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Thursday, October 20

13 Days of Halloween: Halloween Party Review




Fear Street: Halloween Party
BY: R.L. Stine
PUBLISHED BY: Simon Pulse
PUBLISHED IN: 1990
ISBN: 978-1-4169-1811-0
Pages: 154
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

Does anyone recall the bookshelves of the school book fair being filled with teen horror books? I got caught up in the horror madness in the early 90s, about the time I started watching the 1978’s Halloween at the age of nine, and I stumbled upon the bizarre world of R.L. Stine, a few years before the Goosebumps phenomenon hit the shelves. I read and collected dozens of R.L. Stine novels back in the day, but as I grew up I lost interest. Luckily I kept all of the books and I started collecting R.L. Stine, along with other Point Horror books, again.

Last Christmas, I received Halloween Party by R.L Stine, which is part of the Fear Street series, which I have always wondered why none of the books have every been made into a cheap horror movie or a low-rated CW series. I’ve never read the book before and was memorized by the snappy new cover design from the Simon Pulse release. There’s something about a jack-o-lantern that gives me the creeps. I tossed the book on the coffee table and had forgotten about it until last month when I was planning the 13 Days of Halloween posts. I thought it would be a perfect time to read it.

The Halloween Party is about a teen, Terry Ryan, who, along with his girlfriend, Niki Meyer (Michael Meyers? A Coincidence? Why is there always someone with the last name Meyer or Meyers in a horror novel?) has been invited, along with a selected number of guests, to the Halloween Party of Justine, a new student to Shadyside High with a mysterious past. The party is being held at the old Cameron Mansion on Fear Street, beyond the cemetery. The mansion is said to be haunted!

This is not your typical party as all Justine wants to do is play wicked, cruel games to embarrass her fellow students. Then, out of nowhere, several bikers crash the party, reminding me of the party scene from the movie Weird Science. While the new unwelcome guests causes a little chaos, Niki disappears and one of the partiers is found dead! Terry searches through the spooky mansion in search of his missing girlfriend, while Justine unleashes her revenge plot.

 I have to admit that I normally zoom right through Fear Street novels, but I had trouble getting into this one until I was about the middle of the book. I rolled my eyes as the bikers invaded the party, and my stomach quenched at every cruel joke Justine unleashed. Only when Terry learns of the mansion’s previous owners’ deaths does the plot actually get interesting, and you finally understand why Justine only invited specific guests. Despite that fact that Halloween Party is not the best of the Fear Street, I still enjoyed the few twists and turns that made it a decent read. I can easily see this being made into a TV movie, but I guess those are too rare these days thanks to the boring scripted reality shows. Let me give you some advice: If you get invited to a party at an old mansion next to a cemetery - Don’t Go!

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