It’s Halloween and in Hollywood that means it’s time for The Blood List, the fifth annual edition of the 13 best unproduced horror, thriller, and sci-fi scripts of the Halloween-to-Halloween year, voted on by over 100 film executives and producers.
Topping the list this year is Ink and Bone, Zak Olkewicz’s horror script about a writer held hostage by his own creepy creations that was purchased earlier this year by Bob and Harvey Weinstein’s Dimension Films. Past winners include The Disciple Program with Mark Wahlberg attached to star for Universal Pictures; The Boy Next Door with Jennifer Lopez attached to star and horror-meister Jason Blum producing; and the upcoming February from writer-director Osgood “Oz” Perkins, son of the late great Anthony Perkins of “Norman Bates” fame. Bryan “The Strangers” Bertino will produce through his Unbroken Pictures. With the competition for horror films getting more intense every year, getting the vote from the The Blood List can help a script stand out in a crowded marketplace. And with scripts such as Black Swan, Chronicle and Buried having been listed, it can be just the thing to push a sought after script into becoming a movie.
The Blood List is the creation of 26-year-old manager/producer and horror geek Kailey Marsh who started the list at just 21 when she was an assistant working with producers at Blumhouse (the folks who brought you such recent horror entries as Sinister, Insidious and The Purge.) We gave Kailey a shout to see what we have to look forward to in horror and how she became the girl behind The Blood List.
Geek: You release the list on Halloween like a true horror fan – how did a nice girl like you wind up in a gruesome business like this?
Kailey Marsh: I’m just a huge movie nerd and I’ve always been drawn to horror films, so when I started interning I was reading a TON of horror scripts. My first assistant job was working with Steven Schneider at Room 101/Blumhouse during Paranormal Activity. We were getting an insane amount of genre scripts that I got to read. Later I asked the members on my common interest tracking board Trackula what their top 3 favorite dark genre scripts of the year were, and put them into a list: The Blood List was born. The only time I could ever imagine releasing The Blood List is on Halloween. I love how excited writers get when they find out they’re on it, because at the end of the day, the list is for the writers.
Do these new scripts give you an idea of what’s trending currently and what’s next in horror?
This year there’s a lot of supernatural and psychological material. I think audiences these days just can’t be too scared, which might sound obvious, but I think it’s harder to scare people with monsters and gore like in the past, and things are steering more into ‘real horror’– ghosts and things that can’t be explained.
You’ve recently opened it up to new unbroken writers who can submit their script to you for professional coverage, as well as a consultation with you. It can also potentially be put in contention with the Blood List voters. Who knows where the next James Wan will come from, right?
Exactly. It functions like any other consultation services, but I wanted a way for people who aren’t in the industry yet to get pointers about their script, and for unrepped writers to have a stab at making it on the list.
What are you for Halloween this year and what’s the best costume you’ve seen so far?
This year for Halloween I dressed up as zombie Mary Poppins—or as everyone was calling me, “Scary Poppins.” And the best costume I saw this year was a girl dressed as the victim from Human Centipede with dummies attached to her, and her boyfriend was ‘the doctor’ …so gross, but so great.
You can check out The Blood List here. It just might have your next favorite horror movie on it.
For more about Kailey Marsh and The Blood List: