Last year’s Welcome to the Blumhouse titles included The Lie, Black Box, Evil Eye, and Nocturne. This month, Welcome to the Blumhouse returns exclusively to Amazon Prime Video with four new thrillers: Bingo Hell (directed by Gigi Saul Guerrero), Black as Night (directed by Maritte Lee Go), Madres (directed by Ryan Zaragoza), and The Manor (directed by Axelle Carolyn). The four directors met up virtually for a panel discussion at New York Comic Con (NYCC) to discuss their genre-driven storytelling that rips into social issues. Each film tells the stories of marginalized communities through the platform of horror. The panel also featured a special introduction by Blumhouse Productions Founder and CEO Jason Blum. Here’s what you need to know.
After suffering a mild stroke, Judith Albright reluctantly moves into a historic nursing home, where she becomes convinced a supernatural force is killing the residents. Director Axelle Carolyn joined the NYCC panel from her car while on a break from directing an episode of American Horror Story, where she explained that the film comes from a fear of aging and seeing your family members grow older. The setting was inspired by atmospheric gothic horrors, and a nursing home really does make a fantastic setting for a horror movie because you’re locked inside with no escape.
A tight group of senior citizens refuses to be gentrified, but little do they know, someone powerful is about to buy out their beloved bingo hall. What will they be willing to do to get their favorite game back when an evil force starts killing the residents in gruesome ways? “Social horror has been around forever,” said Director Gigi Saul Guerrero at the panel. “We just now are giving it its own sub-genre.”
Black As Night
A revenge-driven teenage girl spends her summer battling vampires that are terrorizing her city of New Orleans. Director Maritte Lee Go took inspiration from her Filipino upbringing, wanting to bring more representation to the horror genre. The film features a young Black girl fighting against vampires and colorism. “I always felt like, ‘Oh, I should hide my skin from the sun because it’s ugly to be dark,’” Lee Go said. “To have Blumhouse and Amazon’s giant mega-power saying, ‘You know what? Your point-of-view, your life is validating. We hear your voice and we understand.’ That is a fiction that society has created, and darker is beautiful. Whatever your skin is, it’s beautiful. Embrace it, embrace your individuality, and that’s really what I took into the movie.”
Expecting their first child, a Mexican-American couple moves to a migrant farming community in 1970s California, where they discover a curse plaguing the pregnant women there. This drama is full of supernatural elements and suspense as the mother-to-be experiences strange symptoms and terrifying visions. Director Ryan Zaragoza said the story was inspired by the real-life horrors that women — and women of color in particular — experience when it comes to their health and well-being.
All four movies are available to watch on Amazon Prime Video now.