Blumhouse & Horror Filmmakers Bringing Terror to Your Bookshelf

Sunday, 02 November 2014 14:41 Written by  iamrogue
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Blumhouse & Horror Filmmakers Bringing Terror to Your Bookshelf

For the last several years, one syllable has been synonymous with horror cinema: Blum.

Blumhouse Productions has been behind the spookiest, most suspenseful genre films to hit the multiplex in recent memory, from the Paranormal Activity series to each chapter of Insidious on through The Purge and its sequel, as well as Sinister, and the current box office hit Ouija.

So when IAR was invited to the Blumhouse offices for a major announcement from founder, CEO, and producer Jason Blum on the night before Halloween, of course our own John Rocco was there for the news.

Blum didn't disappoint, declaring that Blumhouse is partnering with Doubleday and Vintage to launch Blumhouse Books, the first tome from which will be a collection of short stories by some of the biggest players in contemporary horror filmmaking.

The publishing collaboration will encompass multiple books, starting with The Blumhouse Book of Nightmares: The Haunted City.  It's set to arrive in hardcover, trade paperback, and ebook formats simultaneously roundabouts July 2015.

"Most every horror anthology that’s been done by a Hollywood person, it is more of a curated thing. Someone picks their favorite ten or fifteen stories that have already been published and puts them together in a book," said Blum. "Which is cool, but ours is cooler.”

The Blumhouse Book of Nightmares: The Haunted City gives filmmakers the ability to unleash the short stories they've always wanted to tell.  It's an anthology of more than twenty works of uniquely frightening fiction, from writers such as Ethan Hawke (star of The Purge and Sinister), Eli Roth (director of Cabin Fever), James DeMonaco (The Purge and The Purge: Anarchy writer-director), Scott Derrickson (director of Sinister and Marvel's upcoming Doctor Strange), and Christopher Denham (Preservation director and The Bay star).

That's just a sampling of the names involved in The Haunted City, but the most intriguing one could very well be yours.

Blumhouse Book is giving you the opportunity to submit your own scary tale to potentially be part of its inaugural project by way of a contest.  You can find all the details at the newly-unveiled official site, but the prompt for this short story encourages writers to "envision a city of your choosing and let your demons run wild."

"The reason we chose a city is because most of our movies take place in the suburbs and most scary movies take place in the suburbs or the country and I feel like the city is something you don’t often see," Blum explained.  "There are very few scary stories set in cities so I thought that would be a cool jumping off point."

Submissions will be accepted until December 1, 2014.  Then six finalists will be selected and shared on Blumhouse Books and Knopf Doubleday sites, lighting up a whole constellation of social media so that fans can vote on the winner.

Even if your story doesn't take the top prize, though, it could still end up appearing in the table of contents alongside the likes of "Clean White Room," from which Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill (writer of Sinister) read an excerpt at the event.

“There’s one slot open and we wanted to differentiate between the book and the ebook so we might do four in the ebook and one in the book, we might do five in the ebook an none in the book. We wanted to leave it open because we might add more in the printed vs. the non-printed edition. That’s the idea,” said the prolific producer.

Blum also addressed the absence of a story of James Wan and Leigh Whannell, the Insidious director and writer who recently talked to IAR in an exclusive interview on the occasion of Saw's tenth anniversary re-release.

"This is on the record," Blum said. "They are the only ones in the Blumhouse family that said no to us. I’m calling them out on that."

The odds are Wan and Whannell will have another chance, however, as Blum envisions The Blumhouse Book of Nighmares: The Haunted City as the kickoff to a series of anthologies debuting previously unpublished tales to terrify.

Blumhouse Books is the latest venture from a company that has shown its knack for the horror genre through film, elaborate haunted house experiences, and even forthcoming television series like next year's South of Hell.

Of course, the Blumhouse era of cinematic terror began with Paranormal Activity.  Blum stayed tight-lipped about the next installment in the phenomenally popular franchise, but he did say that the next sequel will answer more of the questions regarding the mythology of the series than any previous Paranormal Activity film.

Back on the subject of publishing, head over to the official site for more information about The Blumhouse Book of Nightmares: The Haunted City and how your own fiction could appear in the collection.

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