American director and screenwriter Darren Bousman rose to fame as the director and co-writer of the commercially successful “Saw II” (2005), which currently has the highest gross domestically within the “Saw” movie series. He also helmed “Saw III” (2006), “Saw IV” (2007) and “Repo! The Genetic Opera” (2008). He picked up a Fant-Asia Film Festival Award for the latter film. Bousman's new film, “Mother's Day” (2010), scripted by Scott Milam, is a remake of the 1980 horror film of the same title. The Kansas native began making short films while at a film school in Florida. Upon relocating to Los Angeles, he directed music videos and then commercials before eventually scoring a big breakthrough with “Saw II.”
Bousman is a member of the Splat Pack, with Alexandre Aja, Leigh Whannell, Neil Marshall, Rob Zombie, Greg Mclean, James Wan and Eli Roth. The term Splat Pack was created verbally by film historian Alan Jones in Total Film magazine for the modern wave of directors making cruel violent horror films. He has been named the first horror director to ever have his first major Hollywood films debut at No. 1 with “Saw II” (005), “Saw III” (2006) and “Saw IV” (2007).
Bousman has been married to his wife, Laura, since January 2009. He has a cat named Zoe and a dog named Chance. His favorite food is pancakes. He mentions “Lost” as his favorite TV series and Wes Craven's “The Last House on the Left” (1972) as his favorite film.
Childhood and Family:
Darren Lynn Bousman was born on January 11, 1979, in Overland Park, Kansas. After graduating from Shawnee Mission North High School in Overland Park, he went to Kansas University and majored in theater and film. He quit in his sophomore year to attend a film program at Full Sail University (formerly known as Full Sail Real World Education) in Winter Park, Florida. He completed his education in 2001 with a thesis film titled “Winter Follies.” It was in Florida that Darren began writing and directing short horror films.
On October 4, 2008, Darren became engaged to Laura Bosserman. They exchanged wedding vows on January 2, 2009.
Repo! The Genetic Opera
Darren Lynn Bousman was involved in the theater community while growing up in Kansas. He later switched his attention to filmmaking and studied it in Florida. While pursuing his film degree at Full Sail University, he wrote and directed the short film “Butterfly Dreams,” starring J. LaRose, Al Hubbs and Kevin J. O'Neill. He then created the mystery short “Identity Lost” (2001), again starring J. LaRose.
After his arrival in Los Angeles, Bousman began directing music videos and advertisements. His first feature film job arrived when he was hired as Tara Reid's production assistant on the set of “Van Wilder” (2002), a comedy directed by Walt Becker and starring Ryan Reynolds. In early 2003, he became a freelance director for the Beverly Hills based management company, The Firm, where he directed music videos and commercials.
In 2004, Bousman directed the music video for the hit song “So,” by Static-X and the commercial campaign for Virgin Cola. Around the same time, he completed a film script called “The Desperate” and sent it to various studios. It eventually caught the attention of the “Saw” team Gregg Hoffman, Oren Koules and Mark Burg, screenwriter/actor Leigh Whannell and screenwriter director James Wan. Before long, Bousman made his feature film directorial debut with “Saw II” (2005), which he co-wrote with Whannell.
A sequel to the box office hit horror movie “Saw” (2004), starring Whannell, Cary Elwes, Danny Glover and Monica Potter, “Saw II” starred Tobin Bell, Donnie Wahlberg and Shawnee Smith and earned primarily a negative reception from critics after its release on October 28, 2005. Despite bad reviews, the film was a commercial victory and grossed over $31.7 million during its opening weekend alone. “Saw II” was nominated for a 2006 Saturn for Best Horror Film and a Teen Choice for Movies - Choice Thriller. Under his direction, Bell nabbed a Chainsaw Award for Best Villain at the 2006 Fangoria Chainsaw Awards and a MTV Movie nomination in the same category.
After “Saw II,” Bousman directed the rock group Mudvayne's music video for the song “Forget to Remember” (also 2005), which became the lead single of the film “Saw II.” He then directed “Saw III,” which was written by James Wan and Leigh Whannell. Released on October 27, 2006, the film gained mixed reviews from critics but was a box office success. “Saw III” earned a Saturn nomination for Best Horror Film, a Teen Choice nomination for Choice Movie: Horror/Thriller and a MTV Movie nomination for Best Villain (Tobin Bell, all 2007).
In 2007, Bousman directed “Saw IV,” which was written by Patrick Melton, Marcus Dunstan and Thomas Fenton and executive produced by Leigh Whannell and James Wan. The film grossed over $31 million in the U.S. and over $71 million internationally for a worldwide gross of over $139 million. It was a financial success against its budget of $10 million. Although the critical reception to the film was primarily negative, “Saw IV” was nominated for five Golden Trailer Awards, which the film won one for Best Horror TV Spot, and an Empire Award for Best Horror.
In 2008, Bousman helmed “Repo! The Genetic Opera,” a rock opera/musical film adapted from a play written and composed by Darren Smith and Terrance Zdunich. The film received a limited theatrical release in the U.S. and Canada in November 2008. It was released on DVD in January 2009. “Repo! The Genetic Opera” won the director the Fantasia Ground-Breaker Award at the 2008 Fant-Asia Film Festival. It also brought Paris Hilton Razzies for Worst Supporting Actress and Worst Actress of the Decade for her performance as Amber Sweet. Bousman had better luck with the touring version of the film, “Repo! Road Tour.” Also in 2008, Bousman made his television directorial debut with “New Year's Day,” an episode of the horror anthology series “Fear Itself.”
Recently, in 2010, Bousman directed Rebecca De Mornay, Jaime King, Patrick Flueger, Warren Kole, Matt O'Leary and Deborah Ann Woll in the thriller “Mother's Day,” which is scheduled to be released on May 9, 2010. The film is a remake of the 1980 film of the same name.
Fant-Asia Film Festival: Fantasia Ground-Breaker Award, “Repo! The Genetic Opera,” 2008