Archive for Ryan Murphy

Sorority Life is Killer! Initial Thoughts on Scream Queens!

Posted in Press Release, Women in Horror Recognition Month with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 24, 2015 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

**Contains Moderate Spoilers**

Its finally here! Scream Queens received its 2 part pilot episodes over on Fox last Tuesday night. The Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuck created series is exactly what it says it is, a real Scream! A love letter to all things 80s and 90s from the soundtrack down to the style; Scream Queens is the darkest of comedy horror with off the wall humour, set pieces full of satire and a homage to everything from Heathers and Jawbreaker to Clueless with the wit and self-referential style of the likes of Wes CravenKevin Williamson and Joss Whedon. Its all that and much more.

scream queens opening

American Horror Story favourite Emma Roberts steals the show playing the bitchiest of all bitches, Chanel Oberlin. With equal measures of malice and venom, Roberts exaggerates the typical Queen B, sorority leader in an over the top fashion. Watching her back is sharp university dean Cathy Munsch, played by the iconic Jamie Lee Curtis who makes plans to turn the sorority into an empowered sisterhood by accepting everyone and anyone who wishes to pledge! But even its notions of feminism is poked fun at keeping everything completely tongue in cheek.


Everything is in order until Skyler Samuels’s Grace Gardner comes on the scene. It wouldn’t be a slasher without the outsider with a mysterious past, coming in to shake things up. Grace is no pushover, so has the ruthless Chanel, finally met her match?!

The pilot begins all the way back in 1995, when TLC were at the top of the charts and sororities were all about keeping up appearances (but as soon as it flips to the present day, it shows nothing has changed!).  A young woman walks into the middle of a party with blood all over her hands and from them on its just the perfect tease that lures us into an offbeat world, where you won’t believe what happens next!


The highlight has to be Ariana Grande as Chanel #2’s face off with a mysterious killer known as The Red Devil, that goes to show murder in the modern day is nothing quite like what you’ve seen before! Abigail Breslin’s Chanel #5, is already a firm favourite, they say its always the quiet ones, so here’s hoping she’ll have some sort of impact as the series progresses.

Its slick, fast-paced, taboo-breaking, slashertastic fun!  Scream Queens plays up to its genre tropes and takes it up to the max with a great big devilish grin on its face!

If you thought the rubber man in AHS: Murder House was weird…you ain’t seen nothing yet!

You will never order a pumpkin spiced latte at your local Starbucks in the same way again!

Bring on Episode 2!

Hayley Alice Roberts

Hayley’s Horror Reviews.

Jamie Lee Curtis goes Psycho for Scream Queens!

Posted in Press Release, Women in Horror Recognition Month with tags , , , , , , , on September 15, 2015 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

This image is pure horror perfection. In Ryan Murphy’s (American Horror Story) eagerly anticipated new series, Scream Queens, Halloween icon Jamie Lee Curtis recreates her mother Janet Leigh’s famous shower scene from Hitchcock’s legendary chiller Psycho (1960). 


Curtis tweeted that she recreated the photo especially for a special episode of the new show, which is slicing its way onto our screens on September the 22nd! Very exciting indeed.


Hayley Alice Roberts

Hayley’s Horror Reviews.

Scream Queens!

Posted in Press Release with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 24, 2015 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

Fans of American Horror Story have more than just the fifth season Hotel to look forward to this autumn as creator Ryan Murphy is treating us to a stylish new show, Scream Queens, which will air over on FOX in the States.


Scream Queens is set to be something special for horror fans as it will star the legendary ‘Scream Queen’ herself Jamie Lee Curtis. This Friday’s edition of Entertainment Weekly have published a number of images providing us with the first look at the new show and Curtis’s new role.


The series will also star Coven and Freak Show favourite Emma Roberts and Glee star Lea Michele bringing together the actresses from Murphy’s most successful television shows.



Abigail Breslin is also set to star, Breslin is one of Hollywood’s most talented young actresses at the moment and no stranger to the horror genre due to roles in Zombieland, Haunter and most recently the eagerly anticipated Final Girl. Singer and former Nickelodeon star Ariana Grande has been confirmed in a recurring role.


Following a sorority pledge gone wrong back in 1995 a series of grizzly murders take place on a college campus to mark the 20th anniversary, leading to the return of the Red Devil. Roberts and Curtis’s characters take centre stage with Roberts playing the president of the sorority known as the Kappa society and Curtis as the university’s dean who has placed the sorority under threat prior to the deadly massacre.


Nick Jonas also plays a recurring role as a member of a preppy golf fraternity.

