Archive for December, 2013

Hayley’s Horror Highlights of 2013!

Posted in Horror Attractions, Horror Festivals with tags , , , , , , , , on December 31, 2013 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

After discussing the horror movies that stood out most this year, this article will take a look at the more personal achievements for Hayley’s Horror Reviews. 2013 on the whole has been a big year which has seen me develop new skills in filmmaking and gaining more confidence in the genre that’s very close to me. Over this passed year I’ve met and worked with some wonderful people on some fantastic projects and made more contacts from all over the globe who are equally as passionate about Horror as I am. Here’s an overview of some of my best horror memories of 2013 in a diary-style/picture format.

January 2013: American Mary trip to Sheffield (Fright Fest).

When I heard Twisted Twins Jen and Sylvia Soska were taking their uniquely dark, hit film American Mary on a UK tour, there was no way I was going to pass up the opportunity to see my favorite film of 2012 on the big screen once more; as well attend a Q&A featuring three of my female role models in Horror. I rallied up some of my close friends together including my co-reviewer Caitlyn Downs (of Scared Sheepless), Sally Jones, Ross Hunt, Martin Lakin and Nia Edwards-Behi (co-director of Abertoir) as we took an awesome road trip down to Sheffield for the night to attend the screening. Following a very entertaining Q&A, I had the opportunity to finally meet the Soska’s as our communication up to that point had only been via email. They were amazing as expected and incredibly friendly. Katherine Isabelle was also in attendance and it was equally as awesome to meet the actress behind Mary and the iconic Ginger from Ginger Snaps (2000) in the flesh. After an eventful evening, we enjoyed a few drinks in the hotel and caught up with Rob Nevitt (director of Celluloid Screams) and a few of the Sheffield festival regulars. The American Mary trip kicked off a great start to the year.

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January 2013: The Ascension Shoot. My first professional filmmaking experience.

Later in the month I took a trip to Redditch after being asked to create a making of  documentary showcasing the short film Ascension. In the previous Summer I had interviewed Writer Dave Jeffrey and Director James Hart about the project that tells the story of a small English community, devastated by the zombie apocalypse while coming together in the hope for survival. I was incredibly grateful to be offered the opportunity to work on such a creative project as well as gain an insight into the behind-the-scenes side of filmmaking. Despite horrendous weather conditions of heavy snow, the cast and crew did an amazing job to bring the film together and achieved it especially well. My role was primarily to provide some exposure of life on set as well as interview the main cast which included Derek Melling and Mark Rathbone (who both starred in my favorite recent horror movie, Inbred), Laurence Saunders (The Seasoning House, Deadtime) and Jacky Fellows (of Fizzog Productions), who are all very talented actors. I shot the documentary on my SD80 Panasonic camera and despite a few sound issues due to the wind, the quality turned out pretty well. Venomous Little Man, the company behind Ascension have recently produced some limited edition DVD’s that includes the behind-the-scenes featurette which I am extremely proud of, to have my film released on DVD. VLM are working on some new projects for 2014 which sound equally exciting and I’m sure their future offerings will grow from strength to strength.

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June 2013: The Ascension Premiere. Screening Ascension:Behind The Screams!

I was invited to Birmingham in June along with my cinematographer/co-editor Ross Hunt to attend the premiere of Ascension. Screening at the Electric Cinema, the premiere was a great opportunity to catch up with the cast and crew in warmer weather conditions as well as get some feedback on the Making Of documentary we had created. Along with the film itself and VLM entry into the 666 Shortcuts to Hell competition, the behind-the-scenes featurette was screened to the audience and achieved positive feedback. For many in attendance it was nostalgic, looking back at all the hard work that went into making Ascension.  It was wonderful to see everything finally come together, following a problematic time during the editing process where a lot of technical issues arose but we eventually overcame. Following the premiere, we attended what could be described as an epic night out to celebrate all our achievements. Even though there is plenty that could be improved with the documentary, it was my first professional filming experience and I feel I took a lot away from it which has helped build my confidence. Working with VLM and gaining an insight into the behind-the-scenes aspect of a film has been inspiring.

All the hard work most definitely paid off as James Hart won the best director award at the Bram Stoker International Film Festival in October. Massive Congratulations and well-deserved.

For my full coverage of the premiere, Click Here.

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July 2013: Graduated University.

Out of everything that’s happened this year my proudest accomplishment has to be graduating from Aberystwyth University with a 2:1 BA Hons degree in Film and Television Studies. I was nearing the end of my first year when I begin this site as a side project which helped me improve my writing skills and critical thinking. Graduation luckily fell on a beautiful summer’s day, it was a relief that all the hard work paid off and I managed to obtain the mark I always aimed for. During my time on the film course, my favorite aspects had to be studying the horror genre (of course), screenwriting, children and the media and writing my most challenging piece yet, my dissertation on the representation of the teenage girl using US television shows to illustrate my argument. I would like to thank all my family, friends and followers for supporting me during my time on the course which has helped adapt my knowledge of film.

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October and November 2013: Celluloid Screams & Abertoir Horror Festival Coverage.

For anyone who works within the genre, these months are usually the busiest! This year I had a fantastic time working with Caitlyn on the two festivals I have been regularly attending for a number of years. Please check out our videos below which developed our presenting skills further as well as my editing skills as I got to grips with using Sony Vegas. We thoroughly enjoy providing reviews and festival coverage each year and aim to support the latest in indie cinema. Expect more from us in 2014!

December 2013: Wrote my first Screenplay!

The final goal I reached in 2013 was finishing the first draft of my feature film screenplay. Currently going through re-writes, I’ve kept the script I’ve been working on for the passed year very secretive until now. Thanks to my university scriptwriting course I began developing the film I’ve had in mind for the passed two years and continued the writing process following graduation. I managed to make the changes I wanted to suit the audience I’m writing for rather than just for the purpose of the course. I’ve had a lot of support from some friends within the industry that have read my work and see its potential, so fingers crossed that I will one day get to make it.

A brief overview of the plot: Following a traumatic experience from her past, Katie vows to make a new life for herself at university. Soon, she meets Jason, an enigmatic and appealing young man who pursues her. When things finally begin to take a turn for the better, Katie stumbles on a dark, horrific secret that could threaten everything she holds dear. The screenplay is a twisted tale of romance, horror and misogyny that combines a series of genres that have been influential on me as a writer.

Happy Horror New Year and keep your eyeballs peeled for more from the site in 2014!

Stay Safe and Don’t go into the woods!!

Hayley Alice Roberts.

