Today, it was revealed that the recently announced horror-themed VR collaboration between Blumhouse and YouTube Spaces is entitled #Room301, and will feature none other than Dwayne Johnson as a ghostly hotel concierge who welcomes all viewers into a hotel filled with chilling surprises that explore our worst fears—just in time for Halloween.

Last month, Daily Dead had the opportunity to speak with Jason Blum of Blumhouse and Chris D’Angelo of YouTube Space as they were just about to begin working on #Room301. The duo discussed their partnership, the challenges of bringing the VR horror fest to life online, and much more.

Great to speak with you today, guys. Jason, I know over at Blumhouse you are always looking for new, different, and exciting ways to connect with horror fans. I'm curious how this all came about and the vision that you and Chris share for this collaboration.

Jason Blum: So how it came about was that there is a ton of organic crossover between YouTube and our company, beginning at YouTube, because horror is one of the things that works super well on it, and also, it's a place that you can discover different ways to reach audiences. A lot of the pitches that we hear often are from YouTube something or other, and I actually have seen the facility here—a couple of years ago, maybe three years ago, not long after it was built—and we were super impressed with it.

They built this amazing facility that helps people make great things and [come up with] different ideas in their craft and everything else is just kind of great. I was interested in what was happening on YouTube in the scary space and interacting with it all of the time for a long time, and so the official partnership grew organically out of a relationship that already existed.

Chris, obviously Jason and his company have a really great pedigree in terms of creating these stories that really resonate with fans. What did you think that Jason was going to be able to bring to the table for this experience and how has that collaboration been between you guys?

Chris D’Angelo: It’s the last part—the collaboration—just because we want to make sure the creators are having a great time. They've come in from all over the world, they have a wide array of different ideas that Jason and his team have vetted and given them different advice on and really helped take it up to another level.

What Jason has really brought to this—360[-degree VR] is brand new, and this is the first group of creators that are really going out and putting together 120 pieces of content here. But Jason and his team were not new to 360, either, and certainly not new to what I describe as a really brassy, awesome way of telling stories.

We just felt that we were really well-aligned, that we were looking at creating the same kind of content, the same kind of experience, and doing scary stuff has become an annual tradition for us, so we've been waltzing and trying to get more aligned with Jason and Blumhouse for a long time, so we couldn't be more excited.

Because this is so ambitious, where you have a lot of different people that are going to be working on this, and you're also working with emerging technology that's going to be very, very new, what's been the biggest challenge for you guys going into this? Is it making sure that all of these things fit together, is it the technology, or is it just connecting with the audience out there?

Jason Blum: I'll take a swing at that one. It is incredibly ambitious, but that's really the whole idea behind YouTube Spaces, right? It's to create a world-class facility with the latest and greatest technologies and put those things in the hands of creators. [They’re] highly creative people, and let's see what comes out of it.

We're in the very early days of narrative storytelling in 360, it's the early days of 360 in general. What we wanted to do was take our best swing at this—get the best cameras, get the best storytellers, get the best creators, and put them in an awesome facility and see what they learn and see what we create, and I've never been disappointed with the creative community before. They've never failed to blow me away with new ideas, new ways to tackle these problems.

Chris, because this is something YouTube has really fostered over the years—creating this environment for a lot of people who maybe didn't have a platform before, but they've got one now—how do you guys hope to help support these folks in putting their videos out? Are you hoping that maybe you're going to find some nuggets of gold in there, in terms of creative talent that you can hopefully continue to work with in the future?

Chris D’Angelo: That's always our hope. That's our hope day-to-day. We believe we're engaging with the most creative people in the world and these creators, as I've said, when they come in, they just never cease to amaze me with the content that they're creating, and good storytelling really comes from anywhere. And Jason has this really broad group of creators around the world and has really focused them in on something that feels very YouTube-y, and he said, “Create something that's very personal to you; create something that's all about your creative fear.” This was a theme and a prompt that they were able to really run into, and I think they're going to find a great response from their viewers who are going to connect with these very personal and authentic stories.

Do you feel like this technology really allows the opportunity to get under the skin of people that maybe feel like they're not susceptible to getting nervous or scared, especially if they're watching a video on the internet? A lot of folks will be like, "Oh, that's not going to scare me,” so do you feel like this gives you guys a really good way to connect with fans in a way that traditional video viewing experiences wouldn't allow?

Jason Blum: A VR experience, when it's done well and it's scary, can definitely be better than a traditional movie or TV show, for sure. In fact, the actual issue that we have sometimes is that it's too scary, and you can't sustain a 90-minute movie on VR because the experience is too intense. It would be like being on a roller coaster for an hour. It's just too much. So, you almost have to dial it back or make it shorter. In this case, we're not going to dial it back, we're going to make it shorter. We're going to scare you, but it won't last too long.


"Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson welcomes you to check into #Room301...where fear awaits.

The unlikely hotel concierge is welcoming unsuspecting guests into a hotel with surprises in store via an upcoming series of videos that are part of a horror-inspired, virtual reality production program by YouTube Spaces worldwide, in partnership with Blumhouse Productions and renowned producer Jason Blum.

Horror is around you no matter which way you turn in this real scares with virtual reality program! Over 100 top YouTube creators from around the world produced 360-degree VR videos shot on terrifying cinematic sets - a hotel room simply known as room 301, inspired by the nail-biting Blumhouse film aesthetic at YouTube Spaces in Los Angeles, London, Tokyo, Berlin, Toronto and New York that answer the question: What is your worst fear?

In a 360° VR mega-collab video directed by Jesse Wellens from PrankVsPrank and DownRangeGaming some of YouTube’s top creators, including FuriousPete, Gabbie Hanna of The Gabbie Show and LaToya from LaToya Forever and many more of your favorite stars receive a key from Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson to enter hotel #Room301 -- also known as YouTube Purgatory -- that will inevitably lead them to experience their worst fears.

The 360° VR mega-collab video launched TODAY at:
‘The Rock’s Haunted Hotel 360”

Also, look what happens behind the scenes when the YouTubers perform a seance to turn The Rock back from a ghost at:

The Seance in #Room301 with The Rock & His YouTube Friends!

Other #Room301 videos from the YouTube Spaces program, include, but not limited to:

Check out other #Room301 videos on the official playlist at:

Videos are going live daily through Halloween at:"

  • Heather Wixson
    About the Author - Heather Wixson

    Heather A. Wixson was born and raised in the Chicago suburbs, until she followed her dreams and moved to Los Angeles in 2009. A 14-year veteran in the world of horror entertainment journalism, Wixson fell in love with genre films at a very early age, and has spent more than a decade as a writer and supporter of preserving the history of horror and science fiction cinema. Throughout her career, Wixson has contributed to several notable websites, including Fangoria, Dread Central, Terror Tube, and FEARnet, and she currently serves as the Managing Editor for Daily Dead, which has been her home since 2013. She's also written for both Fangoria Magazine & ReMind Magazine, and her latest book project, Monsters, Makeup & Effects: Volume One will be released on October 20, 2021.