General bookish fun, Review

Review: The Remaking by Clay McLeod Chapman

IMG_-iewjss.jpgAuthor: Clay McLeod Chapman

Genre: Horror

Published by: Quirk Books

Publication date: 08/10/19

Pages: 320

My rating: ★★★.5

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Inspired by a true story, this supernatural thriller for fans of horror and true crime follows a tale as it evolves every twenty years—with terrifying results.

Ella Louise has lived in the woods surrounding Pilot’s Creek, Virginia, for nearly a decade. Publicly, she and her daughter Jessica are shunned by their upper-crust family and the Pilot’s Creek residents. Privately, desperate townspeople visit her apothecary for a cure to what ails them—until Ella Louise is blamed for the death of a prominent customer. Accused of witchcraft, both mother and daughter are burned at the stake in the middle of the night. Ella Louise’s burial site is never found, but the little girl has the most famous grave in the South: a steel-reinforced coffin surrounded by a fence of interconnected white crosses.

Their story will take the shape of an urban legend as it’s told around a campfire by a man forever marked by his boyhood encounters with Jessica. Decades later, a boy at that campfire will cast Amber Pendleton as Jessica in a ’70s horror movie inspired by the Witch Girl of Pilot’s Creek. Amber’s experiences on that set and its meta-remake in the ’90s will ripple through pop culture, ruining her life and career after she becomes the target of a witch hunt. Amber’s best chance to break the cycle of horror comes when a true-crime investigator tracks her down to interview her for his popular podcast. But will this final act of storytelling redeem her—or will it bring the story full circle, ready to be told once again? And again. And again…

I received a free review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Trigger Warning:

  • Animal cruelty/death
  • Violence
  • Death

I thought I would enjoy The Remaking, I hadn’t banked on liking as much as I did though! It’s told in four parts covering the legend of Ella Louise Ford and Jessica Ford, Amber Pendleton’s time filming the first movie, the remake and a true-crime investigator’s interview with Amber.

I don’t know about you but I love a good urban legend, stories of cursed movie sets and this definitely ticks those boxes. Unlike some horror, this one gave me a lot to think about. We lap up creepy stories, tales from cursed movie sets, more often than not we forget there’s real people involved. This book is inspired by true events. An urban legend about witches actually masks the murders of two innocent people, Mary Louise Ford and daughter, Mary Ellen. Experiences on a movie set caused long lasting damage to a child and many others, The Remaking explores another side of these stories and does it brilliantly, highlighting the impact on those directly involved.

It’s a clever and thought provoking read, my only gripe is a scene towards the end of the book involving the murder of a baby animal (bottom of page 236 to halfway down page 237 if you want to read and skip this part). I know these things happen, I wish it wasn’t the case. Was it essential to the plot, that specific scene though? In my opinion, no. It could have played out just as well without it, and to me felt gratuitous and this is coming from a huge horror fan. Overall I really enjoyed the book, and think it’s worth a read.

Buy from: Book Depository Waterstones

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