Our ongoing series of interviews with the Blumhouse crew continues, in which we share our collective passion for all things scary, discuss our personal and career histories in the genre we all know and love, reveal our favorite films, and maybe even share a few spooky stories.
Today we sit down for a Q&A with John Humphrey, Social Media Manager for Blumhouse.com!
Blumhouse.com: How long have you been a horror fan, and what attracted you to the genre?
John Humphrey: Oh, man…as long as I can remember, really. I was always the kid drawing Jack-O-Lanterns in June. The cinema came a bit later for me, but Halloween was my favorite time of year- pumpkin patches, trick or treating, helping my dad stuff bodies to put under our car and all that.
Each year, my folks would take us to The Hallowed Haunting Grounds, which was this great local home haunt/Halloween display and a lot of my earliest horror-related memories come from there- sitting on my dad’s shoulders and taking in the projected spirits flying up out of the ground, the breathing crypts, the floating lanterns, the busts whose heads appeared to follow you as you walked, and ghostly apparitions that would appear in the different windows up on their porch. They stopped a few years back, but they were huge in developing my love of the macabre and creepy.
BH: What is your role at Blumhouse Productions? Can you tell us a little about your job?
JH: I do a lot of the social media stuff for the website, so taking the articles and integrating them into Facebook and Twitter, keeping track of analytics, responding to feedback, Instagrams here and there. All that fun millennial stuff!
BH: What is your career background, training, school, etc?
JH: I try to dabble in various art forms (writing, photography, music, etc). I graduated film school a couple years ago, (like most people in Southern California), and my dad’s been in the industry all my life, so that world’s always been close by. As far as work goes, I did some time with Fangoria, first as an intern, then on the freelance. I’ve been a haunt performer for the past six years at Universal Studios; and before Blumhouse, I was behind the counter at our beloved Jumpcut Cafe (RIP). I also have a YouTube channel with a dear friend of mine called The Reel Rejects where we talk movies and make sketches & podcasts. No rest for the wicked!
BH: What/who is your favorite monster and why?
JH: This one’s a toss-up for me. Probably THE THING because that one works on multiple levels. It’s terrifying on its own as a writhing hodgepodge of misshapen people parts and just as unnerving when it could be lurking in the person next to you. Plus, y’know, spiderhead.
And on the other hand, I very much love Sam from TRICK ‘R TREAT because he’s the perfect personification of Halloween- sinister and mischievous, yet somehow endearing and childlike.
BH: What is your weapon of choice?
JH: I’m gonna go flamethrower on this one. Fire can be a very effective tool and even if you don’t kill whatever it might be, you can at least do some damage and buy yourself some time if you’re smart about it!
BH: List five of your favorite horror films.
JH: I’m dreadful at narrowing these down. ED WOOD is my all-time favorite film, which I realize isn’t a traditional horror movie, but it’s definitely a love letter written in the dialect. From there, I’d probably say SHAUN OF THE DEAD, THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE (’73), Romero’s NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, and really any of the EVIL DEAD movies – take your pick! Either way, lots of “Dead,” apparently.. Today, at least.
BH: What was the first horror movie you ever saw, and what was your reaction?
JH: The first horror movie I vividly remember seeing was William Castle’s HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL, which definitely spooked me at the time (though perhaps not quite as much as the pig-faced people from that episode of THE TWILIGHT ZONE). My folks brought that out one Halloween when I wanted to watch a scary movie, and I recall then taking it to school to watch one of the following weeks. It was that old kid thing when something scares you, but you can’t help wanting to go back and look at it again.
BH: Describe one of your favorite Halloween costumes that you’ve worn.
JH: All my costumes seem to come together last minute. I remember one year I was the sort of classic devil- the cowl with the horns, the red painted face, the cape, and the 3-pronged pitchfork. That one’s always stuck out in my mind.
If we’re counting the costumes I’ve worn while on the clock, The Hitchhiker (from TEXAS CHAINSAW) was pretty awesome and the Titty Twister door man was a lot of fun.
BH: Name one horror celebrity, dead or alive, you would love to meet, and tell us why.
JH: I’m a big Rob Zombie fan, so I’d love to be able to hang out with him. He’s got that perfect dual career I’d kill to have someday; plus at the end of the day, he just seems like a guy, which is something I’ve always sort of admired. Either Zombie or Papa & the Nameless Ghouls from Ghost.
BH: Please recommend a recent horror film that you saw and really enjoyed?
JH: GOOSEBUMPS was probably the most recent one. Getting excited for movies can be difficult nowadays, but I felt like a kid again watching that one. It reminded me of films like FRIGHT NIGHT and THE MONSTER SQUAD, and we don’t get very many of those anymore. I thought they handled it perfectly. Aside from that, A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT was one of my favorites last year as well as The BABADOOK and UNDER THE SKIN. I also had a lot of fun with COOTIES, the remake of MANIAC, BEYOND THE BLACK RAINBOW, and THE WORLD’S END. The list goes on, but those are some of the recent ones that really stand out.