Blumhouse And Dee Rees Developing Rural Horror Film

A tiny bit of good news about taking the right lessons away from GET OUT.

There’s a great anecdote in the New York Times’ profile of Jason Blum (as pointed out by Jeff Sneider at The Tracking Board), in which the Get Out producer meets independent filmmaker Dee Rees (Mudbound) at a Sundance Institute event. Blum and Rees exchange compliments (he’s a fan of her films; she thanks him for producing Get Out), and then Rees pitches him a horror movie.

Rees said she had an idea for her own low-budget horror picture — one location, tiny cast — set in a small town not unlike the one where she has lived for the last year. Blum listened carefully.

“You’ve got me and my wife, two black lesbians, and when we first moved in, we fought every day over all these little things: ‘Why is this over there? Did you move that?’ ”

Blum leaned in, nodding. This was promising.

“Maybe it was a ghost,” Rees continued. “Or maybe it was some other force — like us not wanting to be there or fitting in.” Blum was nodding more rapidly. “Anyway, that’s my horror-movie pitch,” Rees said.

“It almost makes me nervous,” Blum said, then leaned back and looked up. “The idea of working with you.” He paused. “But anything you want to do, I’m in. I’m in, I’m in, I’m in.”

And that’s how it happens. Sometimes. Isn’t that wonderful? Doesn’t that just make you warm and fuzzy and envious of that kind of creative spark and connection? Just like that, Blumhouse is developing another small-scale Black horror film, from a voice you might not have expected to tell one.

Sad (for now) to say that that’s all the news we have on this project, but it doesn’t take a ton of good news to put a smile on our faces these days. And this tiny bit of news feels like confirmation of a much bigger movement headed our way. When Get Out opened and made ALL the money, we knew there would be reactions, results and ripple effects in the film industry: JD Dillard being hired to remake The Fly the week Get Out crossed 100 million probably was not a coincidence; every blogger trying to cram Get Out director Jordan Peele into the director’s chair of one franchise or another wasn’t too surprising.  But THIS: this feels like the correct takeaway from the success of Get Out. Creating more opportunities for lesser heard storytellers to create original, PERSONAL horror films? And this one maybe has bigoted redneck ghosts? We, as the kids say, are here for it.

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