The Top Ten Horror/Genre Movies of 2013

Posted in Horror Festivals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 29, 2013 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

As 2014 soon approaches us it is time to reflect on the genre movies that held an impact this year. Unlike last year which saw massively, popular titles like  American Mary and Sightseers, 2013 has been underwhelming in that sense with what has been on offer from the violent and sinister side of cinema. With that said however, there have been some innovative, hard-hitting and thought-provoking independent films that remain long lasting in the mind and fully deserve the recognition that the lacking-in-quality mainstream films have received. 2013 also saw a ground-breaking re-boot of one of the 80’s/90’s most popular franchises that surprised a hoard of fans. A few spooky, supernatural entries have emerged as well as the crossover between horror and disco music in some grindhouse, throwback fun! The majority of the films on this list have already received coverage from Hayley’s Horror Reviews and Scared Sheepless, therefore summaries will be provided as well as the links to my full reviews. Hope you’ve all had a goreific Christmas and have a Happy Horror New Year!

10. The Collection (2012)

  • Directed By Marcus Dunstan
  • Original Release Date: 30th November 2012, USA

collection  The reason I’m including a film that originally came out in 2012 is due to the fact it gained a wider release in 2013 on blu-ray and DVD. The Collection was an unpleasant surprise and I mean that in a positive light. This film is proof of how a modern, horror sequel can find itself superior to the original. While The Collector was dull and contrived and came off as a knock-off Saw film, director Marcus Dunstan raised the stakes in the second installment which included an imaginative, blood-soaked and unforgettable opening sequence which saw a mass slaughter of several young party-goers in an abandoned warehouse! Josh Stewart returns as Arkin, a victim of the ambiguous serial killer who goes by The Collector. Second time round he is blackmailed into rescuing Elena (Emma Fitzpatrick), the masked killer’s latest capture from his warehouse, filled with torturous traps! Less torture porn and more edge-of-the-seat thriller, The Collection keeps its audience gripped as Arkin leads a team of police officers to the Collector’s lure only for them to inevitably get picked off one by one. The Collector himself is brutal and irredeemable and is currently one of the genre’s most underrated horror killers. What makes him interesting is the film doesn’t feel the need to create some measly backstory in an attempt to explain his actions, he is the embodiment of ruthlessness and evil and is true identity is never fully revealed which leaves more to the imagination. While this may not be to everyone’s taste, especially those who became tired of films such as Saw and Hostel very quickly, Dunstan has taken a concept he knows well and challenged it a little bit more which proves that in the right hands more can be done with the sub-genre. The Collection is stylistic with some interesting and unexpected imagery, gory in the right places and not as predictable as one may expect!

9. The Purge (2013)

  • Directed By, James DeMonaco
  • Release Date: June 7th, 2013

The-purge  Following on from his performance in the terrifying, supernatural thriller, Sinister, Ethan Hawke’s latest genre role was eagerly-anticipated. The Purge took the home invasion sub-genre to a whole other level. A futuristic look at American society, the film takes a frightening view on the idea that what if violent behavior was suppressed with the exception of only one night a year without consequence! The premise turns into a traumatic ordeal for one wealthy family as a group of masked, psychotic, middle-class criminals led by the sophisticated yet demented “Polite Leader” invade their highly-secured home. They bring with them the nastiest of threats if they don’t hand over an African-American known as the “bloody stranger” who has also entered their home in the hope for safety. With the non-violent Sandin family at the forefront of the chaos; tension is created as viewers will be left wondering if they’ll sacrifice the life of another human being in order to save their own skin? Or whether they’ll take on the thugs, putting all their lives on the line. The masks worn by the criminals are inventive and provide a sense of creepiness with their menacing grins. While not overly original, The Purge attempts to cover unexplored ground when it comes to the home invasion movie and the concept brings in a different dynamic. By the film’s conclusion an unexpected twist is in place that will leave the audience on edge as an element of security is cleverly taken away. Clearly the formula is in demand with the upcoming sequel set for release in 2014.

For my full June 2013 Review, Click Here.

8. To Jennifer (2013)

  • Directed By James Cullen Bressack
  • Original Release Date, 15th October 2013, USA.

jennifer  2013 saw the first Horror movie to be shot in its entirety on the iPhone 5, showcasing the full potential of D-I-Y film-making. While demonstrating a resourceful approach to the found-footage sub-genre, To Jennifer is accompanied by an engaging story that keeps up its enigma throughout. Played out with a sense of realism, when watching To Jennifer, its like viewing a home movie that you accidentally stumbled on but are determined to get to the end to find out what happens to these characters. This is the core similarity the film shares with Bressack’s previous hard-hitting film Hate Crime (2012) but that is where the resemblance ends between the two. The narrative of To Jennifer centers on love sick Joey (Chuck Pappas) who believes his long-term girlfriend Jennifer (Jessica Cameron) has been cheating on him. Enlisting the help of his cousin Steve (James Cullen Bressack), he goes ahead with shooting a video documenting his feelings with the intent of confronting his unfaithful partner. With high emotions on the line, intensity is created as Joey and Steve travel across the country to discover the truth about what Jennifer has really been up to! To Joey’s annoyance, Steve doesn’t take the situation as seriously as he’d like and brings along his buddy Martin (Jody Barton) along for the ride who continuously leads them astray as he encourages Joey to move on. Each characters perspectives are documented giving different insights into the story. Its as realistic as it can possibly be and builds itself up at a steady pace. To Jennifer is a psychological thriller rather than straight-up horror but it manages to remain suspenseful until the brutal end. There are plenty of gasp-worthy moments as the shocks are delivered. As a found-footage film it is easy to watch as Bressack opts out of the shaky-cam approach giving the film a more naturalistic feel. It’s well-acted, shot and directed as To Jennifer is the first of its kind, an iPhone feature film. But the root of the film is an examination of communication or lack there of in a world where the lines are blurred between reality and social networking.

Click Here for my full review from July 2013.

