Blumhouse Should Beg These Talented Female Filmmakers To Make Its Horror Movies
Photo: guruXOOX (Getty Images)
Blumhouse Pictures founder Jason Blum is in the movie doghouse following controversial comments he made about the lack of female directors in the film industry. The prolific horror movie mogul (Get Out, The Purge, and Happy Death Day) has never produced a theatrical release directed by a woman which seems Insidious (another of his movie franchises) considering that there are 100-something Paranormal Activity films.
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“There are not a lot of female directors period and even less who are inclined to do horror,” said Blum in a recent interview in Polygon.
The shocking quote set off a shitstorm on social media, mocking Blum for his flaccid excuse and pointing to his ignorance as the main reason why there are 22 male directors to every 1 woman. Blum, who is out on a press tour for his latest film Halloween, apologized. He also said he’s a “massive admirer” of Badabook director Jennifer Kent.
— Jason Blum (@jason_blum) October 18, 2018
Apologizing was not only the right thing to do but the smart choice as demographic studies consistently show that female viewers outnumber male viewers for horror films. The next thing for Blum to do is actually hire a female director. Since he’s a busy guy, we’ve done the heavy lifting for him. Here’s our list of female directors Blumhouse needs to hire now.
Coralie Fargeat’s directorial debut is a prime example that women can do “a bit of the old ultra-violence” just as good, if not better, than men. This bloody cat-and-mouse, rape-revenge Western is as stylish as it is seizure-inducing, making her a prime candidate for a gore-filled exploitation movie.
Photo: Roseanne Liang
Roseanne Liang cut her teeth with her short Do No Harm. The Vimeo staff pick is Kill Bill with hospital scrubs, showcasing the Chinese-New Zealand director’s ability to balance femininity with ferocity and making her a prime candidate for a female Jekyll & Hyde-type story, which she apparently has already been hired to helm.
Ana Lily Amirpour
Ana Lily Amirpour is the biggest name on this list who might be too big for the Blumhouse brand. She followed up her amazing Iranian vampire Western A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night with the Venice Special Jury Prize winner The Bad Batch. Bolstered by a bigger budget and badass cast (Suki Waterhouse, Jason Mamoa, Jim Carrey, Keanu Reeves), Bad Batch seems rushed, long on ideas, and short on execution. Maybe a step back to her indie roots would be the career move that takes her visionary filmmaking to the mainstream.
Julia Ducournau’s award-winning Raw turned heads and stomachs. The coming-of-age drama about a coed cannibal showed off a perverse sense of humor and innate character-driven storytelling that would make for a great serial killer in the vein of Halloween.
Nadia Lee Cohen
Nadia Lee Cohen is that rare Instagram celebrity with actual talent. The British art photographer, filmmaker, and self-portrait artist cites Alfred Hitchcock, David Lynch, Harmony Korine, and John Waters as some of her inspirations. That colorful cinematic aesthetic can be seen in her shock-and-awe creations that are uncomfortable to look at. It should be no time before she helms her first feature.
Jason Blum has no excuse for this one as Stardust was as an assistant to him on more than a dozen films between 2011 and 2016. During that time, she was also working on her craft, directing Crypt TV shorts and indie features before Fangoria hired her to direct the reborn company’s upcoming Satanic Panic written by horror scribe Grady Hendrix. You snooze, you lose.
Producer turned filmmaker Jenn Wexler made her name in horror film circles with her outrageously dumb yet fun punk-rock slasher throwback, The Ranger (now on Shudder). Wexler’s homage to the “final girl” genre’s ’80s forebearers isn’t ground-breaking, but it displays a deft knowledge and gritty DIY spirit that could be served well with a bigger budget.
Some of the most visionary film directors (Spike Jonze, David Fincher, Michel Gondry) got their start via music videos. Jacqueline Castel could be next. The Brooklyn-based filmmaker is best known for her dark-tempered collaborations with Sacred Bones Records, where she uses the “surreal and fantastic” to illustrate her distrust for the world. Sounds like the perfect director for a ghastly ghost story.