Thursday, October 11, 2012

31 Days of Goosebumps Part 1 - 11. The Haunted Mask

With the right crowd you could debate for hours over which was a better, more famous and scary Goosebumps book “Night of the Living Dummy” or “The Haunted Mask”. Now that I’ve re-read them both I have to say that the answer is The Haunted Mask.

Carly Beth is always getting picked on for how easily scared she gets. She decides it’s time to get revenge on her friends this Halloween and be the scary creature she knows she can be. She saves up all her money and goes to the local costume shop Halloween night, while there she finds a terrifying mask in the backroom and begs the owner to sell it to her.

The longer Carly Beth wears the mask the more she feels herself changing. Her voice is raspier, she’s mean and cruel without meaning to be and finally when she looks into a mirror she doesn’t recognize the eyes staring back at her. She runs back to the costume shop where the shop owner explains that she’s not wearing a mask but an actual face. He’s been creating faces in his lab but their beauty would quickly fade into horrible faces searching for a new residence. The power of love can remove it, but only once, the next wearer will have that face forever.

Using a sculpture her mom made of her face she shows the mask a sign of love and is able to remove it. However while she recovers from her crazy halloween her brother puts the mask on. 

This was another book that people asked about whenever I told them I was doing this blog. They wanted to know how it holds up. It holds up very well. Obviously it didn’t keep me up at night or anything but Stine crafted a well thought out story that was genuinely scary and taps into the scary thought of losing yourself to something evil.

THE BAD: There’s really not much to dislike. The resolution is a little cheesy (but what youth adult book isn’t) and I hate how so far 90% of the supernatural stuff has been explained by “A Scientist and a Lab” in these books, but beyond that it’s a good book.

THE GOOD: While it’s not filled with jump scares and cliffhangers the idea of losing your face to something horrible and evil is sincerely a chilling thought.

THE TV SHOW EPISODE: This was the episode that started the entire Goosebumps TV series. I remember watching it live and loving it. The episode definitely doesn’t hold up well over time but I still applaud it. It’s a well done for the most part and apparently actress Kathryn Long was willing to bite into a real worm for the episode... so that’s kind of a cool fact. One change I hated was that Carly Beth steals the mask in this version. That’s not at all in keeping with her character. Otherwise it was a decent enough 42 minutes.

<----- Book 10. The Ghost Next Door
Book 12 ------>

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