Archive for Remake

Welcome to the Witching Hour…(Again!)

Posted in Press Release, Women in Horror Recognition Month with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 14, 2015 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

So I was pretty much unhappy about the I Know What You Did Last Summer Remake and I’m equally disheartened by the news of teen, cult favourite The Craft getting the same treatment. Its despairing that Hollywood are officially completely out of their own ideas and seem to be reaching back to the glory days of the 90’s in order to replicate some of the most popular movies of the decade.


To Recap: Sarah (Robin Tunney) enrols at a new Catholic Prep School where she is befriended by a trio of outcasts led by the dark and twisted Nancy (Fairuza Balk). She learns that the girls practice witchcraft and begins to explore her own strength and powers. The whole school is no longer safe as their coven conjure up a series of malevolent curses and spells on anyone who dares to cross them.


Also starring Scream’s Neve Campbell and Skeet Ulrich as well as Rachel True, Andrew Fleming’s The Craft took on some serious and affecting topics such as racism and self harm. Most notably the song “How Soon Is Now?”, a cover of Morrissey performed in the film by Love Spit Love was used before it was made famous in the witch themed long running WB series Charmed.

The talented, up and coming genre name Leigh Janiak is set to write and direct. Janiak has received critical acclaim for her mysteriously haunting debut feature Honeymoon, which manages a disturbing, psychological impact about a couple on a romantic getaway that turns horribly wrong. A film that deals with powerful female characters is the ideal material for Janiak and its hopeful that The Craft will be safe in her hands with her ability to write two-dimensional, believable characters. That said, it would be far more interesting to see Janiak work on her own ideas. She will also be directing an episode of Scream: The TV Series, coming soon, more proof that we can’t let go of the 90s.



In 1996 The Craft proved to be a sleeper hit and is ultimately a cult classic amongst its audience. It made $6,710,995 at the North American Box Office when it opened. Fairuza Balk gave an unforgettable performance that will be difficult to match.

Everyone is all for nostalgia these days especially on platforms such as Tumblr and Buzzfeed, but we already have these movies to look back on, The Craft hasn’t even had its 20th anniversary yet!

Its time for some fresh ideas to make marketable as what will happen when there’s nothing left to remake…?

Hayley Alice Roberts

Hayley’s Horror Reviews. 

Halloween III Re-boot. (Poll)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 3, 2014 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

Following speculation on Bloody Disgusting last month, Dread Central have now confirmed that the Halloween franchise reboot will continue with  the next installment, Halloween 3D. News of a third film emerged at the Cannes film festival, allegedly the Weinstein company are keen to bring Michael Myers back to the big screen however no names are currently attached to the possible third sequel, although a screenplay is in the works. Rob Zombie’s re-imagination of the classic John Carpenter 1978 chiller was released back in 2007 with a direct follow-up in 2009 with Halloween II. Last year Zombie stated that he would not be directing the next Halloween film if anything was to come of it. This leaves the door open for several possibilities and direction that the franchise can be taken in. At this stage its uncertain whether this intends to be a direct sequel to Zombie’s Halloween or a whole new fresh take on Haddonfield’s masked murderer. Let’s not forget that the original Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982) stepped away from Michael Myers slashings with its own sinister story surrounding a mask making company, Silver Shamrock. As a cult classic for many, a remake of Season of the Witch wouldn’t be welcomed as it’s a well-loved, stand alone film that didn’t make a massive impact and doesn’t require a re-boot of any kind. Continuing the Myers story could be intriguing especially if a fresh idea is developed set in the present day, it can’t be left at Halloween: Resurrection (2002) surely? The 3D on the other hand feels opportunistic and gimmicky due to the title. Hopefully us Haddonfield horror hounds will hear more developments soon.



What do you think of yet another Halloween installment? Especially since its hot on the heels of the upcoming Friday the 13th part 2 reboot.


For the latest Ghostface Girls Debate on whether The Purge should become the next mainstream horror franchise, click here.

Hayley Alice Roberts.

Hayley’s Horror Reviews.

Mother’s Day Special: The Top 6 Psycho Mom’s!

Posted in Women in Horror Recognition Month with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 30, 2014 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

Happy Mother’s Day to all the awesome mum’s out there. In the horror film, mother’s have played an integral part in the makings of some of our beloved psycho killers. So, what better way to spend mother’s day than counting down some of my personal top five maniacal mother’s who have created carnage on our blood-splattered screens for several decades. These martriach’s would go to any warped lengths for their children and that’s why we love them! I’d like to dedicate this review to my own mother as a thank you for introducing me to the horror genre at a young age, attending some of the UK’s best festivals with me and for generally being awesome.


