Top Ten Most Memorable Horror Movie Masks

I’d first off like to apologize for my absence. I’ve been working on a few Top Tens, and even though I saw a crapload of horror movies in October, I went on a sunny vacation right after and forgot most of them. So now, I present to you, an interesting theme: masks! Masks are the ultimate murdering accessory. Although makeup is more in than attachable face plastic, there are lots of awesome famous horror movie masks out there.

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I’d like to start off with an honorable mention that couldn’t be included in this list because it’s a tv show: Goosebumps, The Haunted Mask. This was most likely one of the first ever spooky masks that I encountered, in the book and then on tv. The mask that doesn’t come off has definitely been done before, but that doesn’t make the it any less awesome. I plan to add this detailed, green monster to my costume collection someday.

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10. Alice, Sweet Alice;s Plastic Make-up Mask (1976)

Although this movie isn’t super well-known, this type of see-through, second skin is still in every store selling Halloween costumes today. The plastic, makeupped adult face supposedly worn over a child’s innocent face makes it even creepier, as worn with a yellow rain jacket in the film. There is also a similar, updated version in V/H/S.

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9. Halloween III: Season of the Witch’s Silver Shamrock Masks (1982)

The Jack-o-lantern, witch, and skeleton masks intended to melt children’s faces appear only in this installment of Halloween that has nothing at all to do with Michael Myers. Although entertaining, the whole Stonehenge thing and evil mask-manufacturer situation doesn’t really make a lot of sense.

      

8. Terror Train’s Groucho Marx Mask (1980)

On New Year’s Eve, a murderer kills college kids on a train. He wears several different masks on the train that he swaps with his victims, but they don’t quite have the off-putting creepiness that the Groucho seems to have.

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7. Trick ‘R Treat’s Burlap Sack (2007)

This film is technically an anthology, but I find that it’s really only remembered for the character, Sam. It’s kind of cute, kind of creepy, and definitely silly-scary underneath.

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6. Phantom of the Opera (1925)

The phantom changes over time, but the mask doesn’t really. The first film is included in this list because it’s the only one that is actually a horror film besides the virtually unknown 1989 version with Robert Englund. It’s white, it’s simple, and it’s close enough to the iconic half-mask in the musical versions.

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5. The Strangers’ The Man in The Mask, Pin-Up Girl, and Dollface Masks (2008)

This is one of my favorite movies, as I’m terrified of stalkers and this had great tension and character story. Each of the torturers wears a mask, but the face has nothing to really do with anything besides their gender. They’re all equally scary in that they don’t have any rhyme or reason to them, and the faces behind them are never revealed.

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4. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’s Skin Mask (1974, 2003, and sequels)

Leatherface is inspired by Ed Gein who was obsessed with making things out of human body parts such as bones and skin. Throw in a chainsaw and some off-beat, grotesque characters and you’ve got yourself a gore fest phenomenon. Whether it be the original or the remake, both have the iconic stitches and skin mask. I wonder how Leatherface would feel about a peel at the spa.

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3. Scream’s Ghostface Mask (1996 and sequels)

If you asked people to blurt out the first Halloween mask that comes to mind, I bet Ghostface would be at the top of the list. Inspired by Edvard Munch’s The Scream painting, this franchise and its unforgettable mask made a huge dent in film history.  The return to the slasher was immensely popular, and ever since the film’s release, the Ghostface mask has been on shelves. Even though the movie has some nineties cheese, the twist is all that matters.

2. Halloween’s Michael Myers (William Shatner) Mask (1978 and sequels)

Let’s be real here, this is a bad mask. Even when you see it sold in stores the hair’s all matted and the skin is lumpy. But it serves its purpose in the movie, because the expressionless face easily gives you the creeps. Halloween is just another slasher movie with no real backstory, but it’s a fun, mindless film to watch, and there are lots of sequels to binge-watch on my favorite holiday.

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1. Friday the 13th Part 3’s Hockey Mask (1982 and sequels)

Jason Voorhees sure is a man of the times. His mask style changes in each movie, and although for the most part, he sporting a generic hockey mask, he also tries on a sack and a metal, alienlike option. Jason is supposed to be a deformed psychopath, so I suppose any old mask will do. The great thing about the Friday the 13th films are that there is a little bit of comedy, a few scares, and countless ways to kill featured. Jason has a decent backstory, and the original film’s twist makes up for the fact that the mask doesn’t appear.