7. Chanthaly (2013)

  • Directed By Mattie Do
  • Original Release Date, 18th May 2013, Laos.

chanthaly  The first festival film to be included on this list. I viewed Chanthaly at the Abertoir Horror Festival back in November and it was one of the films I eagerly-anticipated from the line-up and it certainly didn’t disappoint. As a fan of supernatural, Asian Horror, Chanthaly had the potential to completely unnerve me especially following my first viewing of the trailer. Chanthaly is ground-breaking for two reasons. It’s the first Horror film to ever be made in Laos and the first film to be directed by a woman. The project was incredibly challenging for Mattie Do as she faced restrictions of what she could and could not show within her communist country and thereby had to shoot different scenes, ones that would be acceptable in Laos and ones that would be fine to showcase in more liberated countries. This included not being able to show any form of gore or show a man and woman kissing on screen as in Laos it is considered respectful not to put any actors out of their comfort zone. With a very interesting background, Chanthaly tells the story of a troubled young woman with a life-threatening heart condition who is haunted by memories of her deceased mother. Chanthaly is a slow-burner as it primarily focuses on the strained relationship between father and daughter as Chanthaly does not accept her mother died in child birth and thinks there’s more to it than her father has initially told her. Soon, Chanthaly begins to see the spirit of whom she thinks is her mother which threatens her already fragile family life. Due to the slow build-up, the scares are even more profound as they come out unexpectedly and manage to get under the skin. The film also features an adorable dog and what’s not to love about that?! Mattie Do doesn’t need to rely on the obvious jump scares and loud noises to convey that there is an otherworldly presence. With being both a chilling ghost story and a cultural examination, Chanthaly is one of the most interesting Asian Horror films to emerge in a long time.

Click Here for my review from the Abertoir Horror Festival.

6. Curse of Chucky (2013)

  • Directed By Don Mancini
  • Original Release Date, 24th September 2013, USA

coc2  Following a successful screening at the UK’s biggest, Horror Festival Fright Fest back in August, Curse of Chucky was released straight onto DVD this Autumn and I for one couldn’t wait to see if the newest installment in the popular 80’s franchise would continue to be successful in 2013. It had been eight years since Chucky’s last murderous rampage in the abysmal Seed of Chucky (2005) and the series was in dire need of a re-vamp if it was ever going to be well-received. Mancini re-worked the film’s style which achieved the perfect balance of comedy and terror that reminded fans why we love the pint-sized killer doll in the first place. Instead of going down the tired remake route, Mancini focused on a whole new backstory that involves Charles Lee Ray before he transferred his own soul into the Good Guy doll and a score he is hell-bent on settling. Fiona Dourif provides an outstanding performance as the terrorized Nica, a young disabled woman who finds herself under Chucky’s wrath. As her family begin to drop off one by one, she discovers there is more to her family history involving the red-headed maniac doll that she ever imagined. Curse of Chucky brings in a sense of nostalgia while going straight for the jugular. It has its funny, ironic moments but remains brutal at the same time. The ending was beyond superb and extremely satisfying. Curse of Chucky defied expectations and came out as an incredibly decent genre film. Recent news suggests the series may yet continue in a possible sequel in the near future.

Click Here for my full review from October 2013.

5. Du Hast Es Versprochen (Aka. Forgotten) (2012)

  • Directed By Alex Schmidt
  • Original Release Date, 20th December 2012, Germany

201303_268861_3_024  Another entry that was screened at this year’s Abertoir Horror Festival. Forgotten became one of my absolute highlights of 2013’s line-up. An atmospheric, psychological drama/thriller, Forgotten incorporates plenty of twists and turns as it uncovers a childhood mystery for the protagonist Hanna (Mina Tander). When going through a rocky patch in her marriage, Hanna is reunited with her old friend Clarissa (Laura De Boer) by chance. Taking her young daughter, Clarissa and Hanna venture to the holiday home they spent many happy years in. But soon a threat lurks in the shadows, Hanna becomes haunted by a third friend who slipped her mind all those years ago and now seeks answers as to why the mysterious little girl keeps reappearing and what score she has to settle. What appears like a straight-forward supernatural chiller, Forgotten brings in an unexpected, thought-provoking twist that shocks to the core. Some audience members did feel the twists went too far however it came as a brave move for the film to break conventions and challenge expectations. The scariest moments come in the claustrophobic setting accompanied by some subtle jump scares that are enough to chill the bones. It’s a film that’s long-lasting in the mind yet leaves a satisfying conclusion. It’s a difficult film to discuss as I don’t want to give too much away! All I will say is check out Forgotten if you’re in the mood for a late night creepy little film with plenty of surprises up its sleeve. One to watch with the lights out!

Click Here for my Abertoir Horror Festival Review.

4. Discopathe (2013)

  • Directed By Renaud Gauthier
  • Release Date, 2nd November 2013, Canada

He was discopathemade for Loving You! I have a confession, I never liked the movie Saturday Night Fever (1977), the only aspect of that movie that stood out for me was its Bee Gees infectious soundtrack that remains popular today. You could therefore argue that judging by my tastes, Renaud Gauthier’s Discopathe is the perfect alternative. I first watched the film at Celluloid Screams Horror Festival back in October where it proved to be an absolute crowd-pleaser and the perfect closing film, leaving the audience on a high. Some may go into Discopathe expecting a black comedy/horror, which yes it does have elements of, however it is also a throwback to 70’s exploitation films in terms of its look and tone. The film has some dark, menacing and brutal moments amongst the tongue-in-cheek performances and humor. It’s pure, late night horror movie fun. The plot focuses on a young man named Duane Lewis, who is going about his business just fine until the summer of 1976 where he is exposed to a new breed of popular music that brings back memories of a traumatic past experience involving his father. The sounds of disco fails to make Duane dance but massacre anyone who crosses his path. Following the murder of a young woman at a retro night club, Duane flees to Montreal and takes up a new identity as Martin, the “deaf and dumb” caretaker of an all girls Catholic school. But Duane can’t escape those catchy, disco beats and feels compelled to kill again! Gauthier captured the sleazy side of exploitation and grindhouse in true 70’s style with grainy effect. When introducing the film he insisted the film to be played loud which added to the full enjoyment as KISS “I was made for Loving you” blasts into the audience towards the film’s climax. If you know what you’re letting yourself in for, Discopathe proves extremely entertaining and definitely one to catch with an audience or with a group of friends over a few drinks!

Click Here for my Celluloid Screams 2013 Review.

3. Chimeres (2013)

  • Directed By Olivier Beguin
  • Release Date, 5th July 2013, Switzerland.

