Jason Blum might be the biggest name in horror cinema that most people have never heard of. As the producer of films like The Purge, Paranormal Activity and Sinister, Blum has had his hands in some of the biggest horror films of the past five years – but since he didn’t direct them (directors get all the glory!), he’s not well known to the average fan.
That doesn’t seem to bother Blum in the least – probably because he’s so busy crafting new nightmare fuel for fright fans the world over. He’s currently talking about this summer’s upcoming The Purge: Anarchy – which follows up on the 2013 film wherein on one night of the year, all crime (including murder) is legal.
With such a broad premise, there seems to be no shortage of stories that could be told under The Purge’s title – and Blum envisions a future wherein we get a new film in the franchise once per year. He said as much when the topic came up in a recent chat with Collider:
“I hope so. I would love that. There are so many stories you could tell with it,” he tells the site.
Generally speaking, we're not a huge fan of the idea of releasing a new sequel every year. Other franchises have tried it (Saw and Paranormal Activity being recent examples), and it works out okay for a year or two – but eventually the pace wears people out. Stories are forced to meet the deadline and corners are cut. Plus, audiences tend to get tired of the same thing over and over.
The plus for The Purge is that it’s a high concept. The event is what matters – not the cast of characters. There’s no one story to tell here – there’s potentially millions, and many of them can be completely unique. So, maybe The Purge could work as a recurring annual series. It would certainly have a better shot at succeeding over the long haul than a more standard narrative like Saw or Paranormal Activity.
Of course, it’s not the only title that could make the annual release schedule work. Here are a few others that could also pull it off.
Unlike The Purge, The Conjuring does have recurring characters (demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren). However, since each movie would be based on a different case the couple investigated, there’s a lot of room for telling fresh and unique stories in each new installment as opposed to continually trying to expand a single story to fit multiple films.
The anthology film format is essentially perfect for an annual release schedule because the films are filled with stand-alone stories that aren’t connected to previous installments, or even previous stories within that film.
The Cabin in the Woods
This one is a tougher sell than the other two, but we think it could work – at least for a few years, anyway. While the core idea of Cabin seems limiting (kids go to isolated Evil Dead-esque cabin in the woods and encounter all kinds of bad things), it’s the film’s greater mythology -- and the way it plays with genre conventions -- that could actually be expanded. Without spoiling its surprises, there are definitely more stories that could be told in this universe. Would they be as compelling since you know the backstory? That's harder to gauge -- but Joss Whedon and company could figure that out.
Those are just some recent titles that might work with a yearly release schedule. There are undoubtedly countless others that could fit the bill too. Share some of your suggestions with us in the comment section below.
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