Archive for Truth or Dare

Women in Horror Month 666: Top 6 Fierce Females of Recent Horror.

Posted in Ghostface Girls, Women in Horror Recognition Month with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 4, 2015 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

February means one thing for the female horror fan and no it’s not Valentine’s Day! Although if you’d like to get me a fresh, warm, bloody beating heart or a bouquet of red roses, I’m not complaining! (Just Kidding!). It’s the sixth annual Women in Horror Recognition Month. The cause began as a way to reflect and promote female talent within the genre and give support to various groups in horror who are under-represented mainly relating to race and gender and on the whole both together. Horror has been a male-dominated genre for decades and for a long time the traditional horror heroine came in the shape of the all-American white girl. While we’re not completely there yet, things have started to change; we have a range of female directors showcasing their bloodthirsty visions on screen as well as more dynamic roles being created for women in modern horror.

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You can’t really discuss Women in Horror Month without mentioning the twisted twins Jen and Sylvia Soska who have inspired a new generation of female filmmakers and fans alike. Most recently they teamed up with WWE Studios to create the sequel to See No Evil, and just completed their second collaboration with WWE with the action film Vendetta, proving they can take on any genre! 2014 saw Australian director Jennifer Kent gain well-deserved success on her terrifying and unique addition to the genre, The Babadook. All-rounder Jessica Cameron debuted her first directorial effort, inspired by Dead Hooker in a Trunk, titled Truth or Dare which I’m told is incredibly twisted and violent! On the short film circuit, Jill Sixx Gevargizian has recently garnered attention for Call Girl, a menacing little piece that’s interestingly shot, starring Tristan Risk and Laurence R Harvey, and in 2013 Isabel Peppard created an innovative and beautiful stop-motion animation titled Butterflies which was most recently screened at Australia’s Monster Fest. A groundbreaking all female anthology is also on its way, the eagerly anticipated XX that’ll feature segments from Jennifer Chambers Lynch and Mary Harron to name a few.

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For more information on Women in Horror Month 2015, visit Hannah Neurotica’s wonderful website: http://www.womeninhorrormonth.com/ which includes AxWound, a blog dedicated to gender and horror. Its a great way to look out for talented women working in the genre today, including an interview with award-winning actress, director and artist Gigi Saul Guerrero. Take a look at the Massive Blood Drive PSA where several of the above names have created short segments to encourage blood donation. This year has proven to be an awesome collection of twisted gender-bending and goreific effects:

As a female horror fan there have been plenty of strong women characters in place over the years to identify with, problematically they have all been created by men and if you agree with Carol Clover’s theory their purpose is to provide an outlet for a male audience which links to iconic characters such as Laurie Strode or Ripley. There are so many ways in which horror needs to move forward and this is just the beginning, we need to see horror movies with a diverse range of strong female heroines of all ethnicities and backgrounds. Genre women are beginning to find their voice and despite the obstacles and challenges we must continue to support this movement so these voices continue to be heard.

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As a dedicated horror fan and reviewer my contribution to raising awareness for women in horror is a countdown of some of the most intriguing and dynamic characters from films all over the world to have emerged from the genre over this past year. This is a look at the well-written and developed characters that made the top titles of 2014 the most talked about horror films. Will they become future genre icons? There’s a strong possibility and here’s why…

WARNING: There will be some spoilers. 

  1. Amelia, The Babadook, Portrayed By Essie Davis.

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While she may not be the most glamorous of characters, single mother Amelia is an unforgettable force that drives the terror in the critically-acclaimed, The Babadook. Suffering from terrible nightmares re-living the tragic night of her husband’s death and the birth of son Samuel, Amelia struggles to hold down her job, care for her boy as well as deal with snide comments from fellow mothers. Amelia is a fragile character, which is interesting in terms of this expectation where lead females in horror have to be strong and kick ass. There’s most definitely a human quality about her as she’s written with honesty and realism which then corresponds wonderfully in how she copes with the threat of the ‘monster under the bed’ trope. For those of you who have seen the film, you’ll know that with Amelia there is more than meets the eye. For a seemingly ordinary character there is much more to her than first imagined.

