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12 Best Blumhouse Horror Movies, Ranked by Originality

Enter the Blumhouse, again.

the grabber being dramatic in The Black Phone

Blumhouse horror movies can be either hit or miss. Sometimes you get underrated gems and other times you’re disappointed. Obviously it depends on taste and all that jazz. Though most of the popular Blumhouse horror movies are loved by many. Yes, even The Purge franchise has fans.

Now which are the best of the best? I’m talking about the best Blumhouse horror movies we can’t get enough of. The ones we’re still talking about after all these years. Or the recently released Blumhouse movies that we’ll be talking about for a long time. All 12 of the movies on the list are the very best Blumhouse has to offer, so they’re all excellent. However, for this ranking within the list, I’m going from least original horror to most original.

12. Halloween (2018)

michael breaking through laurie's door in Halloween
(Universal Pictures)

Please don’t hate on me for this because I love this entry in the franchise. It’s actually in my top three when it’s all said and done. Though as far as originality goes, it’s not very original. Basically the movie follows Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis) and Michael 40 years later. They aren’t young folks anymore, alright? Alright. When Michael escapes (just like Laurie knew his ass would) from the authorities, he goes back on a violent killing spree. Only this time secrets about his motivations are uncovered. The main thing that makes this entry stand out is that it’s a direct sequel to the original Halloween. Meaning none of the rest of the movies come into play.

11. Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016)

possessed doris in Ouija: Origin of Evil
(Universal Pictures)

It’s hard to say this but the concept of this movie isn’t original. Even if it’s a really good horror movie and one of the better ones involving ouija boards. The film is set in the ’60s and focuses on a family of (kind) scammers who are trying to make ends meet. Once they hit the jackpot (or so they think) psychically, the youngest child becomes possessed and the events unravel sinister secrets about their house. Don’t get me wrong, it’s done well and deserves its critical praise, but we’ve seen the same scenario many, many times.

10. The Purge: Anarchy (2014)

guy wearing a god purge mask in The Purge: Anarchy
(Universal Pictures)

The Purge franchise is more of the same during each installment. Though each movie does take on different issues the characters are facing, where they stand regarding purge night, and so on. This one is definitely at the top of the list in the franchise. One could argue that it’s because of the conventionally attractive/gruff Frank Dillo’s performance. Though others will say that it’s because the core characters are the most likable in the franchise. It’s the Purge. You know what you’re gonna get with the Purge and this is no different. However, it’s still a fun ride, even if you’ve been on it before. This sequel follows a group of folks who stumble across Leo (Frank Dillo) and decide to band together to survive the night.

9. Hush (2016)

the man in Hush
(Netflix)

Look, the vast majority of home invasion horror repeats the same formula. Someone or a few folks get stalked and terrorized. And maybe even murdered after the invader(s) has their fun. The biggest twist within Hush’s version of this story is that the main character has a disability. Maddie (Kate Siegel) is a writer who lives in the middle of nowhere (objectively a silly choice in this case). And that decision suddenly proves deadly when she’s stalked by a crossbow wielding serial killer. Maddie’s resourcefulness and intensity as a character help make this movie so enjoyable. Other than John Gallagher Jr’s performance as the killer—which is startlingly cold and casual, and Maddie’s unique perception in the world—not being able to hear, this is basically a standard home invasion story. Albeit a good one.

8. The Invisible Man (2020)

cecilia trying to get away in The Invisible Man
(Universal Pictures)

A woman being stalked, mentally tortured, and almost killed by an abusive man? Not uncommon in real-life or in horror movies. But the major difference with The Invisible Man (2020) is the twists. You have a certain expectation with this story and the sci-fi elements upend it. This film follows Cecilia who escapes her abuser, only to find herself being stalked by someone she can’t see. Elisabeth Moss DELIVERS an astounding performance as Cecilia. Her paranoia feels so real and the fact that nobody believes her is fucking tiresome. She’s a survivor of abuse and knows exactly how her abuser operates. Yet she’s made out to be loony and loses almost everything in the process. Terrifying.

7. Sinister (2012)

ellison watching a tape in Sinister
(Summit Entertainment)

Lying to your wife about living in a murder house is one thing, no relationship is PERFECT. But to not heed the warning signs, in general, is foolish. The film follows Ellison (Ethan Hawke), a once successful writer who’s now struggling to deliver another bestseller. Once he moves his family to a home where people got murdered—strange shit starts happening. Including him finding disturbing murder tapes (we may not see the lawn mower murders but dammit I can picture what’s happening) that lead to supernatural occurrences. There’s a whole mythology surrounding a deity named Baghuul. And that’s partially what makes this a more original story. Not to mention how damn scary it is.