Chimeres-Teaser  Another entry from Celluloid Screams 2013, Chimeres became a festival highlight for being the vampire film genre fans have been waiting an eternity for! Chimeres is very engaging as it allows the audience to get an in-depth view of the characters before introducing any kind of horror element, giving us the chance to get invested in the couple, Alex (Yannick Rosset) and Livia (Jasna Kohoutova). This is also aided by the strong on screen performances from both leading actors who provide believable chemistry as the heartbreaking tale of blood, addiction, love and fangs is told before us! Alex is involved in a devastating car accident while the couple are on holiday in Livia’s place of birth, Romania. When rushed to hospital, he is given an emergency blood transfusion which results in some pretty unusual side effects. Gradually Alex develops a vampyric nature as the film depicts how a long term relationship can survive in the circumstances, with the vampire aspect cleverly used as a metaphor. Olivier Beguin intended to separate the film from others in the sub-genre by creating a strong character study rather than having the vampire element as the reason the couple are brought together. The depiction of the male and female characters in Chimeres demonstrates equality. Despite having a strong, creature-of-the-night boyfriend, Livia is equally as tough with emphasis on the fact she kick boxes and can handle herself when it comes down to it, physically and emotionally. This provided a refreshing spin reminding us of why Buffy The Vampire Slayer appealed in the first place and how much vampire themed films and TV shows as of late have lacked empowering female characters. Livia is the embodiment of a tough, female character, both strong and flawed but ultimately the film allows its audience to believe in the relationship and empathize with both characters. With some mezmerizing visuals, Chimeres is the best vampire film that has emerged in recent years, its passionate, gory, intimate, emotional and devastating.

Click Here For my full Review from Celluloid Screams 2013.

2. Jug Face (2013)

  • Directed By Chad Crawford Kinkle
  • Original Release Date, 9th August 2013, USA

jug face  Backwoods movies don’t get any better than Jug Face. Featuring is own fascinating mythology, Jug Face stands out on its own as it breaks a different ground in the sub-genre. Jug Face is the compelling story of a teenage girl, Ada (Lauren Ashley Carter) who makes the shock discovery that she’s pregnant. While attempting to hide the news from her oppressive family who have already planned an arranged marriage for her, she makes a second discovery of the jug face. Within the community, the jug face represents the latest sacrifice and those who resemble it will have their blood drained into a murky pit as an offering, in a bizarre, religious cult-like tradition. The jug face is created by a local man Dawai, known as “the seer” and luckily for Ada, he’s her closest confidant, played by Sean Bridges. Ada hides the jug face from the entire community  which leads to a series of devastating events to follow that spiral out of her control. As the blood-shed begins Ada struggles to find a way to escape her fate because no matter what, the pit wants what it wants! While those around her must come to terms with the tragic losses seeping through their small-scale community.  One of the films highlights comes in the shape of the touching friendship between Ada and Dawai portrayed on screen. Actress Lauren Ashley Carter and Actor Sean Bridges have previously worked together as psychotic father and abused daughter in Lucky McGee’s The Woman (2011) and their roles in Jug Face are in complete contrast. The performances are convincing and there’s a sense of edginess and brutality throughout the piece, despite including a moderate amount of gore. At times, the film places the audience in a trance-like state with swift camera shots and rapid editing conveying how the pit works and how it takes what it wants. It’s a fascinating study of cult mentality that observes how a small, backwoods community deem murder acceptable as part of their belief system and a depiction of complicated family dynamics; including the taboo subject of incest. Jug Face will leave you gripped from beginning to end, its dark, thrilling and captivating with some of the best performances in a genre movie this year!

Jug Face became my top film of Celluloid Screams 2013, read the full Review Here.

1. Big Bad Wolves (2013)

  • Directed By Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado
  • Release Date, 15th August 2013, Israel

BBWposter-1  Chosen as the film to close this year’s Fright Fest, Big Bad Wolves brought with it a huge impact on independent cinema and for many was one of the most eagerly anticipated genre films of 2013. Catching a screening at this year’s Celluloid Screams, despite only making number #3 on what I considered the best offerings of that festival, Big Bad Wolves has proved to be the film that’s remained long-lasting in the mind and the most talked about. I’ve found myself  recommending the film to many people as I can guarantee, its a must-see! The film is incredibly hard-hitting and powerful and will take a strong stomach to get through as it deals with a harrowing subject matter. Even though its a community in Israel that’s represented, the issue at hand is ultimately universal and will affect a great deal of viewers. Devastation has spread through a close-knit Israeli town due to the sick, twisted murders of local young girls at the hands of a depraved pedophile. With the mutilated bodies discovered without their heads, one vengeful father and police officer take matters into their own hands and plan to exact torturous revenge on the man they believe to have committed the horrible and vile acts of violence. In an attempt to gain answers so he can bury his little girl, Gidi (Tzahi Grad) comes up with the complex plan of holding supposed pedophile Dror (Rotem Keinan) a religious, school teacher hostage in his basement with the intention of torturing him in the exact, sick manner he allegedly tortured his daughter and many other innocent children. The most surprising aspect of Big Bad Wolves was its incredible technique of creating moments of light relief in an emotive situation. It’s a genre-bending, edge-of-the-seat, thrill ride that gets completely under the skin. It’s no surprise that Quentin Tarantino regards this his absolute favorite movie of the year. The torture scenes are just enough to make the audience squirm without being over the top, they are done exceptionally well. Each actor brings in a phenomenal performance, reminding us that when it comes down to it, they are all human and have been placed in a destructive situation which can cause actions to take place that would normally be out of character. The film is accompanied by a breath-taking score that heightens the emotions throughout. I can’t praise this film enough, its cut-throat, it has its own originality and deals sensitively with its subject matter while achieving a thought-provoking effect. This is a film that will captivate a lot of people and in some ways may provide a sense of comfort as crimes such as the one depicted is all too prominent within the media and society as a whole.

Click Here for the full review from Celluloid Screams 2013.

Honorable Mentions:

Painless

Kiss of the Damned

Ghost Graduation

Coming Soon: Hayley’s Horror Highlights of 2013.

Hayley Alice Roberts.

The Short Films of DreamSeekers Productions: The Beast (2012)

Posted in The Short Films of Dream Seekers with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 23, 2013 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

In 2012 Dream Seekers Productions created The Beast, a short that brings in aspects of the classic monster movie with added depth. The werewolf element is in place as a metaphor to demonstrate a father’s internal struggle as his teenage son is cursed with the mark of the beast! The only similarities The Beast shares with Dream Seeker’s most recent short Little Reaper (2013) is the theme of parental conflict as they come to terms with their children’s transition from childhood to adulthood, focusing on those awkward in-between years. However, this is where the similarities end as The Beast couldn’t be further from Little Reaper in terms of tone. Taking a more serious edge, The Beast captures the heightened emotion of a father facing the struggle between protecting his son and doing what’s right for the rest of humanity. Rather than taking the comedic route, the film incorporates strong, dramatic performances that sets the film apart from others of a similar vein.

