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A Midsummer Night's Scream

Cover of A Midsummer Night's Scream

A Midsummer Night's Scream

Oh, what fools these actors be!

It was a horror movie that turned into real horror—three young actors lost their lives while the camera rolled. Production stopped, and people claimed that the movie was cursed.

Sixty years later, new actors are venturing onto the haunted set. In a desperate attempt to revive their failing studio, Claire's dad has green-lit a remake of Mayhem Manor—and Claire and her friends are dying to be involved.

At first, Claire laughs at Jake's talk of ghosts and curses. He's been too busy crushing on her best friend Delia to notice that she's practically been throwing herself at him. What does he know? And anyway, this is her big chance to be a star!

When shooting starts, though, the set is plagued by a series of horrible accidents—could history be repeating itself?

Oh, what fools these actors be!

It was a horror movie that turned into real horror—three young actors lost their lives while the camera rolled. Production stopped, and people claimed that the movie was cursed.

Sixty years later, new actors are venturing onto the haunted set. In a desperate attempt to revive their failing studio, Claire's dad has green-lit a remake of Mayhem Manor—and Claire and her friends are dying to be involved.

At first, Claire laughs at Jake's talk of ghosts and curses. He's been too busy crushing on her best friend Delia to notice that she's practically been throwing herself at him. What does he know? And anyway, this is her big chance to be a star!

When shooting starts, though, the set is plagued by a series of horrible accidents—could history be repeating itself?

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  • Publisher's Weekly

    May 13, 2013
    Stine takes a page from Shakespeare and late night B-movies in this hard-to-swallow tale of ambition and murder in the movie industry. Six decades after a series of fatal accidents shut down production of a low-budget movie, a new set of producers are determined to do Mayhem Manor properly, filming in the same “cursed” house as before. Claire, whose parents own the studio, has secured one of the lead roles, but she’s starting to have misgivings. When her fellow actors start dying horribly, it looks as though the curse has struck again. Unfortunately, Stine’s plot requires too much suspension of disbelief—namely, that filming would continue after one let alone multiple grisly deaths (in both productions) and that said deaths would all be caught on film; the story’s reimagining of A Midsummer Night’s Dream amounts to little more than the inclusion of a short man named Puck in possession of various potions, and a superfluous love quadrangle among the teenage cast members. Diehard horror fans might bite, but there’s not much to the story beyond Stine’s typical flair for gruesome scenes and bloody demises. Ages 12–up.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    September 30, 2013
    Stine returns with this chilling reimaging of a Shakespeare play that features murder, fatal accidents, and the (low-budget) movie industry. Narrator Brittany Pressley delivers a solid performance that’s slightly rushed at times, but manages to draw in listeners via her age-appropriate tone and likeable energy. Pressley’s youthful voice is mixed with just enough life experience to give her the perfect amount of teen angst and youthful optimism—and this renders the story all the more immediate and realistic. However, the male characters sound similar and come across as caricatures, making the scares slightly less effective when they spring up. Ages 12–up. A Feiwel and Friends hardcover.

  • School Library Journal

    October 1, 2013

    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, OR

    Copyright 2013 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Library Journal

    October 15, 2013

    Stine (Red Rain), master of the macabre for the elementary school set, attempts to serve young adults goose bumps coupled with a side order of contrived Shakespearean references in this uneven suspense thriller. A teenage actress named Claire and her friends have been cast in the remake of a movie called Mayhem Manor; 60 years earlier, the cast members of the original film each met gruesome deaths on the set, and production of the film was canceled. Early in the filming, the teenagers cast in the remake begin to meet similarly terrifying fates, and Claire must find the cause of the deaths before she becomes the next victim. At the same time, she seeks the aid of Benny Puckerman, an eccentric little man who offers her a potion that could help her win the love of her dream guy, Jake. VERDICT Stine's fans may enjoy the obligatory scenes of murder and gore, but some of the plot contrivances are hard to swallow. Recommended only for libraries in which Stine's young adult works are in high demand.--Claire Abraham, Keller P.L., TX

    Copyright 2013 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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A Midsummer Night's Scream
A Midsummer Night's Scream
R. L. Stine
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