 

  1. Kylie Bucknell, Housebound, Portrayed By Morgana O’Reilly

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Twenty-something tearaway Kylie Bucknell is an unlikely heroine in Richard Johnstone’s highly entertaining horror/comedy Housebound. Moody, cynical and antagonistic, Kylie is the opposite of the traditional lead female protagonist in terms of likability. She isn’t best pleased to be put under house arrest after she is caught robbing an ATM machine. What makes matters worse is she is forced back under the same roof as her overbearing, yet well-intentioned mother who has her suspicions that their house must be haunted. Johnstone claimed he wanted to create a leading lady that ‘wouldn’t scare easily’ which works perfectly as along with Kylie the audience is able to remain as sceptical as she is until further developments are revealed over the course of the film. There is certainly something different about her, she’s frustrating yet endearing to a degree. Her characterisation comes full circle as she shows she isn’t afraid to take risks and proves to be resourceful when it comes to saving the day.

 

  1. Anna Peterson, The Guest, Portrayed By Maika Monroe

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Anna is the only daughter of the grief-stricken Peterson family, the subjects of Adam Wingard’s fantastical love letter to 80’s action flicks, The Guest. Smart and sophisticated, Anna is one step ahead of her family in figuring out there is something darker at play when it comes to their mysterious new house guest, David who claims to have fought alongside their deceased son in war. Incredibly stylish with an awesome taste in music, Anna is no fool and will do what it takes to survive and protect her family even if it means taking on an unstoppable force in the shape of experiment-gone-horribly wrong David. Anna carefully researches who she’s up against, aligning her facts before facing confrontation. On the whole she is just an average girl in an extraordinary situation however manages to outlive a number of armed military men! Anna is The Guest’s standout female character and a surprising survivor.

 

  1. Louise, Spring, Portrayed By Nadia Hilker

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Beautiful, mystical and enchanting, Louise is the core female character in the most romantic genre film of the year. She captures the heart of protagonist Evan in the idyllic Italian setting. Louise harbours a dark secret that threatens their entire romance but also enhances the vulnerability behind the confident exterior she projects. Louise is charismatic, charming and fun but also enigmatic and fearful. She has a naturalistic quality to her under the monster movie metaphor as she represents the fears and anxieties of beginning a new relationship and having that jeopardised if the other person was to discover something ‘different’ about the person they’re with. At times she comes across as a lonely creature that holds herself back but at the same she has a lot to offer. Louise is a captivating yet complex character and unique within her own mythology (you’ll have to watch the film to find out more!).

 

  1. Amy, See No Evil 2, Portrayed by Danielle Harris

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If you read my review of the Soska’s most recent feature See No Evil 2, you’ll be aware I wasn’t 100% sold on the film. Its redeeming feature for me was Scream Queen Danielle Harris’s portrayal of morgue attendant Amy. Amy is forced to cancel her birthday plans when a number of blood-soaked bodies slaughtered by serial killer Jacob Goodnight arrive at the hospital causing her to become stuck on the graveyard shift. Her loyal friends subsequently bring the party to her, unknowingly offering up fresh victims to the not-so-dead killer. In typical post-modern slasher style, Amy has been written with depth, allowing the audience to empathize and root for her as we should for a traditional final girl. What makes Amy all the more heartbreaking is her view on life and reasons for working in the morgue instead of chasing her ambitions as well as the unexpected twist on the character making her part in the film all the more meaningful. Amy is See No Evil 2’s saving grace, strong, intelligent and endearing, there’s a reason Danielle Harris is the ‘final girl’ because she plays roles like this incredibly well.

 

  1. Eva Sanchez, The Purge: Anarchy, Portrayed By Carmen Ejogo

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A character unaware of her full potential until her whole world is thrown into chaos. Eva Sanchez is a hard worker, trying to get by and earn whatever little money she can to provide for her ill father and teenage daughter. After her father offers himself up for purging to the wealthy in order to pull his family out of debt, Eva locks down her apartment and hopes that she and her daughter make it through the night. However when a scorned enemy breaks in and attempts to murder them, Eva and Cali are thrust out onto the streets. Luckily they join forces with a mysterious protector named Frank who has a hidden agenda, followed by a young couple also caught up in the anarchy when their car is jacked. Eva proves headstrong and somewhat of a leader as she works along with Frank to ensure the groups safety. Eva is compassionate and fierce; she comes to realize her true strength when faced with a harrowing ordeal.