6. Mrs Koffin, Mother’s Day (2010)

  • Played by Rebecca De Mornay


In a performance uncannily similar to that in 90’s thriller, The Hand That Rocks The Cradle (1992); Rebecca De Mornay yet again plays an unhinged woman with maternal instincts. This mother will do all she can to protect her sons, even kill! When a bank robbery goes wrong, the three Koffin brothers turn to their mother for assistance in occupying their old house while taking the new owners and their friends hostage. Initially Mrs Koffin acts friendly towards the frightened individuals, but once she questions them about supposed money her sons had sent her to that address and the group fail to comply in giving back what’s rightfully her’s, things get nasty! With a calm and collected exterior, Mrs Koffin soon shows she’s not to be messed with, permitting her sons to carry out unspeakable acts of violence on the innocent victims. Ambiguous and unsettling, this psychological thriller keeps the audience on edge unknowing what the mother will do next! Mother’s Day was originally a 1980’s exploitation, Troma film directed by Charles Kaufman that has since garnered a cult following, but in this case Darren Lyn Bousman created a glossy, loose re-telling to fit in with today’s Hollywood standard of remakes. That said, Rebecca De Mornay proved to be the perfect casting choice in an overall enjoyable film.

5. Beverly Sutphin, Serial Mom (1994)

  • Played By Kathleen Turner

Serial Mom Year 1994 Director John Waters Kathleen Turner

Kathleen Turner is superb as the crazed suburban housewife who gets her kicks out of murdering those who don’t comply by her rules! In John Waters warped social commentary on media violence and its effects on society, deranged Beverly Sutphin becomes somewhat of a serial killer celebrity gaining empathy and support from her adoring public. She is most defensive when it comes to her two teenage children Chip and Misty, she brutally runs over her son’s Maths teacher who claims he needs psychological help due to an “unhealthy obsession” with horror movies and graphically impales her daughter’s love interest when she spots him with another girl. Beverly isn’t the most subtle of serial killers, she doesn’t cover her tracks well and is pretty much suspected from the off. She gets her thrills from terrorizing her neighbor with obscene phone calls and isn’t afraid to be vocal about her distaste for others behavior. She is however a lot smarter than first assumed and manages to defend herself in court, getting the backs up of her antagonists and influencing the jury to set her free. In a extraordinary Waters style twist, Beverly’s husband and children are fiercely loyal to her, campaigning for her release while unashamedly basking in the fact their mother has murdered six people with some gruesome methods. In a film very much commenting on the changing society of the 90’s and media influence, Beverly is a glorified serial killer much to do with the fact she embodies what a lot of women could relate to, the fairly normal housewife and mother archetype who is not to be underestimated. The themes in this black comedy such as blame on media violence and the glamorization of murder trials still holds relevant. Beverly is one quirky killing mother not to be messed with. Remember, always recycle and rewind your video tapes!


4.  Mrs Bates, Psycho (1960)

  • Played By Anthony Perkins

mrs bates

Arguably one of the most iconic mother’s in horror, Mrs Bates is integral to son Norman’s psychosis and despite being a rotting corpse she makes a prominent presence in Alfred Hitchcock’s classic adaptation. Driven by jealousy, in life Mrs Bates behaved in a controlling manner towards her only son, forbidding him any romantic involvement and claiming any woman with her as an exception were “whores”. Norman lived isolation with his mother for several years until she embarks on a relationship with Joe Constidine who encourages her to open the infamous Bates Motel. Feeling his mother slipping away from him following neglect, Norman cruelly poisons her and her husband to be in a staged suicide attempt. Unable to deal with his loss with guilt weighing heavy on his shoulders, Norman brings his mother back to life in a sense as she becomes a section of his personality, motivating his psychotic tendencies against women he develops an attraction for. Norman dresses in her clothes while maintaining her mummified corpse. By the film’s end Norman becomes institutionalized with his mother’s personality consuming him. She acts as a justification for his murderous ways. Mrs Bates was heavily influential on one of the suspense genre’s most well-remembered killers. When Hitchcock released Psycho he achieved a hair-raising effect on his audience especially with the reveal of this macabre mother’s decaying corpse and Norman Bates’s disturbed split personality. Her legacy lives on!

