Combustible Celluloid

Blumhouse of Horrors: 10 Movie Collection (2020)

Blum Puddings

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Just in time for Halloween, this ominously fun collection includes ten high-quality Blu-rays for a spine-tingling binge-watch. Producer Jason Blum has made a name for himself by creating low-budget, high-concept horror hits, and this box contains a very good cross section of them. Starting at the very bottom, we have Rob Cohen's The Boy Next Door (2015), a truly awful film with Jennifer Lopez terrorized by a psychopath, as well as Stiles White's Ouija (2014), a very poor movie whose only real positive is character actor Lin Shaye. (I would have swapped it for the much better sequel.) I haven't yet seen Jeff Wadlow's Truth or Dare (2018), though I hope to sit down with it soon. Then there's James DeMonaco's The Purge (2013), a strong idea that never fully comes together, but was still one of Blum's biggest hits (and was followed by 3 sequels and a TV series). Rounding out the bottom five is Tate Taylor's Ma (2019), which doesn't entirely work, but does have a strong performance by the great Octavia Spencer as a lonely sociopath.

Moving towards the top, Christopher Landon's clever, fun Happy Death Day (2017) is a lightly comic spin on Groundhog Day with a serial killer and a terrific Jessica Rothe as the perpetually exasperated hero. Levan Gabriadze's very scary Unfriended (2015) is another "found-footage" horror, taking place entirely on a computer screen. Then we have two M. Night Shyamalan "comeback" movies, the found-footage The Visit (2015) and the creepy Split (2017), with a showcase James McAvoy performance as a man with dissociative identity disorder. Finally, there's Jordan Peele's masterpiece Get Out (2017), a must-own title. It's too bad the box couldn't have made room for one of the Paranormal Activity movies or the Creep movies, or even Barry Levinson's underrated The Bay. But otherwise, this set is definitely recommended. It includes digital copies for all ten films.

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