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Rising cult star, Bill Oberst Jr. plays the principal role of the father Michel, he brings in an emotive and heart-wrenching performance, mainly through expression as he displays his character’s plight. The close-up shots are used to convey this well while heightening the intensity of the situation. We learn that Michel’s son Jacob (Alexander Le Bas) has in fact killed, which is cleverly used as a metaphor that says despite what mistakes children make, to their parents they’ll always be their children no matter what. Alexander Le Bas plays the two sides to Jacob exceptionally well, there is a sense of conflict in place and the impression that he is able to pull on his father’s heartstrings in order to gain what he wants. Knowing Michel feels a sense of responsibility and guilt, he encourages him to untie him as the full moon is about to kick in so he can “relieve himself”. His manipulative nature demonstrates how the monster has taken over. The voice of reason comes in the form of Douglas (Peter Le Bas) who insists Michel does the right thing for his son, adding in the pressure in what’s already an intense situation.

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With a minimal setting of the woods, The Beast uses this to its advantage to create high tension throughout its thirteen minute run-time. It’s setting along with the beautifully-composed music also provides a fairy-tale quality to it. There is convincing and well-developed characters in there that have the potential to be explored further. With expectations of a possible transformation scene, the short interestingly diverts from doing so, ensuring the werewolf element isn’t the main focus over the emotions of the characters. Instead, sound is used to bring in a sense of dread as the wolf’s blood-curdling howl is heard. Other than the strength of the sound, the cinematography is absolutely flawless and breathtaking with shots of the full moon acting as a warning for what’s to come. With a story that could go either way, the ending proves satisfying. Despite the unoriginality of the story itself the film manages to establish the idea of a changing relationship between parent and child and how they come to terms with it, accompanied with dramatic and thrilling horror.

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According to IMDB, Peter Dukes is set to direct a feature with the same title for 2014, with the premise of “A young woman and some friends go on a road trip through the California backwoods in search of her missing brother and are kidnapped in a village that keeps a monster hidden away.” Scream Queen Jessica Cameron is billed as the top role which makes this film a must-see. Peter confirmed that it is in fact not a continuation to his 2012 short and the werewolf theme and title is purely coincidental. However there is already proof that Dukes has the potential to create one hell of a werewolf flick!

Watch The Beast Here:

Hayley Alice Roberts.

Desperate Housewives get Slaughtered! A Review of Chastity Bites (2013)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on December 22, 2013 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

With 2013 on its way out it seems fitting to take a look back at the genre films that graced our cinema screens and toured the festival circuits this passed year. Each year many Horror based review sites give an overview of the top films that made an impact, which you will all be seeing from Hayley’s Horror Reviews  very soon. However, there are some movies, both mainstream and independent titles that I missed first time round therefore it was only fair that I try to catch up with as many as possible before coming to a final decision on what were my best Horror films of 2013.

Being a fan of cheesy teen, horror comedies, Chastity Bites was one of the films that holds an appeal, however following the viewing its not going to take a place on my list. Even though I didn’t enjoy the film, I feel its worth discussing as it has potential to find its audience.

**WARNING: CONTAINS SOME SPOILERS**

Chastity Bites is a 2013 dark comedy horror film from husband/wife team John V. Knowles and Lotti Pharriss Knowles. Being the former’s directorial debut, it showcases that there is room for improvement however on the whole the production design, sound and editing is pretty much decent. It attempts to be stylish in terms of the cover art which clearly has had a lot of effort put in to create an almost cartoonish, tongue-in-cheek impression of the film, the end credits also reflect this.

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The majority of blood-thirsty horror fans will be aware of the gruesome tale of Mrs Elizabeth Bathory, not only has it been dramatized and alluded to on film from Hammer’s Countess Dracula  (1971) to Hostel Part II (2007), it remains one of history’s most notorious horror stories. In the 1600’s Elizabeth Bathory was believed to have slaughtered up to 600 virgins and bathed in their blood in order to remain beautiful and youthful for all eternity. Admittedly, the story still holds a place in modern society with the long-lasting obsession with physical appearance and the majority of celebrities nowadays encourage surgical procedures in order to hold back the years, its clear Chastity Bites is making a social commentary on this, just not one that’s well-executed.

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In the present day, Elizabeth Bathory (Louise Griffiths) is still alive and has targeted San Griento High in search for her next victims. She befriends a group of “Desperate Housewives”, tired of being upstaged by younger women and offers them a new “cosmetic” solution. Meanwhile, Liz Batho (cringe!) as she goes by now has set up a chastity group within the school which has attracted the obnoxious and stereotypical popular clique who use the club as a means to exceed their popularity with dreams of reality television. When her best friend Katharine (Francia Raisa) gets drawn into Batho’s mysterious ways, self-confessed feminist and amateur reporter Leah (Allison Scagliotti) is on to them determined to put a stop to the brutal rituals that are about to take place, similarly to Fright Night (1985).

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Chastity Bites clearly knows what its doing, it intends to be funny and brings in too many pop-culture jokes that ware thin and eventually won’t hold any relevance. The problem with the concept is its tired and overdone. It comes across as a generic slasher film, with predictable moments and uninventive death scenes. It’s one of those where you are aware what will happen next and when. The film opens with a young couple getting frisky in the back of a car with what it attempts as a “self-aware” commentary about waiting for marriage before having sex. It proceeds to subvert the classic horror film trope of “sex equals death” (see. Scream (1996) when the virgin girl is subsequently killed. Already it just feels like this ground has already been covered and need I remind people of a post-Scream slasher Cherry Falls (2000) that did exactly the same thing, especially where there’s a later element in the film where one character has sex to guarantee survival. It definitely incorporated a late-90’s self-referential style with mentions to Xena: Warrior Princess and Buffy The Vampire Slayer! Was this possibly a comment on how 90’s television portrayed stronger women in comparison to the superficial, image-obsessed overnight celebrities from reality TV that the popular girls in the film reflect?

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Allison Scagliotti does provide a good performance as lead character Leah, she’s likeable enough to carry the film where in most places it fails and is reminiscent of Danielle Harris as a leading lady to a degree. To its credit it does acknowledge that embracing feminist values can mean exploring sexuality while still being strong-willed and independent but it doesn’t quite deliver the statement you want it to. Capitalizing on glossy teen dramas like Pretty Little Liars with a horror twist, Chastity Bites has potential but sadly misses the mark. What is left is a generic, predictable mess of cliches with cringe-worthy dialogue and forced self-awareness.