3. Mrs Loomis, Scream 2 (1997)

  • Played By Laurie Metcalf.


In an unexpected twist, the second ghostface killer reveal in the highly anticipated Scream sequel was one menacing mother hellbent on revenge for the death of her equally psychotic son Billy Loomis. Mrs Loomis is extremely crafty in terms of how she goes about getting her vengeance. Following some plastic surgery, she creates a new identity for herself as Debbie Salt, the over eager news reporter who rubs Gale Weathers up the wrong way. Popping up at the crime scene following some of Windsor College’s gruesome murders she has the perfect cover, innocently “reporting” the incidents. Her plan is calculating as she intends to frame college student and partner in crime Mickey Altieri for all the murders while taking out Sidney Prescott and Gale Weathers in the process for their part in the death of her son from the first installment. Channeling Mrs Voorhees from Friday the 13th (1980), she is purely motivated by grief and revenge. Billy became a murderer after she abandoned him following her husband’s affair with Sidney’s mother and she continues his legacy. She blames Sidney heavily for the breakdown of her family unit and won’t stop until she has her dead. Mrs Loomis is remembered for killing fan favorite and movie buff Randy Meeks who met his maker from speaking poorly of Billy. When re-watching Scream 2, its clear at which moments feature Mrs Loomis donning the ghostface attire as she is left handed when she takes to the blade. She does not succeed in her thirst for revenge as she is killed by Cotton Weary who was framed for killing Sidney’s mother in the original film. Sidney shoots her in the head one last time to make sure she’s well and truly gone. Mrs Loomis was the first female killer in the Scream franchise making her the original Ghostface Girl before myself and Caitlyn!

2. Margaret White, Carrie (1976)

  • Played by Piper Laurie

margaret white

You can’t create a list of Horror’s most psychotic mother’s without the inclusion of Margaret White. With origins in literature through Stephen King’s novel, Margaret White is the fanatical religious mother of telekinetic Prom Queen Carrie. The most memorable portrayal of this character comes in the shape of Brian De Palma’s 1976 adaptation. With an emphasis on anything to do with sex or the female body as a sin including Carrie experiencing a traumatic first period, Mrs White is the worst mother any teenager could possibly have. She raises Carrie with extreme restrictions, sheltering her from reality. When she becomes aware of Carrie’s abilities she behaves fearfully and deems her a “witch” frequently reading passages from the bible. She meets her demise following Carrie’s blood-soaked rampage at her prom. Carrie returns to her home broken and drained then Mrs White viciously stabs her, this causes Carrie to use her abilities to impale her mother in a symbolic killing mimicking a religious figure. Piper Laurie gives a somewhat hammy yet unsettling performance, this is due to her allegedly perceiving the script as a comedy but it does work well in creating an unhinged, mentally unstable character.  Due to her performance as Mrs White, Piper Laurie achieved some award nominations for ‘Best Supporting Actress’ at the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards. Playing this insane mother ultimately relaunched her career.

1. Mrs Voorhees, Friday the 13th (1980)

  • Played By Betsy Palmer


Channeling Psycho’s Mrs Bates within the films aesthetics, the mother of the iconic, hockey masked wearing, machete wielding killer Jason Voorhees occupies the top spot. Mrs Voorhees is one of horror’s most unforgettable and unexpected twists. In a flip reverse of what Psycho achieved, Mrs Voorhees motivations stem from grief following the death of her son Jason at Camp Crystal Lake. She also has a split personality, bringing Jason through as she commits murder, slicing and dicing sexually charged youths. Like the majority of the mother’s on this list, Mrs Voorhees is overprotective and will do what it takes to shelter her child from harm. She was a teenage mother with a son born with  hydrocephalus (water on the brain), in order to protect him she shielded Jason from a regular childhood, denying him schooling. While working as a cook in Camp Crystal Lake in 1957, Jason was exposed to constant bullying and teasing. While unattended, Jason went swimming in the lake’s murky waters, unbeknown to the camp counselors who were busy with certain other matters. Jason subsequently drowned sending Mrs Voorhees on a murderous rampage seeking revenge on any teenager who sets foot in the aptly nicknamed “Camp Blood”. She reveals herself in 1979 following the camp’s re-opening and several other grisly murders. Final Girl Alice Hardy ultimately decapitates her ending her bloody reign of terror. Mrs Voorhees death is responsible for avenging Jason and beginning a franchise of  gory horror films with an emblematic serial killer at the helm. She has proven influential particularly in the construction of the previously discussed Mrs Loomis. Betsy Palmer initially dismissed the film not expecting anyone to watch it however she created a cult character and a highly memorable performance of a psychotic mother who certainly won’t let things lie when it comes to her only son. Click here for more on Friday the 13th (1980) from this site.


