You Should Have Left producer Jason Blum talks haunted houses and Halloween Kills
"I love a haunted house movie, I really do," says film producer Jason Blum. "I've made a lot of them."
He certainly has. And the genre has been good to Blum, whose credits include the Paranormal Activity, Insidious, and Sinister franchises, all of which feature homes where things tend to go bump in the night. The latest scare machine from the Blumhouse founder, the Wales-set You Should Have Left, is another haunted house tale. Written and directed by David Koepp, the film stars Kevin Bacon and Amanda Seyfried as characters who make the terrible mistake of vacationing in a remote modernist abode with their young daughter, played by Avery Essex. Based on the 2017 novella by Daniel Kehlmann, You Should Have Left is now available to watch on-demand.
"Kevin had found the book originally and gave it to David, so they partnered before I got involved," says Blum. "Kevin and I are friends. We worked together on a couple of things previously. I’m a big admirer of him and his work. Kevin is a producer on the film and the three of us kind of put it together. So, that’s how it came to be."
Below, Blum talks more about You Should Have Left and the upcoming horror sequel Halloween Kills.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: For pandemic-related reasons, I'm actually in Wales right now and, as much as I love it, I am very aware of how distant the country is from Los Angeles. Did you have any doubts when David suggested shooting here?
JASON BLUM: No. We were very open to that. We had a great experience shooting there, by the way. It’s definitely the first movie we’ve shot in Wales. But I was not daunted by that.
How did you find Avery Essex?
Terri Taylor runs our casting department, we’ve worked together for ten years. We actually met on Paranormal Activity when she was an executive at Paramount. She’s just remarkable, particularly at finding unknowns and finding kids. There are a lot of kids in scary movies, so we’ve worked with a lot of different kids, and she has a remarkable talent, and she put that talent to good work on You Should Have Left.
What are your favorite haunted houses in movies?
I loved the house in Oculus. I thought that was a great haunted house. Oculus was a movie we did with Mike (Flanagan, Doctor Sleep director). We actually came on after, kind of like Paranormal Activity. We helped it find a home and get distribution. I was thinking about the house in You Should Have Left. Most haunted houses are either old or they’ve got dark corners and they're scary. The houses in Insidious are like that. The house in Sinister is like that to a certain degree. But what’s unique about You Should Have Left is it’s contemporary. The only other house that’s [like that] is the Paranormal Activity house. In some way, that’s scarier, because it feels like it could be your own house. But I like both.
Would you like to see You Should Have Left turn into a franchise?
Listen, I’d love to make another one. I was talking to David earlier and he said, "There are 36 doors in the house and we only used one," so there’s plenty of opportunities. If enough people see it, we’ll make another one.
What can you say about Halloween Kills?
Well, we’re trying to get that trailer out and trying to get that movie out before the end of the year. That’s our hope, dream, and plan. We’ll see.
Can you say anything else about it?
If you liked the previous one, you'll like this one, I’ll say that. [Laughs]