Jason Blum’s micro-budgeted approach to horror has paid off tremendously for his Blumhouse Productions over the past few years, thanks to the gargantuan success of the Paranormal Activity and Insidious series, in addition to films like Sinister and The Purge, two stand-alones so profitable that both have sequels in the works.
This summer, Blum will unveil his latest frightfest, Jessabelle, in hopes of launching yet another lucrative franchise. Now, the first trailer for that film has landed, and you can check it out below:
There’s nothing wholly unfamiliar about the premise for Jessabelle; following a terrible car crash which leaves her without the use of her legs, the title character returns to her father’s home in Louisiana and uncovers horrific tapes left by her late mother. Jessabelle soon becomes the target of a malevolent spirit and must look back into the past if she’s to have any hope of leaving Louisiana alive.
Sarah Snook (of Sleeping Beauty) stars in this one, alongside Mark Webber, David Andrews and Joelle Carter. The lead actress doesn’t have much more to do in this trailer than scream in terror, but hopefully the finished product will exhibit a little more dimension than this first look suggests.
Saw 3D helmer Kevin Greutert, who is also working on the upcoming Blum-produced horror flick Visions, is sitting in the director’s chair on Jessabelle. He’s certainly capable of blending gore and dread, so chances are high that Greutert’s direction will help Jessabelle to emerge as the summer’s scariest movie (though to be fair, with Deliver Us from Evil and The Purge: Anarchy also in contention, it doesn’t exactly have much competition). The eerie setting of backwoods Louisiana should certainly help Greutert on that count.
Intriguingly, writer Robert Ben Garant is best known for horror-comedy Hell Baby and working on the Night at the Museum franchise, so it’s unclear whether the film will boast writing tense enough to match its disturbing visuals. I guess we’ll find out when Jessabelle drops on August 29th.