Hope you enjoyed this countdown. Feel free to comment or tweet (@Hayleyr1989) on your favorite psycho mom’s! Also check out my latest debate with Caitlyn (Scared Sheepless) on Wolf Creek (2005) currently available on

Hayley Alice Roberts.

Hayley’s Horror Reviews


“Pigs Blood at the Prom”: Thoughts on the Carrie (2013) Remake.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 22, 2014 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

Originally I had debated for a while whether to watch the most recent re-imagination of Carrie. Naturally, I have been a huge fan of Stephen King’s 1974 classic novel and Brian DePalma’s iconic horror film from 1976. However, in the age of remakes where new ideas seem to be at a minimum from the Hollywood studios, no classic horror movie is safe of a brand new adaptation. Not to judge a book completely by its cover or in this case a film, Carrie deserved a chance.

novel cover

One of the more appealing aspects of this re-telling in comparison to most was the choice of casting. Julianne Moore as Carrie’s fanatical religious mother Margaret was a strong choice and Chloe Grace Mortez as the titular character was not disappointing. Mortez has proved to be a talented young actress over these past few years and was more than competent to take on the role, she is also no stranger to the horror genre or horror remakes at that. Her performance is different from Sissy Spacek’s version which isn’t necessarily a bad thing as it demonstrated her ability to make Carrie her own. Bringing in innocence, naivety and vulnerability in a more subtle way, Mortez is very expressive and draws the audience in to empathize with her. Julianne Moore’s performance is chilling and emotive, slightly less campy than Piper Laurie’s take on the role in DePalma’s version, she manages to explore a more conflicted and humanized Margaret White.


Prior to watching the film I did have concerns, mainly would it be plausible for Margaret to keep Carrie sheltered in the modern age with technology easily available? Would an audience be convinced of Carrie’s lack of awareness, especially being exposed to more streetwise peers at her school? Would it be able to cover any new ground? Also, its worth bearing in mind that this isn’t the first remake we’ve seen of the telekinetic teen; a TV movie was made in 2002 starring Angela Bettis and Katharine Isabelle. A third Carrie movie (four if you count The Rage:Carrie 2 (1998))…Seriously?!


The film manages to blend in both the traditional side of the story with Carrie’s heavy-handed religious upbringing while setting it in the present where cyberbullying is rife in the modern day high school. It sort of works, however the film fails on the fact that it merely touches on notions such as the cyberbullying as well as attempts to capture a more complex relationship between Carrie and her mother where they display genuine care for each other. It appears that Director Kimberly Peirce had some interesting ideas however wasn’t brave enough to develop them further. She disregards the more compelling aspects in order to stick to the traditional story horror enthusiasts know extremely well. It does come as a shame as there is potential present but it is pushed aside in favor of re-creating the same scenes and dialogue that has been seen and done before.  Rather than following the novel more closely as initially marketed it just comes across as an all out update of the 76′ film. When it comes to the pivotal prom sequence there really is no comparison. As previously stated Mortez is very expressive and relishes in the empowered Carrie; in these scenes however the CGI becomes over the top and takes away the sheer shock and terror that DePalma incorporated in his film. It looks very computerized rather than having genuine effects. A highlight however was the death of Chris Hargensen (Portia Doubleday) which comes across as incredibly brutal but satisfying in terms of seeing her despicable character get her just desserts.


