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Blumhouse CEO Jason Blum Talks The Forever Purge And What He'd Do If A Purge Became Reality - Exclusive Interview

It's hard to believe that Blumhouse Productions has been cranking out genre films for over two decades. Around 2009, they shifted their focus on horror and have since become synonymous with genre, bringing us notable franchises such as "Paranormal Activity," "Insidious," and "Sinister." They also brought us the critically praised and Oscar-winning "Get Out," which became the sixth horror film in history to ever receive the coveted Best Picture nomination. Other standouts from Blumhouse include last year's "The Invisible Man" and 2018's "Halloween," which not only brought Michael Myers back to the big screen, but also Laurie Strode, reprised by the reigning scream queen herself, Jamie Lee Curtis.

Another one of their most lucrative and well-known franchises is "The Purge," which is set to release its next entry over the July 4 holiday weekend. In the fifth installment of the sociopolitical horror saga, titled "The Forever Purge," the annual ritual where all crime, including murder, is legal for 12 hours, gets hijacked and unofficially extended by a group of extreme anarchists. They feel that a 12-hour murder spree just isn't enough to satisfy their raging hate and bloodlust, so they bring the entire United States to its knees when they initiate a Forever Purge underground movement.

While Blumhouse has certainly chilled us to the bone with the supernatural, demons, and slashers, one could argue that the "Purge" franchise is the most terrifying of all of their dark offerings. Think of it this way — when you leave a movie theater, you don't really need to worry about an invisible man or Bughuul from "Sinister" coming to get you. But as the January 6, 2021 storm on the capital in real life taught us, you never know which of your neighbors is secretly itching to commit an act of hate and violence. That's exactly what "The Forever Purge" taps into, and it is indeed horrifying to imagine this fictional scenario inching close to becoming a reality. Even Blumhouse founder and CEO Jason Blum thinks that "The Purge" creator and writer James DeMonaco has a chilling habit of foreseeing the future.

During a recent exclusive interview, Looper spoke with Blum about the uncanny similarities between "The Forever Purge" and the political and civil unrest going on in the real world. He also shared why he thinks this is the scariest "Purge" movie yet — and told us why he plans to urge DeMonaco to write even more sequels.

This is the first Purge where there are no rules

For you, what is it about this fifth "Purge" film that stands out and separates it from the other entries?

I think this is the best "Purge" that we've ever made. It's scarier. It's more intense. I think that really stems from the fact that it's the first Purge where there are no rules. The rules are just out the window. The Purge is supposed to end at 7:00 AM, but it doesn't. An anarchy has taken over in America and that's something we've never seen before. I think it's great. I think it's very powerful, very effective, and it makes for a great "Purge" movie.

A lot of people come to these movies for the entertainment and thrills. What's something beneath the gore and the action that you want them to take away from the movie? Is there a particular message that you hope that they get with this one?

There are different messages in all the "Purge" movies. What I want them to take in the theater is, "I had a great night at the movies. I got scared to death." That's really what I want from them — if they take anything else, if there's a conversation about this movie, it touches on a couple that comes to America from Mexico, and then everyone gloating, all the Americans, including them, want to get the hell out of America, and they happen to be trapped by a wall that works both ways. If they talk about other things, that's fine too but the most important thing to me is that they had a great time at the movies.

Writer James DeMonaco has the ability to predict the future

We're now at the fifth "Purge" movie. We've seen franchises like "Fast and Furious" just reach their ninth entry, and classic franchises like "Friday at 13th" made it even further. How much more life do you see in this franchise?

Well, James [DeMonaco] says this is the last movie. For him this is the last "Purge," but I refuse to accept that. I'm letting the movie come out, but after it comes out, I'm going to start hanging on him again, trying to get at least one more "Purge" movie out of him. But I'd like the franchise to continue. We've gotten two seasons of television out of it, five movies, and hopefully we'll get more after this.

Let's say a Purge happened in real life, what's your plan? We see a lot of characters in these movies, they hole up, they try to build this fort around themselves. If something like this went down in real life, what's your actual game plan?

My game plan is I'm going to go straight to Paris. I get the hell out of the United States. I'll say goodbye to my country and move forever.

This movie was shot in 2019, before the pandemic, and it was originally slated for a July 2020 release. In 2020, we saw a lot of political and civil unrest. One thing in particular comes to mind is the January 2021 Capitol riot and I remember seeing that on the news thinking, "These 'Purge' movies are slowly coming to life." When you see incidents like that in the news, do these movies pop in your head? Do you think we're inching toward that sort of reality?

I hope not. Like I said, if we do, I'm out of here, but it's true. James has the real ability with these movies to predict the future. It's incredible. In almost every one, he's written about something that at the time he was writing wasn't really a big deal, but then when the movies came out, became a big deal, and this movie is no exception. I always encourage him to do that. I encourage him to take chances and write about things that are on his mind and he's amazing at it. He's really, really good at it.