Do you agree with my choices, are there any other kick ass females of recent movies that should have made the list? Feel free to comment below or tweet me on @hayleyr1989.

As a special extra, here’s something a little Nasty from the Ghostface Girls:

Hayley Alice Roberts.

Hayley’s Horror Reviews.

**Horror News, End of June**

Posted in Ghostface Girls, Horror Festivals, Love Horror, Press Release, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 30, 2014 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

As we approach the end of the month in the dark depths of the horror world, two pieces of news have emerged today on some upcoming projects that are sure to ignite discussion amongst the community.

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Firstly, Child’s Play creator Don Mancini has announced he will be working on his seventh instalment from the killer doll franchise. Teasing ideas surrounding the potential plot line, Mancini plans to continue taking Chucky (voiced by Brad Dourif) down his original horror roots rather than the comedy angle that was taken in 1998’s cult classic Bride of Chucky or 2004’s less successful offering Seed of Chucky.

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The slash-worthy, seventh sequel will kick off where last year’s surprise success Curse of Chucky (2013) left off, the iconic Chucky will return to torment his new nemesis Nica, meaning Fiona Dourif will be reprising her role once again. Proving to be a resourceful and determined ‘final girl type’, Nica’s return is a welcome one. Mancini was also questioned on whether Jennifer Tilly (Chucky’s Bride, Tiffany) or Alex Vincent (Andy Barclay from the original trilogy) will be included in the film, considering Curse’s ending featured a cameo and hints towards them both, however at this stage he claims its early days to discuss any further but left fans up in the air by announcing ‘Who Knows’?

The latest piece of genre info that emerged today isn’t one I’m particularly looking forward to. So, we’re due another remake of an unforgettable Japanese shocker? That’s right, Takashi Miike’s quietly brutal 1999 film Audition is getting a US make over. The Asia Extreme frightmare was one of the most suspenseful and gritty horror movies of the decade, but sources say that the remake is actually an adaptation of the 1997 Ryu Murakami  novel that Miike’s version was based upon. Australian director Richard Gray is on board and will be writing his own screenplay for the upcoming feature.

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According to The Guardian, the Hollywood remake will focus on a lonely man named Sam Davis who is encouraged by a filmmaker friend to hold auditions for a new wife following the death of his first, seven years prior. Sam meets an enigmatic ballerina with a past just as mysterious, but is she all she seems? Fans of Miike’s violent, spine-tingling chiller will be aware of the dark depths the plot takes. Audition, has never needed the remake treatment, being a clever yet disturbing film all on its own.  Whether it will be successful, who knows? I personally suggest, Get your own ideas Hollywood!

During my write-up of last year’s Abertoir Horror Festival, I discussed a cultural, game-changer from Laos. Mattie Do is the first female director from her country and not only that she created the first horror film there too. Chanthaly was a hauntingly beautiful, supernatural tale about a young woman coming to terms with her mother’s death during childhood, searching for answers to questions unanswered by her strict father.  Do faced restrictions within her culture regarding  imagery she could include within the film (Laos is a communist country), therefore no scenes of gore or intimacy of any kind.

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Following a fantastic response to the film, she is now planning her second, Nong Hak which translates to Dearest Sister, Do has campaigned via indie-go-go in order to raise the funds for the film which sounds like yet another innovative project. She also raised $15,000 of the funds locally and has reached her target from the help of dedicated supporters. There’s still a few days to donate if you can so check out this link (including Do’s humorous campaign video) : nong-hak-dearest-sister-a-lao-horror-film, share it around and spread the word. Nong Hak will be the 13th Laon film and the most ambitious, definitely an exciting time for the country’s cinema and something exciting to get involved in.

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Congratulations to indie, genre director Jessica Cameron, as London’s Film 4’s Fright Fest festival recently announced its line-up its emerged that Cameron’s eagerly-anticipated grisly Truth or Dare will be making its UK debut in August, marking the fesitval’s 14th year. This means the film may potentially screen around other UK festivals later in the year. Fingers Crossed.

