AS Welcome To The Blumhouse returns to Amazon Prime with four brand new horror instalments, Danielle de Wolfe speaks to the actors to discover more.

If you’re a fan of horror, chances are you already know the name Blumhouse Productions, fronted by producer Jason Blum.

The driving force behind some of horror’s biggest titles, including Paranormal Activity, The Purge, and the 2017 cult classic Get Out, the production house’s releases have become a necessity for thriller fans looking to get their adrenaline fix.

In 2020 the company unveiled Welcome To The Blumhouse – a brand new anthology horror series created through a joint venture with Amazon Studios.

Centred around “family and love as redemptive or destructive forces”, the first four films in the series – The Lie, Black Box, Evil Eye, and Nocturne – were released before Halloween last year. Evil Eye was produced by The White Tiger actress Priyanka Chopra, wife of the musician Nick Jonas, of the Jonas Brothers.

As if the past 12 months hadn’t been enough of a horror fest, Welcome To The Blumhouse is set to unleash yet more gore as the final four gripping films are released before Halloween.

Entitled Bingo Hell and Black As Night, the first two films will become available to stream on Friday, October 1. Horror fans won’t have long to wait for the next two, however, as Madres and The Manor are set to land on the streaming service just seven days later on October 8.

With the common link between the four described as “institutional horrors and personal phobias”, we delve into the plethora of twists and turns served up by a man many would describe as the father of modern day horror.

Bingo HELL: Directed by Into The Dark actress Gigi Saul Guerrero and starring Adriana Barraza, Joshua Caleb Johnson and Richard Brake, Bingo Hell harbours far more sinister (and comical) undertones than the seemingly harmless numbers game might initially suggest.

The story follows a small-town neighbourhood activist named Lupita (Barraza), a 60-something bingo player who springs into action after her beloved local bingo hall is taken over by an enigmatic businessman named Mr Big (Brake). However, it’s not long before residents begin dropping like flies and, with the body count rising, Lupita finds that gentrification is now the least of her worries.

“I love horror films – I’ve done quite a few of them, but I love ones that have a lot more to them than just trying to scare you,” says Brake, 56, best known for his roles in Doom and Hannibal Rising.

Describing how the tale tackles a host of subjects from gentrification to out-and-out greed, the actor says the film’s subject matter reflects “community and how communities used to be so important and that’s just slowly changing – for the worse, I think”.

Brake also says the primary draw of the project was the way in which the central characters bucked the trend when it came to age. Centred around an ageing community brought together by the game, “the heroes and the bad asses were all over 60 and you just don’t see scripts like that”, says Brake.

Black AS NIGHT: If vampire-riddled horrors are your cup of tea, look no further than Black As Night – an action-horror hybrid of epic proportions. Set 15 years after Hurricane Katrina tore through the city of New Orleans, a new threat leaves its mark on the Big Easy in the form of fang marks on the necks of the city’s displaced residents.

Led by Remittance director Maritte Lee Go and starring Asjha Cooper, Fabrizio Guido, Craig Tate and Mason Beauchamp among others, Black As Night sees the city’s body count steadily rise. “I had a dream probably a few weeks prior that I would be playing a vampire and I got the audition for a whole new [Blumhouse] series called Into The Dark,” says Tate, who featured in Greyhound and 12 Years A Slave.

Describing how he missed out on that particular role, the actor says his name was later thrown into the ring for Black As Night off the back of his audition.

“It didn’t really take much consideration to work with [Blumhouse Productions], you know? Associating your banner with the Blumhouse banner, I thought it was pretty cut and dry.”

Madres: Centred around a young Mexican-American couple expecting their first child, Madres is described as a “Mexican Get Out” by actress Ariana Guerra, who plays a heavily-pregnant Diana. Having moved to a small town in northern California where her partner, Beto, takes up a job as a farm manager, the couple find themselves isolated from the surrounding community.

After discovering a grisly talisman and a box containing the belongings of the previous residents, Diana finds herself caught up in a terrifying plot that’s set to take audiences in a direction they never would have expected.

Best known for her appearances in Helstrom and Candy Jar, Guerra says the role resonated with her on a number of levels - most notably in its depiction of her own Latina roots and the “identity crisis” that comes from being a Mexican-American.

Explaining that as a young girl she was “told to assimilate to this American culture, but also having to deal with preserving your Mexican roots”, Guerra says the film explores the difficulty of “trying to figure out where you exist in between”.

“She’s Latina and that alone is unfortunately revolutionary,” says Guerra of her character and the depiction of diversity in film. “It’s more so the opportunity to carry a film... Diversity is very in right now ... I’m here to ride the wave.”

The MANOR: Another Welcome To The Blumhouse film that features a predominantly over-60s cast, The Manor sees helpless nursing home residents plagued by a malevolent spirit as part of this blood-curdling tale. Led by American Horror Story director Axelle Carolyn, The Manor stars Barbara Hershey (Black Swan), Jill Larson (Shutter Island) and Bruce Davison (X-Men), to name but a few.

After moving into an assisted-living facility named Golden Sun Manor following a stroke, 70-year-old Judith Albright (Hershey) strikes up a friendship with fellow resident Roland (Davison).

However, it’s not long before she becomes convinced of a haunting, despite those around her becoming increasingly sure it’s the result of dementia.

“They’re sort of seat-of-the-pants fliers,” says Davison of Blumhouse films in a matter-of-fact manner.

“Barbara and I had done our first film together in 1968, called Last Summer with Richard Thomas and Catherine Burns. We were all children running around in our bikinis and bathing suits on the beach - and now here we are in the home. It’s come full circle 50 years later.”

* Bingo Hell and Black As Night will launch on Friday, October 1, followed by Madres and The Manor on Friday, October 8 on Amazon Prime Video.