we get a giant, towering killer wearing a non-traditional mask. We also get a blonde, red leather-wearing psychopath-wielding hooks and knives.
Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986) – Directed by Tom McLoughlin
Both films have late 1970s slasher vibes, but the 1986 franchise classic matches the comedy of each film. One of the first true meta-horror-comedies, Friday the 13th Part VI features kids getting lost in the woods, Jason stabbing everyone he can catch. It also stars Tommy Jarvis, a bonus for fans of the series. Given both of our Blumhouse characters love to wear masks, love to kill teens/young adults, and each has more comedy than one might expect, Jason Lives fits the bill for a fun time.
The Town That Dreaded Sundown (1976) – Directed by Charles B. Pierce
Back in 1946, a serial killer found eight victims in Texarkana, Arkansas. The 1976 film features classic grindhouse aesthetics, an odd narration instruction, and some of the most grisly murder sequences ever captured. Extremely bloody and visually upsetting, The Town That Dreaded Sundown plays loose with the facts, but often in an effort to create tension. The real setback is the cartoonish police officers who create humor in a story that should show none. Once again, a masked killer plays a part in the film, while Black Phone serves as the happy ending version of how this story played out in real life.