Hayley’s Horror Reviews has a few things lined up for July, so keep your eyeballs peeled, plus more from my contributions at  Love Horror and Ghostface Girls on the way.

Hayley Alice Roberts.

 

 

The Most Eagerly-Anticipated Horror Movies of 2014 (so far!)

Posted in Horror Festivals, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 9, 2014 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

2014 has some thrilling genre titles on the way, already establishing that the year ahead is shaping up to be one of horror’s most exhilarating and bloodiest yet! Here are my top picks so far on the movies that are likely to appeal to my tastes. In no particular order:

Truth Or Dare

  • Directed By Jessica Cameron.

truth or dare posterTechnically a 2013 film, Truth or Dare has circulated genre festivals in the USA and Belgium. It’s Hollywood premiere is taking place on January 10th at the Shockfest Film Festival. There’s been a huge internet buzz surrounding the film which has picked my interest since I first heard about it. The premise sounds deadly and brutal, a group of friends have become an internet sensation through their popular “truth or dare” videos. Things soon take a sinister turn when their biggest fan decides he wants in on the action however he starts to play by his own rules! With the ever-growing internet phenomenon, the film appears to make a dark commentary on something so prominent in people’s day to day lives and there’s nothing scarier than that! Hopefully a UK release date will be on the cards or some festival screenings this coming year. Although Truth or Dare is Jessica Cameron’s directorial debut, she has already proven she’s a rising cult star in the making by starring in over 30 horror, thriller and sci-fi projects over the passed couple of years including To Jennifer (2013) and The Black Dahila Haunting (2012). Cameron has collaborated with Jonathan Scott Higgins on the screenplay to create a disturbing and gory feature which is already getting fans talking while putting a high quality of indie horror on the map.

The ABC’s Of Death 2

  • Directed By Various

abcs 2Anthology horror is becoming an increasing trend within the genre, thanks to film’s like last year’s success, The ABC’s of Death. There’s bound to be something for everyone on offer with such an eclectic range from gross-out gore, to humor to downright psychological terror. ABC’s is an impressive piece as it showcases what directors can come up with when given a limited run time. There’s no surprise that ABC’s warranted a sequel, bringing in more directors from all over the world. Following the search for the 26th director which saw many competitors battling it out for a segment in the film, the winning entry is officially Robert Boocheck’s M is for Masticate. I can see why it was chosen for its balance of humor and stomach-churning effects however it wouldn’t have been my personal winner. Joining Boocheck are a number of talented filmmakers  who will hopefully produce some diverse and interesting segments including Jen and Sylvia Soska (American Mary), Aharon Keshales (Big Bad Wolves), Dennison Ramalho (short film director) and E.L Katz (Cheap Thrills) which are the ones I’m most looking forward to seeing.

See No Evil 2

  • Directed By Jen Soska & Sylvia Soska

see no evil 2Being two of the most successful female directors currently in the genre with a hugely supportive fan base, the majority of us gore freaks are anticipating what the Twisted Twins will do next following their beautifully dark, body modification movie, American Mary. Collaborating with WWE studios, many were surprised that Mary’s follow-up would be a sequel to an average slasher flick from 2006. However there’s no doubt that the Soska’s will bring in their own unique style to the piece and transform Kane into one of the most talked horror movie villains of the decade. See No Evil 2 allegedly picks up where the first film left off. Killer Jacob Goodnight, played by the wrestler Kane wakes up in the morgue ready to terrorize a group of medical students. The Soska’s have expressed that since Mary became successful they have been encouraged by the studios to continue to use the same types of trends within their future projects and have come across scripts that are basically American Mary. As disheartening as that it is it appears they have reached a compromise by including the medical angle in See No Evil 2, making it the one aesthetic it shares with Mary as well as providing a trademark for them as directors. Katharine Isabelle is set to star in her second film with the Twisted Twins and will be joined by iconic Scream Queen Danielle Harris. This is one movie that is sure to celebrate the rising status of women in horror and will have enough packed in to appeal to the horror and wrestling communities alike.

