WALLINGFORD — A Wallingford native has taken his love for horror films to the big screen and become a part of legacy Hollywood franchises.
“I grew up loving the ‘Halloween’ franchise and grew up loving the films from John Carpenter, who directed the first movie,” Ryan Turek said. “It was kind of like ‘I can’t believe that we’re actually doing this. I can’t believe I’m a part of this cool legacy.’”
Turek, 45, is director of development at Blumhouse Productions, a company that has produced movies like “Paranormal Activity,” “The Purge” and “Get Out.”
Turek has spent the last few years co-producing some of the biggest horror films including the remake of “Halloween” (2018), “Happy Death Day” and most recently “Halloween Kills.”
“Halloween Kills” is a sequel to “Halloween.” The movie follows the character Michael Myers who stalks and kills people in the fictional town of Haddonfield, Illiniois on Halloween night.
“Halloween Kills” brings back actors Jamie Lee Curtis and James Jude Courtney, who reprise their roles as Laurie Strode and Michael Myers. Released in the United States on Oct. 15, “Halloween Kills” has grossed $90.6 million worldwide against a $20 million budget, according to IMDb.
Turek said being a part of the “Halloween” franchise is a “dream come true.” His parents, Mark and Cindy Turek, said they couldn’t be prouder.
“He’s been doing this for a little while now,” Mark Turek said. “We’ve always had faith that he would be able to do this and we never doubted him. He’s worked harder than anyone else I could think of.”
Growing up in the 1980s, the Lyman Hall graduate initially thought he would work in the comic book industry.
He spent a lot of his high school days at Collector’s Castle, a former comic book store on Center Street.
Once high school ended, Turek went to film school in New York where he was introduced to directing and producing.
He said he realized his strength was in creative producing to help support diverse visions and voices.
Since “Happy Death Day” in 2017, Turek has co-produced “Happy Death Day 2U,” “Ma”, and “Freaky.” He executive produced “The Black Phone” starring Ethan Hawke, which is expected to be released in February 2022.
In the next few years, Turek will be co-producing “Halloween Ends” — the final installment of the Halloween franchise — and three movies based on “The Exorcist.”
“I’ve embraced all of these horror icons and I’ve gotten to meet so many of them,” Turek said. “If I can help nurture young horror fans into overcoming their fears, then I think I’ve done my job.”