Hayley Alice Roberts

The Dark Side of Disney.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 20, 2013 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

Some of the first films we are introduced to in our lives come from the wonderful world of Walt Disney. Whereas many associate Disney with princesses and happy endings, Disney is also noted for its darker elements and has brought us some of the most unsettling moments in cinema history. Who still doesn’t shudder at the transformation sequence in Snow White or the Donkey scene in Pinocchio?

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Since Disney films are adaptations of well-known classic fairy-tales its no surprise that the popular company still capitalized on the more sinister side of things and its fair to say Disney has presented issues we must all deal with such as death and neglect and given us an early understanding. As adults, we have also been able to search deeper into these childhood films and interpret them in various ways, from strange subliminal messages to rumors of Walt Disney himself being a racist. All these ideas and whether they are reflected in the films makes for some interesting stuff. Seeing these eerie images at such a young age has shaped me into the genre fan I am today. So, let’s look back at some scary animated moments that are more than worthy to have a place within Horror. Guaranteed Nightmare Fuel!

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**I would just like to add that the films and scenes discussed in this review are my own views and don’t reflect any other analysis of a similar vein.**

**In No Particular Order**

Fantasia (1940): Night on Bald Mountain.

As a child I gained so much enjoyment out of watching Fantasia. It’s such a magical film that flawlessly combines animated images to classical scores. Mickey Mouse in the Sorcerer’s Apprentice is so much fun as well as the dancing mushrooms and ballerina hippos. For Disney it came as an experimental film but its closing segment makes that all the more interesting. After viewing Night on Bald Mountain for the first time I recall being so unsettled that I would skip the sequence completely on future viewings of Fantasia on my VHS copy. Night on Bald Mountain features a terrifying Chernabog, an incarnation of Satan himself who raises the dead and subsequently invades the village near Bald Mountain, including spirits of demon-like creatures and animals. Its pure unnerving stuff, however while watching it as an adult its difficult not to be stunned by how detailed and outstanding the animation really is. The imagery used evokes notions of death, hell and fear.

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The Chernabog itself, displays very frightening qualities with menacing glowing eyes, sharp claws and huge bat wings, admittedly, this has to be one of the most nightmarish creations I have ever seen in a film aimed at children. Oh and that grin he displays is enough to make you shudder as he transforms fiery succubus type creatures into vile demons then throws them into a fiery pit and continues to do this; showing that he’s in control! What’s with those demonic faces and skulls flying at the screen, and boobs, there are boobs in a Disney movie, complete with nipples!! It’s grand and incredibly Gothic, accompanied by a haunting score composed by Modest Mussorsky that really heightens the tension throughout the segment. Disney certainly did a fantastic job with this one! Night on Bald Mountain, I welcome you as an integral part of the Horror genre without a doubt!

Dumbo (1941): Song of the Roustabouts

For some reason Dumbo has always been a difficult film to watch. The scene where Dumbo is separated from his mother is traumatizing enough as well as the trippy alcohol induced, infamous “Pink Elephants on Parade” sequence which was originally intended for Fantasia which explains certain visual similarities with the previously discussed Night on Bald Mountain. While Pink Elephants is considered one of the most disturbing scenes to grace children’s films, there’s another aspect to Dumbo that particularly unnerves me and that’s how by today’s standards it is racially insensitive. Now, I’m not going into whether Walt Disney was a Nazi or a racist and whether it is still reflected within the company today in terms of how white supremacy is portrayed as that’s another discussion for another time. However there’s a scene from Dumbo that I overlooked as a child and not until a recent viewing did this scene in question provide me with some discomfort.

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“The Song of the Roustabouts” falls into the trope of “Unfortunate Implications” (Source: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/Dumbo). The scene depicts faceless, African-Americans putting up a circus tent, singing about being unskilled, unable to read or write but happy regardless. The setting of the scene itself makes it extra dark as the workers are seen putting up the tent in terrible weather conditions, its raining and stormy and the elephants are seen struggling and appear overworked. It’s hardly child friendly, depicting the harshness and exploitation of laborers and animals in the 1940’s.

Pinocchio (1940): Pleasure Island and Donkey Transformation.

Pinocchio remains one of Disney’s great moral tales, teaching children that if they misbehave terrible things will happen to them. What kid can’t say that they never got told “don’t tell lies or your nose will grow”, I know its one that stuck with me. One of the film’s most distressing scenes in particular comes in the shape of the infamous donkey transformation. The lead up to what is considered one of Disney’s most terrifying moments has some disturbing implications by today’s standards, an evil coachman enlists the help of a fox and a cat known as Honest John and Gideon to lure wayward young boys to a theme park named Pleasure Island. His plan is to turn the boys into donkey’s in order to sell them and is also physically and verbally abusive towards them. Its difficult not to allude to the idea of trafficking with this dark sub-plot in the film as it transports the audience into a sense of unease.

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Pleasure Island entices the boys into complete anarchy as they experiment with smoking, drinking and gambling unaware of the severe consequences about to come their way. This suggests that there are no redeeming features for misbehaved children and they will suffer the ultimate punishment, an extremely negative message. The shadowy-like monsters that the coachman enlists to close the gates of the theme park trapping the boys inside is also shudder-worthy. Jiminy Cricket discovers the island’s terrible curse after walking away from Pinocchio in objection to his new found friendship with a young delinquent named Lampwick. In the horrifying scene Lampwick is drinking beer and before he knows it he is turning into a four-legged creature! The unnerving part of the scene is how it focuses on the boys hands transforming into hooves and his shadow on the wall as he cries for his mother in a haunting manner. All sorts of dark implications can be drawn from this sequence and its one that really makes me wonder if Disney went too far? Especially since the Coachman’s horrid behavior is toned down in this version in comparison to the original book.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarves (1937): The Wicked Queen’s Transformation.

Disney’s first feature length animated film has traumatized children for generations. The film balances its dark and light elements exceptionally well and leaves viewers with a handful of frightening scenes to choose from. Snow White’s encounter in the forest is up there as one of the most trauma-worthy however The Evil Queen easily steals the show as she plots to murder Snow White in order to become the Fairest of them All! The Wicked monarch is prepared to trade her youthful looks for an old disguise which is a very bold move. She creates a potion with a concoction of ingredients in order to achieve her goal. When she places the ingredient to whiten her hair a nerve-shredding shriek is heard with a distorted face on a white cloud emerging. The camera pans around creating a sense of disorientation as the Wicked Queen clutches her throat as she bids farewell to her youth.

