From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-Claire and Jake's parents run a Hollywood movie studio. It has always done well, but lately they've been churning out more flops than blockbusters. In a last-ditch effort to save the studio, they decide to remake Mayhem Manor, a horror film from the 1960s that was never completed. The original cast all met gruesome deaths during the filming. Most of Hollywood thinks the movie is cursed, but that doesn't stop Claire and Jake's parents. After all, the publicity surrounding the actors' deaths and the notoriety of the curse just might save the studio-if the curse isn't real. Stine doesn't disappoint with this remash of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Teens unfamiliar with Shakespeare's play might consider the use of magic a little out of place, but it won't detract from their enjoyment of this story. For the most part, Brittany Presley's narration perfectly fits the characters, but her bizarre interpretation of the villain's voice is distracting.-Jennifer Furuyama, Pendleton Public Library, ORα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
It’s the ultimate publicity stunt for a failing Hollywood studio: remake an infamous horror movie in which the actors were literally killed on set. While the original was never completed, it became legend, and, for Claire, landing her first lead role in the film is her ticket to stardom. Even the footage of the gruesome deaths and rumors that the set is cursed don’t discourage her. Her first day, Claire meets Puckerman, a strange little man who possesses magical potions, and soon she’s trying them out on her friends. But the potions are a diversion: Puckerman intends to finish what he started 60 years ago. Stine’s latest is rife with shallow characters, implausible behavior, and laughable dialogue. It’s hard to believe that filming would continue when actors are being murdered on camera—again—and even harder to believe that Claire would continue to steal potions, making her friends violent, old, and (in a nod to Shakespeare) in love with a dog. Diehard Stine fans exist in droves, though, and they might approve of this array of bloody murders. Grades 6-9. --Krista Hutley
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