6. Cam (2018)

lola with a broken nose in Cam
(Netflix)

How many horror movies have you seen that depict sex work in a realistic way? Probably not many. This film follows a camgirl, Alice/Lola (Madeline Brewer), who has her online persona copied. Thus leading her down a path of trying to figure out who the hell has taken over her camgirl accounts. It’s amazing how a former camgirl helped make this film and was able to fold in her own experiences. And it’s really a unique premise altogether. From the direction of the film to the overall mystery of what’s happening—the whole thing is very frightening and well acted. Madeline Brewer’s performance is that of desperation and determination. And it comes across so accurately.

5. Happy Death Day (2017)

tree screaming before she's killed in Happy Death Day
(Universal Pictures)

Being killed over and over and over again isn’t a fun time. But “Tree” (Jessica Rothe) sure makes it look like a hoot in a way. This slasher comedy follows a young woman in college who keeps getting killed by the same person in a mask. The day keeps repeating itself (I’ve never seen Groundhog Day but that’s the jist) and Tree must solve the mystery. Imagine dying in so many different ways and never being able to stop it. Jessica Rothe is such a lovable modern final girl. Her character isn’t “pure” or innocent. She’s a bit of a bitch and is sleeping with her professor. But she eventually comes to understand who she is and faces off against a killer. There’s not a whole lot of horror comedies like this one—making it quite original at the very end of the day.

4. Us (2019)

the tethered in Us
(Universal Pictures)

Meeting our doppelganger is something we’ve all thought about. But maybe not quite like what unfolds in Jordan Peele’s second horror film, Us (2019). The film follows a family who’s confronted by their doppelgangers. Only to discover they have murderous intentions and that there are sinister secrets. The messaging behind the film helps drive home the originality. And the performances, especially from Lupita Nyong’o, are top notch. And it’s also not everyday that the core cast of a horror movie consists of mostly Black actors.

3. Get Out (2017)

chris being tired in Get Out
(Universal Pictures)

There’s no question that this is one of the best horror movies of the past decade. Jordan Peele’s genius was showing early on and Get Out (2017) is so memorable. Watching the film as Black person also lends to the experience, believe me. The film follows a young Black man named Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) who is caught in a sinister situation because of his white girlfriend. It’s a horror movie that’s meant to make folks uncomfortable. And just when you think you’ve got shit figured out, you really don’t.

2. Freaky (2020)

the butcher in millie's body in Freaky
(Universal Pictures)

Blatantly queer horror movies are truly something special. However Freaky (2020) takes the cake in terms of originality and lovability. The film follows a teenager and a serial killer who swap bodies by way of an ancient dagger. Millie (Kathryn Newton) and The Butcher (Vince Vaughn) are obviously opposites in terms of appearances and well…life choices. But the way there’s so much exploration on what it means to take your power back. As well as the true meanings of being strong and a fighter. A slasher comedy that blends laughs and emotional beats is very unique. Thus deserving a high spot on the list.

1. The Black Phone (2022)

the grabber in The Black Phone
(Universal Pictures)

Original horror movies have been around and coming out for a hot minute. You just need to pay attention. The Black Phone (2022) was highly anticipated by much of the horror realm. And not just because it’s based off the short story of Stephen King’s son, Joe Hill. It’s genuinely something fresh and new in regards to premise. The supernatural element doesn’t bog down the film either. The film follows The Grabber (Ethan Hawke)’s most recent kidnapping victim, Finney Blake (Mason Thames). But instead of becoming another murdered kid, Finney fights back with the help of the kids The Grabber has murdered. There’s no backstory for Ethan Hawke’s character, nor is it completely stated what he does to the boys. But it’s all implied and that makes it freakier. Trust when people say this is one of the best horror films of the year!

More of the best:

  • Insidious (2010)
  • Oculus (2013)
  • Creep (2014)
  • The Visit (2015)
  • Creep 2 (2017)
  • Happy Death Day 2U (2019)

(featured image: Universal Pictures)

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Vanessa Maki is a writer, visual artist & blk feminist. Her work has appeared in Pink Advocate, The Gay Gaze, & many others. For more, follow her on Twitter and Instagram @theblackbuffy.