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Again, like Pinocchio there is a focus on the hands which turn withered as the Queen attempts to grasp what is happening to her. Once she reveals her transformation she cackles in delight, her eyes bulge and her nose is crooked. Even the crow is afraid of her and hides in a skull! Intense is the perfect way to describe this iconic scene, it pulls the audience into a nightmarish sequence demonstrating what lengths she will go to. The Queen is set out to murder a young, innocent girl, certainly not the things dreams are made of! Disney knew they had a creeptastic villainess on their hands and capitalized on it further with the Disneyland ride “Snow White’s Scary Adventures”. Not for the fainthearted, I had no idea what I let myself in for as an impressionable seven year old visiting the theme park for the first time. It’s definitely the Evil Queen’s adventure as she pops out when you least expect it. It goes to show that the villain characters have far more interesting aspects to them.

Sleeping Beauty (1959): Aurora’s Trance

Sleeping Beauty is one of Disney’s most darkly beautiful films. It carries a sinister tone throughout and that’s down to the strong screen presence of its iconic villainess Maleficent. Arguably one of the best Disney Villains ever created, Maleficent is powerful and downright evil. Many would say the sequence where she transforms into a fire breathing dragon is Sleeping Beauty’s most darkest scene, however the moment that gave me the creep factor and still does to this day is where she hypnotizes Aurora into pricking her finger on the spinning wheel.

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There is something incredibly atmospheric about the scene from the music to the imagery. The scene opens with Maleficent’s glowing eyes staring directly at the viewers, it brings about a sense of intimidation. Aurora along with the audience is in a trance like state as she follows a glowing light up the staircase with no control over her own movement. The fairies do their best to rescue her from her doomed fate as they follow her, calling her name out in echoes, the glowing green light transforms into the spinning wheel and their too late, Maleficent reveals Aurora’s body sprawled out on the floor. Disney certainly accomplished one of its most creepiest moments with this scene, its effective, suspenseful and will be sure to bring about nightmares to children for years to come! There is also a similar moment in Cinderella (1950) where we are subjected to Lady Tremaine’s evil glare before we see her face. Coincidentally, Eleanor Audley was the voice actress for both Maleficent and Lady Tremaine and certainly had the villainess character down perfectly.

Thanks for reading. Please comment what you consider to be your scariest Disney moments. Look out in the New Year for part two!

Happy Christmas

From

Hayley’s Horror Reviews

Hayley Alice Roberts.

Tribute to Paul Walker 1973-2013: A Retrospect Review of Joy Ride (2001)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 6, 2013 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

Following the devastating news of actor Paul Walker’s tragic and sudden death that has shocked and saddened the world in recent days, Hayley’s Horror Reviews takes a look back at genre film Joy Ride (2001) in tribute. The film was released hot on the heels of Walker’s breakthrough role as Brian O’Connor in the well-known action/thriller The Fast and the Furious (2001) which since spurned a popular franchise. Joy Ride (A.K.A Roadkill) on the other hand is a straight up road movie/thriller, with elements of the slasher film in place however due to the lack of gore and little body count it can’t quite be fully associated with the sub-genre. By all means Joy Ride isn’t a perfect film, and requires a lot of suspension of disbelief. Nonetheless, there is plenty of likeable elements about it as it provides an edge-of-the-seat thrill ride, filled with suspenseful moments that is sure to keep the audiences attention for its 97 minute run time. This review will contain spoilers so if you haven’t seen the film, go check it out and then come back here.

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Paul Walker takes the lead role of Lewis Thomas in the movie, a Californian University student at the tail-end of his freshman year. While planning for the summer ahead, he arranges to drive to Boulder, Colorado to collect his childhood friend and possible romantic interest Venna (Leelee Sobieski) before heading home. His plans become slightly altered when his mother gets in touch to inform him of his brother Fuller (Steve Zahn) release from prison and requests he picks him up much to Lewis’s annoyance. Lewis and Fuller hit the road and the tension mounts between them as the two brothers don’t quite see eye to eye. In order to break the ice and make their road trip more bearable, Fuller purchases a CB radio. Fuller goads Lewis into playing a few pranks on random truckers they come into contact with over the radio. They catch the attention of one in particular that goes by the alias of “Rusty Nail”, Fuller encourages Lewis to put on a female voice under the name “Candy Cane” in a ploy to fool “Rusty Nail” which works successfully. Interference quickly puts a stop to their joke and the two travel on down the winding roads before stopping at a tacky motel for the evening. Fuller encounters an arrogant, racist businessman at the motel reception who’s also staying the night and decides to get his own back. The boys are in luck as “Rusty Nail” manages to contact them via the radio, Lewis sets up a false meeting with “Rusty Nail”, inviting him to room 17, which the businessman occupies for the night and request that he brings a bottle of pink champagne.

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Under the impression they planned a harmless joke. Lewis and Fuller get more than they bargained for when “Rusty Nail” turns up at the motel and aggressively attacks the oblivious businessman. This scene in particular is set up well. The camera remains with Lewis and Fuller in room 18 with only muffled sound from the next room to indicate what is happening. Its an example of how director John Dahl creates a sense of suspense and intensity for what’s to come. The following morning, the police arrive to question the two after discovering the businessman with his jaw completely ripped off. Understandably this frightens the brothers as they process the severity of their childish prank.

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The terror doesn’t end there, “Rusty Nail” is humiliated and hell bent on giving the boys a taste of their own medicine and will stop at no lengths! Lewis and Fuller take to the road once more and encounter some more spine-tingling red-herrings that are sure to leave some goosebumps. Following police questioning, they are contacted over the radio by their menacing stalker who is still searching for “Candy Cane”, idiotically Fuller gets mouthy with “Rusty Nail”, deeming him a “sick f***”, while Lewis admits that he was in fact “Candy Cane”. When they refuse to apologize, they make matters far worse for themselves.

There’s a scene where the two are chased by “Rusty Nail”, they are low on fuel and manage to “lose” him at a gas station. While Lewis attempts to make a discreet call to the police via the payphone, Fuller fills up the car. They are soon startled when an ominous looking truck reading “Ice” also stops next to them. They see a man holding what looks like a weapon. Making a swift exit, they are chased by the same vehicle. In a sheer state of fear and panic, they are relieved to discover the man from the gas station only followed them to return Lewis’s credit card that he carelessly left behind. Again, Dahl has used some clever techniques guaranteed to get the blood-pumping, as the viewer is intended to root for Lewis and Fuller. “Rusty Nail” does in fact catch up with them, crashing through the ice truck. In a nail-biting chase sequence, they reach a dead end, “Rusty Nail” drives his truck into their car and begins to turn it on its side. Under immense pressure they panic and apologize. “Rusty Nail” accepts it and admits he was just screwing with them and drives away.

