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Ryan Turek Discusses Blumhouse's Halfway to Halloween Film Festival

A poster for Blumhouse's Halfway to Halloween Film Festival
Image courtesy of Blumhouse

By Shannon McGrew

Blumhouse and AMC Theaters are partnering for the first-ever Halfway to Halloween Film Festival to celebrate our favorite holiday early. The five-day festival starts Friday, March 29, across the country and features five different repertory films anchored around the celebration of Insidious's 13th anniversary. Additional films include Split, The Purge, Ouija: Origin of Evil, and The Invisible Man.

Ahead of the festival, Creepy Kingdom's Shannon McGrew spoke with Blumhouse's VP of Development, Ryan Turek. During the interview, they discussed everything from the inspiration behind Halfway to Halloween Film Festival to the selection process for the films and how they represent Blumhouse's early and current work.

Thank you for taking the time to speak with us today, Ryan. Launching the first-ever Halfway to Halloween Film Festival is unprecedented. What inspired Blumhouse to do this?

Ryan Turek: Halfway to Halloween has become a thing people love celebrating. In our hearts and souls, we want Halloween year-round and look for significant dates that get us closer to our favorite holiday. So, Halfway to Halloween is incredibly significant. It's also the 13th anniversary of Inisidious, and 13 is an essential number in our world and one that we love. So, it was an opportunity to put that movie back on the big screen and then surround it with films that are kind of hallmarks and good representations of what early and current Blumhouse is about, almost like Blumhouse's roots. What is Blumhouse about? You've got Sinister, The Purge, Ouija: Origin of Evil, Insidious, and The Invisible Man. We look at The Invisible Man as kind of an appetizer for what's to come later this year with The Wolfman. It's a fun way to celebrate Halfway to Halloween, celebrate Blumhouse, and celebrate Insidious.

We also merged with Atomic Monster, a significant moment in our company's history. So, it's a collection of all these things, so why not celebrate it with Blumhouse fans and get an opportunity to revisit movies fans may have seen once or twice in the theaters back in the day? This is also for a new generation that never got a chance to see these movies on the big screen and wants to experience them with their friends.

It's great to see that these films will be shown in theaters across the state, allowing more people to attend. Can you talk about its importance?

Ryan Turek: It'll be across 100 theaters and, I think, 44 markets, so it's a wide swath. There are smaller markets and smaller towns that do really cool revival screenings. Rocky Horror Pictures Show is one of the very first revival screenings I saw when I was in High School. There was a time in the 80s when big blockbuster movies got re-released. I remember when Gremlins came out in the summer, and then they re-released it around Christmas because it did so well. It's an opportunity to exhume these titles so people can either revisit them or discover them for the first time.

A demon hides behind a man as he stares into the camera
Patrick Wilson with the Lipstick Demon standing behind him, from INSIDIOUS | Photo Credit: Park Circus/CPE FD Holdings LLC

For those attending, what type of surprises do you have in store for fans?

Ryan Turek: We have special messages, giveaways, and opportunities to see exclusive sneak peeks, among other things.

Why is it so important to see these films on the big screen rather than just rewatching them on Blu-ray/DVD?

Ryan Turek: It's time to get people in the theaters again. When I'm driving around town, I see these really great billboards, and I get super excited because I see Slimer and Godzilla. I'm like, movies are back! I've been saying that to the point where my family's very annoyed with me [Laughs].

I think it's important to see these films in the way our directors intended them to be seen. In one particular case, director Mike Flanagan, who did Ouija: Origin of Evil, went into the "Haunting of Hill House" series, "Midnight Mass," "House of Usher," and I think a lot of people go, Mike Flanagan is a master of horror on television. But it's like, no, let's not forget he does really great films, too. The way he shot [Origin of Evil] is in a very specific style that was of the 60s and 70s era. It's got a particular grain to it. He wanted to put in the cigarette burns and all these other things that get lost in the home release. Sinister also plays great on the big screen. One of the greatest scares of all time is in that movie, and it will hopefully warp a new generation [Laughs].

Lastly, are you hoping that down the line you'll be able to expand this event into a yearly offering?

Ryan Turek: That could certainly be the pipe dream; it'd be really fun. We've done enough movies that I'm sure we could program another round of this. As long as people are coming out and supporting horror and keeping horror thriving, then never say never.

Tickets for Halfway to Halloween Film Festival are now on sale and can be purchased at Dates are as follows:

Friday, March 29: Split

Saturday, March 30: The Purge

Sunday, March 31: Ouija: Origin of Evil

Monday, April 1: Insidious (13th year anniversary of the movie's opening)

Tuesday, April 2 - The Invisible Man

The full list of cities includes: Atlanta (GA), Baltimore (MD), Boston (MA), Charlotte (NC), Chattanooga (TN), Chicago (IL), Cincinnati (OH), Columbus (OH), Dallas (TX), Denver (CO), Detroit (MI), Harlingen (TX), Hartford (CT), Houston (TX), Indianapolis (IN), Jacksonville (FL), Kansas City (MO), Las Vegas (NV), Los Angeles (CA), Miami (FL), Minneapolis (MN), Mobile (AL), New Haven (CT), New Orleans (LA), New York (NY), Norfolk (VA), Orlando (FL), Philadelphia (PA), Phoenix (AZ), Pittsburgh (PA), Rockford (IL), San Diego (CA), San Francisco (CA), Seattle (WA), Spokane (WA), Tallahassee (FL), Tampa (FL), Tucson (AZ), Tulsa (OK), Washington, D.C., Wichita (KS).


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