Note: This article contains significant spoilers for Split. When it was first revealed that M. Night Shyamalan's latest cinematic release Split took place in the same universe as his movie Unbreakable, everyone's minds were collectively blown. While it's not usual for a director who makes one-off films to have some of their properties connected, the movie universe that's been created with Split is indeed a fascinating concept.
And with the Split sequel, titled Glass, having recently been announced, along with the news that this impending thriller is also to be a crossover with Unbreakable, fans of #Shyamalan are beyond excited, seeing as both films are considered to be among the auteur's best. People are also fired up to see what will happen between the characters brought to life by James McAvoy and Bruce Willis.
But there is a problem. It's been announced by producer Jason Blum that Glass is set to have a much bigger budget than #Split, which was made for the measly sum of $9 million. Talking to Collider, Blum said:
“The budget is more traditional, still by Hollywood standards a very low budget, but it is not $5 million.”
For any other movie, this budget increase would be good news, as a bigger budget means more can be done to improve the film's production quality, its narrative, and the use of special and practical effects. However, with horror-suspense movies, the opposite is more often than not true. And in the case of Glass, giving the movie a much bigger budget could spell a bad result.
Solid Track Record
In the past two years, several smaller-budget horror-suspense films have been released to great success, both critically and financially. This is due in part to the production company behind these films: Blumhouse.
Blumhouse has been at the helm of some of the best horror-suspense movies to come out in the past few years, including Split, Get Out and The Visit, the latter of which was also written and directed by Shyamalan.
Often made on shoestring budgets, these films yielded many times more than their expenses at the box office. Indeed, Split pulled in more than $275 million worldwide, while Get Out pulled $206 million on a budget of just $4.5 million.
With all evidence suggesting #Blumhouse is more than capable of taking a horror movie and having it do well financially and critically while using minimum funds, why must the production company boost resources for Glass?
Quality Over Quantity
Blumhouse is not the only production studio to have great success with smaller budget horror-suspense movies. In 2016, Lights Out and Don't Breathe captivated audiences, with their thrilling jump scares and compelling plot twists.
These two movies were critically acclaimed for offering something original within the horror genre. While Don't Breathe took a more suspenseful route, #LightsOut showed that a full-length feature based on a two-and-a-half-minute short film could still have enough in it to scare the bejesus out of you.
And once again, both movies were made on scant budgets, yet the profits were impressive. So even low-budget movies not made by Blumhouse that are thoughtful, provocative and clever have the capability of impressing audiences.
It's safe to say the horror genre has seen its fair share of flops. Oftentimes those failures are movies with big budgets. In 2010, The Wolfman had a budget of $150 million, yet made $139 million a the box office — losing $11 million. And while directors Robert Rodriguez and Quentin #Tarantino have a dedicated fan following, their 2007 double feature Grindhouse only made $25 million at theaters worldwide on the back of a budget more than twice that sum.
Less Is More
Regardless of Glass's increased budget, there is still plenty of hope that it will be a high-quality movie. Shyamalan has enjoyed something of a career resurgence of late, and it would be a real shame if he were to mess it up again.
But with Willis and Samuel L. Jackson confirmed as returning to their Unbreakable roles for Glass, as well as the brilliant McAvoy reprising his Split character(s), all signs tell us this movie will be far from breakable.
Glass is set for cinematic release on January 18, 2019. Are you excited for it? Do you think a bigger budget will spell trouble? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section, and check out McAvoy in action below.