Wolf Creek 2

  • Directed By Greg McLean

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Eight years after its initial release, Australian ordeal shocker, Wolf Creek is getting a sequel. Loosely based on true events, Greg Mclean’s 2005 outback carnage saw a group of tourists terrorized by menacing serial killer Mick Taylor (John Jarratt). Literally getting away with murder, the film was left open ended meaning evil Mick Taylor still remains a deadly threat to all that cross his path. The upcoming sequel has been in development for a while although finally has a February release date in Australia so hopefully mad Mick will be making his way over to the UK very soon. There hasn’t been much information as of yet surrounding the plot therefore its unknown if it deals with the aftermath of the first film or whether its a prequel. Two tie-in novels have been penned by Mclean himself, detailing Mick Taylor’s bloody origins, Wolf Creek: Origin and Wolf Creek: Desolation Game. It’s uncertain whether a sequel is really warranted to what could be considered a modern classic, however if there’s more story to tell then it could be a very interesting film.

The Purge 2

  • Directed By James DeMonaco

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The Purge was one of my favourite genre offerings of last year. It upped the ante on the home invasion sub-genre by bringing in a well-crafted concept that made it a little less conventional than the standard fare. A sequel has recently been announced and it will certainly be intriguing to see if it manages to hold up as well as it’s predecessor through replicating the formula or whether this is an attempt to place The Purge in the same league as the SAW and Paranormal Activity franchises. A plot has not been revealed as of yet however some cast members have been confirmed. The film will star Zach Gilford, Michael K. Williams, Frank Grillo, Kiele Sanchez and Carmen Ejogo. With an all new cast of characters, it will be interesting to see if any rules have changed since the previous instalment. With the same director on board it gives it a promising start meaning the vision from the first film will be in place. The home invasion sub-genre has proved popular in 2013, but will it continue? Time will tell when The Purge 2 hits our screens in June.

XX

  • Directed By Various

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The second anthology film I’m anticipating in this list. XX is set to be a female led horror anthology, featuring segments from the most innovative female directors in the genre and promises to incorporate a lead female character in each. Women in Horror is bigger than ever and far more celebrated than it may have been in the past. Its been argued for a long time that women have been under-represented in the genre and now finally a surge of successful female filmmakers are given the opportunity to showcase their dark visions for the big screen. Its been said that there will be some animated, stop-motion sequences in place to transition between each segment created by Sofia Carrillo who’ll also be in charge of the title sequence. Joining her will be Jennifer Lynch (Chained, Boxing Helena), Mary Harron (American Psycho), Jovanka Vuckovic (The Guest, The Captured Bird), Karyn Kusama (Jennifer’s Body) and of course the Twisted Twins Jen and Sylvia who are making an impact in horror this year through their involvement in various projects. Many films have been directed by women over the years however it isn’t until recent times that they are been given a prominent voice. It’s about time more films were shot in a way that women can identify with rather than feel objectified, not that its always the case. XX is sure to be inventive, ground-breaking, stylish and brutally gore-geous!

Horns

  • Directed By Alexandre Aja

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Alexandre Aja (The Hills Have Eyes (2006), Mirrors) adapts Joe Hill’s novel of the same name in what looks like a dark, quirky thriller about a young man who mysteriously develops a set of horns following the brutal rape and murder of his girlfriend which he is accused of. Daniel Radcliffe marks his return to the genre following his lead role in 2012’s gothic, hammer horror The Woman in Black, in a role that’s far cry from his Harry Potter days. Radcliffe described his part in the film as both “emotional” and “outrageous” to play as his character experiences deep turmoil when using his new, unusual abilities to track down the real culprit! With the names attached it will be interesting to see how they approach the project, Aja as director and Radcliffe as an actor. Deep, harrowing, compelling and enigmatic, Horns will be one to look out for as its due for an upcoming theatrical release.

There we have it, some of the most exciting titles in Horror for 2014. I’m sure they’ll be many more to join them in the near future but for now, let me know which genre movies you can’t wait to sink your teeth into this year! Feel free to comment below or tweet me on @hayleyr1989.

Hayley Alice Roberts.

Hayley’s Horror Reviews.