In true Ryan Murphy style Scream Queens will hopefully bring in strong and compelling storytelling, engaging characters and plenty of disturbing twists that made American Horror Story so popular! Just like American Horror Story, Scream Queens will be an anthology with the survivors moving on to a new terror elsewhere!

Check out the promos below:

Are you looking forward to Scream Queens? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

Hayley Alice Roberts

The Town that Dreaded Sundown (2014)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 27, 2015 by Hayley's Horror Reviews


If you’re seeking out a decent modern slasher then look no further. Alfonso Gomez-Rejon’s (Director on American Horror Story) semi-remake/re-imagining of The Town that Dreaded Sundown is a solid slasher film reminiscent of the classic period of 70s and 80’s slash n’ hack fests!


The Town that Dreaded Sundown is not a direct remake of the 1976 film of the same name that delved into the brutal slaying’s that took place in 1946 Arkansas. Gomez-Rejon completely does his own thing, updating the story for modern horror goers while bringing in a clever and refreshing meta-narrative that separates it from the generic remake it could have become if fallen into the wrong hands.


In 2014 Sundown (that takes place in 2013!), 1976 Sundown is merely a movie adaptation of the true and tragic events that darkened the little Texan town of Texarkana back in the 1940s. The film is used by police officers as evidence in order to decipher a pattern between the original murders, the film depiction and the horrific crimes that are taking place in 2013. Having authority so active in a slasher is atypical as normally they ignore the warnings of the heroine and end up sliced and diced by the masked killer. The Town that Dreaded Sundown has a strong sense of community running through it with the safety of others being integral.


The use of clips of the murder scenes from 1976 Sundown inserted in with footage from the current film pays a fantastic homage to the source material while emphasizing the copycat killer angle and the impact of the infamous crimes on Texarkana. There’s a strong sense of the film’s legacy, the clips from 76′ are grainy while modern Sundown is stylish and polished, highlighting the passage of time and how advanced filmmaking has become on a technical level since the 70’s. We even meet Charles B. Pierece Jr (played by American Horror favourite Denis O’ Hare), the fictional version of the son of original director Charles B. Pierce in order to gain an insight into the behind-the-scenes of the film and theories into the identity of the 1946 murderer, breaking the fourth wall.


1976 Sundown is screened on Halloween at the drive-in movie theatre despite protests from the town’s religious figure Reverend Cartwright (the late Edward Hermann) with claims of it being a ‘Godless film’. The drive-in movie setting is the first element that aesthetically brings in a nostalgic factor to the film, already making the slasher fan comfortably at home. Its there we meet our heroine Jami (Addison Timlin) who sneaks off with love interest Corey (Spencer Treat Clark) to the former spot known as ‘Lovers Lane’, they are attacked by an ambiguous figure wearing a sack over his head with small holes where the eyes are meant to be (early inspiration for Jason Voorhees a la Friday the 13th: Part 2 maybe?). Corey is brutally slain in a scene of high octane violence. With Corey coming in as victim number one, this killer wants to let the town know he has returned after 65 years. The Phantom has some unfinished business with the inhabitants of Texarkana and his sights now set on Jami!


Addison Timlin plays Jami as the modern final girl with classic qualities. She’s reminiscent of a Sidney Prescott (Scream 1-4) type with a tragic back-story vital to the impact of the Phantom’s reign of terror. She’s relentless and resourceful, aiding the police in their investigation and determined to bring the perpetrator of these violent crimes to justice. Timlin’s performance carries the film well keeping the audience firmly on her side. There’s a subversion on the final girl theory that she must remain virginal in order to survive and the twist that comes with it. However there’s plenty of sex equals death moments to keep things a certain degree of traditional.


The violence is fast paced and grizzly providing a squirmworthy viewing experience and shocking death scenes. The Phantom speaks sinisterly and is cruel and torturous with his aimless killings, the most brutal being his attack on a teenage interracial gay couple, most likely producer Ryan Murphy’s influence. The scene is quite profound acting as a metaphor for the intolerance of sexuality combined with race in a predominantly religious town. The scene in particular aids Sundown to stand out from the shallow slashers out there with nothing interesting to offer whereas Murphy is never afraid to push the boundaries when it comes to the taboo. The final showdown and killer reveal could have incorporated more depth, feeling too rushed but the outcome works well and is unexpected.

The Town that Dreaded Sundown (2014) is daring, nostalgic while keeping things modern and challenging.  Its slashertastic and one of the better remakes out there that can be appreciated by fans new and old!

Hayley Alice Roberts.