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Finally, the two reach Colorado and collect Venna from University, they are briefly introduced to her friend Charlotte (Jessica Bowman). The three of them set off on a road trip and once again stop for the night at another motel. This is the part where the film leads us into a false sense of security. Temporarily the film touches on a potential love triangle between Venna, Lewis and Fuller which doesn’t get fully fleshed out. Allegedly Leelee Sobieski filmed two sequences, one with Walker and another with Zahn, which explains why this part of the story doesn’t feel developed enough and the fact she seems attracted to both of them. As they head to bed for the night, Lewis is abruptly woken by a phone call from “Rusty Nail”. Their terror is far from over yet as he now knows they have a girl with him and refers to her as “Candy Cane”. The stakes are raised even further as not only do the brothers have to protect themselves but Venna’s life is also in their hands.

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“Rusty Nail” calls all the shots as the third act depicts him humiliating and terrorizing the trio even further. He’s also captured Charlotte which at this point is going beyond measures of plausibility. Following a chase through a corn field, “Rusty Nail” captures Venna and makes the brothers play by his rules. Fuller and Lewis must find the motel he’s taken her to by midnight or he carries out his threats of death.

In a frantic search through several empty room 17’s at different motels, they split up and Fuller sees Venna, bound and gagged from the alleyway. On the other side, a shotgun is strapped to the door and if opened, Venna’s jaw will be shot clean off. “Rusty Nail” viciously attacks Fuller and for a moment, he seems like a goner. However heroic Lewis and the police manage to get there in the nick of time as “Rusty Nail” crashes through the motel room and is presumed dead.

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After a rollercoaster ride of thrills and chills, the ending is somewhat anti-climactic. The survivors, Lewis, Fuller and Venna overhear “Rusty Nail” over the police radio to demonstrate he has not been defeated which comes off as a bit weak. Alternate endings were filmed including a scene where “Rusty Nail” is arrested and another where he is beaten by the brothers. Preferably either of these endings would have worked rather than the final outcome. Joy Ride isn’t without its flaws. As previously stated it takes a lot of suspension of disbelief in regards to how “Rusty Nail” knows exactly where they are, who they’re with and at what point in time, but regardless its still immensely entertaining. There were plenty of aspects that seemed underdeveloped and “Rusty Nail”‘s motive does come across as contrived at times. It would have perhaps been more interesting to find out some backstory at the film’s conclusion, without giving too much away. JJ Abrams stated his script took influence from Steven Spielberg’s Duel, however it also feels very similar to The Hitcher (1986) and it could be suggested that Joy Ride is an updated version of that film prior to the release of the 2007 remake, it’s just my theory.

Joy Ride was well-received by critics and rightly so, Roger Ebert gave the film a thumbs up and it has an overall rating of 74% on rotten tomatoes. Paul Walker displayed strong, leading man qualities which set him up for future roles in his career. Steve Zahn gives an equally good performance as Fuller and the chemistry and tension between the two is believable, Zahn brings in a lot of humor to his role. Both characters remain productive throughout and fight everything that comes their way. JJ Abrams writing is good on the most part and is definitely aware of all the techniques that creates a sense of suspense and intensity. The decision not to feature “Rusty Nail” physically until the end, makes his presence even scarier, as that sense of anonymity suggests the characters and we as an audience don’t know who we’re dealing with. Ted Levine provides a fantastic performance with his deep, sinister voice. Levine was well-known for his terrific performance in Silence of the Lambs (1991) as Buffalo Bill. Joy Ride’s other strength is the fact that it doesn’t need to rely on barely any gore to bring about the scare factor, it’s created psychologically and at a time where post-Scream teen slashers were emerging left right and centre with high body counts, Joy Ride strays from doing so.

Joy Ride is an underrated genre film that is worth checking out especially if psychological thrillers/road movies and slashers hold some appeal. It’s definitely worth seeing for Paul Walker’s performance and a good example of some of his earlier film work.

RIP Paul Walker. Gone too soon.

Hayley Alice Roberts.

Chucky’s Reign of Terror is far from over! Thoughts on a possible part 7!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 4, 2013 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

**WARNING: MINOR SPOILERS FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVEN’T SEEN, CURSE OF CHUCKY.**

On December 2nd, Child’s Play creator Don Mancini, teased fans of the killer doll franchise with a possible sequel to 2013’s surprise success, Curse of Chucky. There’s no denying that Curse of Chucky defied skeptics including myself and proved to be a chillingly dark yet funny entry into the series, with well-rounded characters. It’s not only me saying this but it could easily be the best Chucky film yet, ending the pint-sized, cold-blooded killer’s evil reign of terror on a strong note. Mancini’s re-boot/sequel was just what the franchise needed and re-captured what made us fear this unlikely horror icon in the first place. For the first time in a long time we’ve seen a refreshing take on a well-known horror character and they thankfully didn’t need to go down the tired remake route!

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Therefore news of a continuation of Curse of Chucky is actually generating a lot of positivity from fans and internet media alike. Cleverly the sixth installment left the door open with a few unresolved plot points that have the potential to be explored further. I’m in two mind frames, on one hand, with the same crew behind it and with keeping to the same tone, it could work, there’s plenty of interesting ideas circulating currently. Mancini has teased that the sequel will elaborate on what happened to young Alice (Summer H. Howell) and there’s even rumors through the grapevine that Andy (Alex Vincent) might make a reappearance. Seeing an adult Andy face to face with Chucky (voiced consistently by Brad Dourif) again would definitely be worth seeing. Fiona Dourif’s Nica also survived the carnage in part six and there’s the possibility that she would be out to seek her own revenge and what about Chucky’s doll bride Tiffany (Jennifer Tilly) ?

However there’s also the concern of, will another sequel be just as good? Will it meet the high expectations its predecessor has set for it? I firmly believe sometimes its preferable to leave something on a high rather than over-expose it.

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For now we shall have to sit tight and wait and see. The proposed Chucky film is not yet a studio announcement but a project Mancini himself is interested in creating. With the performing success of Curse of Chucky, who can really blame him?

Over to you, my blood-soaked followers, are you looking forward to a possible new Chucky movie? or do you think the series should be left as it is? Feel free to comment below or via my facebook page.

Hayley Alice Roberts.