Monday, October 8, 2012

31 Days of Goosebumps Part 1 - 8. The Girl Who Cried Monster

I know I remember this book... but apparently I didn’t remember very much. This has replaced Monster Blood as my favorite book I’ve read thus far. Unlike some of the other books in the series there’s not much wasted time in it. But I’ll get to that in a second.

Lucy love scaring her brother Randy with Monster stories. It drives her parents completely insane. Then one day she discovers her local librarian Mr. Mortman is a monster. As expected no one believes her.

After multiple attempts of proving that he’s real she asks her friend Aaron to spy on the librarian with her. He witnesses Mortman’s transformation and informs Lucy’s parents. Finally believing her the invite Mr. Mortman to dinner.

Suddenly her parents grow fangs and eat Mr. Mortman declaring that they can’t risk having any other Monster’s in their town. 

Unlike books like Let’s Get Invisible (where nothing no occurs for multiple chapters) or Night of the Living Dummy (where half the book is just a prank) The girl who cried Monster uses every page to further push the story. Because of this the few bad elements are easily ignored and forgiven.

THE GOOD: The book keeps one’s interest regardless of your age. Stine doesn’t throw red herrings and the description of Mr. Mortman as a monster is pretty gross. Plus there’s monster cannibalism ain’t nothing wrong with that.

THE BAD: Lucy is extremely spoiled and whiny to an aggrivating level. For the most part (until the last page or two) there’s no reason why her parents should EVER believe her about monsters. That being said when you get the reveal that her parents (and thus Lucy and Randy) are monsters in real life you can’t help but wonder why they don’t question at least a little bit why she insists the librarian is a monster and do their own investigating.

THE TV SHOW EPISODE: The very first thing I realized upon the first 30 seconds of this particular episode was that the lead actress Deborah Scorsone is one of the worst child actresses I’d ever seen. Which may explain why this was her lone acting role. Everything she says is AWFUL... like fucking AWFUL. 

That’s not totally her fault though, in general the direction seems pretty weak even by a typical Goosebumps standard. I don’t expect works of art from these episodes but the level of disinterest in everyone’s delivery can’t be blamed on every actor. 

One of the things the truly bugged me was the performance of Mr. Mortman. In the book he’s depicted as an odd shaped but genuinely good natured man who just happens to be a monster. He’s always humming and singing songs and very kind to Lucy. In the TV show he’s immediately depicted and cold and unlikable. That being said the make up isn’t awful specifically for 90‘s Saturday morning television.

<------ Book 7. Night of the Living Dummy

Book 9 ------->

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