‘Insidious Chapter 2’ Producer Talks Micro-Budget Horror & ‘Amityville: Lost Tapes’

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Insidious Chapter 2 Poster Baby ‘Insidious Chapter 2’ Producer Talks Micro Budget Horror & Amityville: Lost Tapes

Even though Insidious opened to the tune of $13.3 million back in April of 2011 on a mere $1.5 million production budget, producer Jason Blum didn’t consider the film a hit until it defied the odds and evaded the familiar horror genre weekend #2 box office crash. Even more impressive: after dipping just 29.4% making the move through weekend two, Insidious continued to play exceptionally well – so well in fact that the film spent 23 weekends in theaters and wrapped its worldwide theatrical run with nearly $100 million in the bank. Clearly that success warranted sequel talk.

Insidious came out in April 2011, but the Insidious Chapter 2 treatment didn’t arrive until nearly a year later. And, even more striking, after finally getting the go-ahead in November 2012, it then zipped through pre-production, production, and was totally finished by June of 2013. While at the Insidious Chapter 2 press day in New York City, Blum recalled the reasoning behind the rapid production timeline:

“We started talking about Insidious 2 pretty soon after Insidious 1… As long as there was a chance that James [Wan] and Leigh [Whannell] were gonna write the second movie and direct the second movie, I didn’t want to do it with someone else, and they kept saying they might do it, they might not do it, which was why there’s quite a bit of time between the two movies.

When they finally decided they wanted to do it, then it did go very quickly, and we were working on trying to make it work with James’ schedule with The Conjuring … It was a very tough needle to thread, but we threaded it. We basically green lit it off a long treatment.”

Insidious Chapter 2 Set ‘Insidious Chapter 2’ Producer Talks Micro Budget Horror & Amityville: Lost Tapes

While Insidious Chapter 2 did come with a higher price tag than the original, the film’s budget is still strikingly minimal compared to the typical Hollywood horror sequel – and that’s a standard Blum is adamant about upholding. Somewhat ironically, he insists on keeping his budgets below a certain level so he can give his filmmakers the chance to do whatever they want:

“If the sequel of The Purge gets green lit or the sequel of Sinister gets green lit, those will be very low budget movies for all the same reasons that the originals are low budget. I can’t say to James and Leigh, do whatever you want, if the movie cost $20 million. Then, there’s a lot more people involved, understandably. The only way I get to say, ‘You can make a sequel, but it can be whatever you want it to be,’ is if the movie’s very inexpensive.”

But before The Purge 2 and Sinister 2 get that same treatment, Blumhouse has plans to see a few other projects through production. Even though The Amityville Horror: The Lost Tapes is not one of the ones moving forward before the year’s end, Blum did confirm that his company is actively developing it and that, even though we’ve seen the story time and time again, should it get that coveted green light, the film will exceed our expectations:

“One of the reasons it’s taking as long as it is, is because I don’t want to make an Amityville movie unless – the fun thing about making the Amityville movie is that everyone’s like, ‘Ugh! This is gonna suck,’ right? So you gotta make something that surprises them … The reason I like making sequels is because people come and see them like , ‘Ugh, it’s gonna suck.’ [But then] it’s like, ‘Wow. This is good!’ Like, the Paranormal movies, hopefully most of them, the sequels stand up on their own. I think Insidious does that, too. It’s like, people will be pleasantly surprised. And Amityville, I can promise, if we make it, which we’re not doing yet but we’re developing it, it’s gonna feel very different.”

You know the best part about anticipating The Amityville Horror: The Lost Tapes, Sinister 2, The Purge 2, or any other project Blum has in the works? Since Insidious, Blum has delivered a steady stream of horror movies and looks to continue to do so, meaning we never really have to wait for our next horror move fix.

You can check out our full chat with Blum in the video interview below


Be sure to take advantage of that hearty horror flow and catch Insidious Chapter 2 on its very appropriate release date, Friday, September 13, 2013.

Follow Perri on Twitter @PNemiroff.

Follow Perri Nemiroff on Twitter @PNemiroff
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  1. “Like, the Paranormal movies, hopefully most of them, the sequels stand up on their own.”

    No, Blum. Just…no.

    The first Paranormal Activity was ok at best with no scares and nothing much going on. The sequel was only worth watching because of Sprague Grayden. 3 was just dumb and 4 was a blatant commercial for Skype and Xbox Kinect with every cliche and every annoying horror character you can imagine thrown in there, with the viewer hoping they’d all get killed on screen in the most violent way possible to make up for the fact that all of the character are annoying cliches.

    He’s right about keeping a budget minimal though. It gives way to actual creativity instead of relying on VFX departments to CGI a monster for you instead of using practical effects for better results.

    • +100 for referring to the fourth Paranormal Activity movie as a commercial for Kinect and Skype.

  2. I wrote a short story called Rose, where two young girls are driving home from a party and get into an accident. Well one of the girls wakes up in the hospital and their nurse is names Rose. Rose takes care of her nursing her back to good health, and lets her know that she is caring for her sister as well. Rose brings her a necklace and says her sister want her to have it and she loves her. That night the girl wakes up in a cold sweat and sees a creepy shadow moving in her room then slowly toward her. Rose steps out off the shadow her wrist bleeding and in a creepy voice says its time. The girl really does wake up and a new nurse comes into the room. The girl asks where is Rose? The nurse calms her and say please calm down, you have just awaken from a Coma. She asks again about her sister when they tell her the news of her passing, the also tell her Rose was a nurse who committed suicide in this very room two years ago. sorry I left out a lot of details but that’s the basic story, would be cool to see someone rewrite and direct it. I have a bunch of stories written half way it seems I cannot finish them most of the time because I have so many stories on the brain.

    • Without more details, maybe Rose is helping this girl recover and do some kinds of physical therapy, in reality helping her mind heal and recover until she comes out of the coma?

      Maybe she also sees her sister visiting her the “day” before she recovers from said coma?

      Rose constantly reiterates that “I’m here to help you”, never explicitly stating that she has to help others in order to redeem her soul for the suicide but letting the audience figure it out on their own?

      Going through a mental block right now so apologies if I couldn’t be any more help but it sounds kinda cool. I have the same trouble as you, constantly creating and find it hard to nail down one thing before moving onto something else. That’s why I have two half-finished albums, a half-finished novel and a couple of short stories in various stages.

  3. Another story I wrote was of a man who gets caught up in his bills, and work, that he starts fighting with his wife and the family becomes distant. Well it also mainly focuses on his son who as his dad starts to spend less and less time with him and the kid really does not have close friends or any brothers or sisters so he starts to create an imaginary friend, out of maybe piles of clothes and crayons and things laying around his room. I picture the creature looking like something from The movie Labyrinth, Puppet like with cg blended to make it have the puppet look but also kind of real. anyways you see the kid talking to it and trying to tell his dad who ignores him so the Pile further comes together to form the creature final form. The kid plays with the creature and develop a strong friendship. later the dad realizes he needs to do better and starts to do things with his family as he should and his son starts to forget about the creature and it starts falling apart little by little as the son and father do more and more things like play at the park (ETC) the kids has one last talk with the creature telling it thank you for being there when he needed him and has a somewhat sad ending until you see the family sitting around a table laughing, talking, and eating. the details are not all here as well but I would love to see someone rewrite this as well as a kinda family film with the tone of Bridge to Terrabithia. any thoughts?

    • The creature could always use the old cliche “As long as you remember me, I’ll always be with you when you feel lonely”.

      That’s the most basic of human emotions, to always have someone around when they need it most.