Hand on heart it’s not the worst remake in the world. It does play things too safe which makes it uninteresting, we’ve seen this movie before so why not try something a little different. Personally, it doesn’t hold a candle to the 1976 film but it is watchable. Many of the supporting cast came across as caricatures of the original characters and the soundtrack is pretty forgettable, reminding us of the shallowness of modern music. The 1976 version’s score did bring in an atmosphere which is unfortunately lacking here. Apart from Moore and Mortez, Gabriella Wilde gives a decent performance as Sue Snell, the popular girl who attempts to help Carrie. Without giving away too much her character is explored a bit more however comes into the film too late, it is interesting that it was touched upon as previous versions have neglected it. In terms of appearance Carrie and Sue are made to look incredibly similar, both attractive with long blonde hair, it is unknown whether this was intentional in order to suggest that underneath it all the two characters are more similar than it seems but was an intriguing decision. Finally, the iconic end scene where Carrie’s hand emerges from the grave has a strange twist which lacks impact. There is however a running theme of maternal instincts that makes it differ slightly alongside the focus on the fear of the outsider and teen bullying. Essentially with this you know exactly what you’re going to get!

carrie 4

The best way to sum up Carrie (2013) is that it has something there but goes down the route of being a pointless remake. It’s one I wouldn’t highly recommend but its worth a viewing if there isn’t anything else on.

Hayley Alice Roberts.

Hayley’s Horror Reviews

Its the Witchcraft in the Basement!! A Review of Evil Dead (2013)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on June 14, 2013 by Hayley's Horror Reviews


Its common knowledge to any hardcore horror fan that Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead (1981) was one of the most notorious video nasties of the 80’s. At the time, controversy surrounding the film was high due to its themes of demonic possession and no holding back on the gore factor. The film remains to be a horror classic, making lead actor Bruce Campbell and his character Ash an icon within the genre. I adore The Evil Dead for several reasons, mainly due to the fact it pushed the boundaries for its time and comes across as a fun, campy, edge-of-the-seat horror. I love the jaunty fast paced, camera angles that bound through the film’s woodland setting and of course Campbell’s performance is fantastic to watch along with Raimi’s direction. The sequels Evil Dead 2 (1987) and Army of Darkness  (1992) are even more unbelievable and outrageous, leaving a trilogy of cult classics that are to be enjoyed. Its a fair assumption to make that perhaps in the 80’s the film was misunderstood as the video nasties moral panics swept society. Fast forward to 2013 and there really isn’t anything to be offended by.


Its a known fact that horror has lost its way in recent years and Hollywood is out of fresh ideas. All mainstream horror seems to offer is REMAKE, REMAKE, REMAKE! The majority of them become glossed up, full of torture porn and mostly miss the point of their originals with the exception of Maniac (2012). Therefore, like every other remake that have emerged in the past decade, Evil Dead (2013) surely didn’t warrant one. Its actually taken me a lot of debating on whether to actually give this one a chance. Following much positivity about the re-boot, I decided, why not?. So, could I have lived without seeing The Evil Dead remake? The answer is yes. Understandably times have changed and filmmakers can go as far as they want and this film certainly brought in buckets of blood and gore but that didn’t differentiate from the original and they even used practical effects over CGI which actually didn’t come across that well. Instead of incorporating a seedy, grotesque 80’s feel, the effects just replicated those of the modern horror film.

An exhilarating read!!

An exhilarating read!!

Remakes have a tendency for creating in-depth back stories for our beloved films that don’t warrant them. I’m all for keeping up the enigma and don’t need to question these films too deeply. What you don’t know is a much scarier concept. I don’t need to know that Michael Myers had a tough upbringing and I certainly don’t need a reason for the characters in Evil Dead to end up at the infamous cabin. Director Fede Alvarez clearly had the intention of re-creating the film as scary and bringing in a serious note. However it becomes problematic when in 2013, most of us are desensitized to what the genre offers meaning the film doesn’t shock like the original did. What I will praise it on is the fact it wasn’t a carbon copy of the 1981 version, it was a smart move not to include the Ash character as replicating Bruce Campbell’s unique performance would be difficult, it also means the film can stand on its own. The tone remains bleak through the use of white, black and grey coloring and the way its shot captures an isolated environment, it literally feels like the trees provide no escape.


Alvarez has left the idea open as to whether its a sequel to the original or not and developed a theory that the cabin was bought by a family years after the events of the first movie, ultimately this works as a fan fiction idea. A brother and sister along with friends plan a getaway to the demonic location in order to help Mia, the sister character go cold turkey with her drug habit but soon that pesky Naturom Demonto, the book of the dead wreaks its havoc . The narrative was set up well and had potential but could have worked better without being The Evil Dead, it felt like the film’s carnage overshadowed the initial plot and became predictable from then on. Granted, this remake wasn’t terrible and certainly not the worst I’ve ever seen, I’ll give that to I Spit on your Grave but its just another pointless remake to add to the rest of them.

Hayley Alice Roberts