This is the last official post for The Main Damie’s first 31 Days of Horror and, while I think it was hit-and-miss (I didn’t see nearly as many horror movies as I would’ve liked), I had fun doing it.
I especially had a good time revisiting these episodes of Goosebumps. It’s been a while since I watched them and it’s been nice to take a trip down memory lane. I feel like five installments isn’t enough, so I think I’m going to stick with it for a while; maybe until we go headlong into the Christmas season.
To close out the month, I’m going with The Haunted Mask, which was the very first episode of the Goosebumps series, and a two-parter. This was always one of my favorite books from the collection and I felt it was appropriate to revisit this one on Halloween.
The Haunted Mask
For Carly Beth, life must be a nightmare. Everything scares her, which makes her an easy target with just about everyone in her life. Even her little brother has no trouble making her shit herself with fright. If Tara from The Cuckoo Clock of Doom were still around, she’d probably call Carly Beth a krej.
Carly Beth is especially picked on by a couple of no-goodnicks named Chuck and Steve who just can’t seem to help themselves. In their defense, she’s annoyingly frightened by everything, but that doesn’t mean she deserves to have a worm put into her sandwich. There has to be a line.
In order to get back at those sons of bitches, Carly Beth goes down to the new novelty shop to get a great mask that will give everyone nightmares. Rather than take that is for sale, Carly Beth pulls a smash-and-grab on one of the creepy ass masks the shopkeeper told her wasn’t for sale.
Out on the town for trick-or-treating, Carly Beth starts to lose sight of the fun you’re supposed to have on Halloween and just goes around like a raving bitch, putting the fear of death into the hearts of children. It’s one thing to jump out at someone to give them a jolt; it’s completely different to make them think you’re capable of wearing their skin. Carly Beth crosses that line early and never really looks back.
When Carly Beth realizes that the mask has fused to her skin, she understandably freaks out and tries to undo the curse by heading back to the mask shop. The shopkeeper tells her a terrible story about the origins of his defective masks and how he made them to cover up his ugly ass face and that they’re made from human skin. This is a detail that seems to be glossed over even when he tells it to her. Enchanted mask or not, it’s made from human skin! Anyway, the other masks start to come to life and chase after Carly Beth in some of the worst CGI you’ll ever see, but the curse is lifted when Carly Beth recovers a bust of herself her mother made out of pure love.
I still enjoy this story; it’s still a pretty tight tale about an enchanted mask and the idea is something that you’d see in The Twilight Zone. Some things, however, don’t exactly ring true. The bust her mom makes seems enchanted even before she comes across the evil mask. It begs the question of whether or not her mom is some sort of voodoo witch doctor, which I don’t think she is. Also, while the moral of the story is that nothing is more important than unconditional love, it kind of jumbles with the point of the creation of the masks in the first place. Ugliness and evilness are kind of mixed together in this cautionary tale and it winds up not making a whole lot of sense when you think about it. Regardless, it’s still a strong story and it’s quite comical to see the sociopathic side of Carly Beth come out a little bit; especially after we are forced to watch her overreact to every little prank that gets played on her.