 

 

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Film Face Off: Fright Night

Tonight, two films of the same name are up against each other. The classic eighties version, and the more recent, 2011 remake. Vampire entertainment at its best!

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Fright Night (1985)

Score: 4/10

This teen thriller starts off with some inspiring and suspicious 80s tunes, and then all of a sudden, thirty minutes through… BAM! the vampire changes and confrontations are already happening. It’s the classic premise for any Goosebumps or Bailey School Kids book- a vampire is living next door! This film also includes the longest ever vampire sex dance, followed by a lengthy retro love bite scene. Unfortunately, Dude just doesn’t do it for me- as a regular guy or an idiotic looking vampire. Each vampire’s teeth look more dumb than the last, and I’m not a fan of any horror movies over an hour and a half (I’ll only let Stephen King get away with it), but it’s all worth it, because the end is full of over-the-top amazingly bad CGI, and a fantastic green slimy goop vampire melting scene.

 

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Fright Night (2011)

Score:4/10

The second does good as a remake, using lots of the same bits from the original, including the many pointed and jagged little vampire-monster teeth. Anton Yelchin and Toni Collette are fun and relatable characters, and really aid douchey Colin Farrell as the vampire who enjoys face-posing after sucking blood. I didn’t love macburger as the turned-friend. He just wasn’t the right balance of likeable and killable. The CGI used was silly and almost 90’s-style, but I didn’t hate it. I’m not sure what other options there were for this type of movie, really. It’s great around Halloween when you want a light movie to watch with your teenage sister.

In conclusion…

In a rare twist, I gave these two movies released almost thirty years apart the same score. Both cheesy and fun, both barely watchable, with the exception of Halloween night. The remake is just that- a remake, but I liked that about it, as I doubt many of the kids watching it today have ever even seen the original, and for the rest of us, it’s the nostalgia we wanted.

Top Ten R. L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour Episodes (Seasons 3 & 4)

R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour is a modern-day teen horror show that started in 2010 and plays on YTV (and I’m sure some other channels).  It was extremely hard to pick a top ten for several reasons- I had no emotional childhood attachments to any of these episodes, there are a lot of creative ideas, and none of them are really scary, but they’re all pretty much Goosebumps-style twisty-ended. They all have teenage cheese and they’re all watchable. Here are my top ten most memorable episodes from seasons 3 and 4 of The Haunting Hour!

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10. Grampires

Cute, creepy, and the season’s two-parter, this episode is about siblings who go to visit their grandparents in a retirement village. Unfortunately, soon enough, the kids learn the elderly folk are actually vampires, and rely on their grandfather to keep them safe. Normally, old people tend to be horrific in a frail and fragile way, but these grampires are more reminiscent of The Bailey School Kids book characters-comical.

 

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9. The Girl in the Painting

A young girl dreaming of a life of luxury finds a painting in the trash of a girl in a beautiful pink room. She becomes obsessed with living in the fantasy world of the posh painting. After the paining changes scenes and a voice is heard advising the way in is through the closet, the girl finds herself in the world she dreamed of. I think most little girls imagine themselves going into another land through the closet, all Chronicles of Narnia-style. The end is twisty of course, and unexpected, and laughable.

 

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8. The Cast

While playing a prank on and old lady, a group of boys get caught, and one falls, breaking his arm. He ends up with a cast, but the cast turns out to be a lot worse than just a cradle for shattered bones. I’ve never broken anything major, but the fear of the unknown comes into play here, and paranoia, and all of the possibilities of what could be lurking underneath all that plaster and bandage. In this case it’s rats, and while the guilt feeds delusions, in the end, everyone gets their just desserts. The moral of the story is: don’t lie or karma will get you.

 

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7. I’m Not Martin

A helpless boy in a hopeless horror- Martin is set for surgery, the only issue is he’s not Martin and no one believes him. As a kid, it would be pretty terrifying to be mistaken for someone else at a hospital, especially if that person is set to have their leg taken off. This episode is fairly nonsensical, but the desperation and fear of being trapped in a situation without having any control over it is pretty scary for a kid.

 

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6. Detention

This isn’t just a ditzy episode about high school stereotypes stuck in detention, it’s about three teenagers who take ownership of their mistakes and learn a valuable lesson. Obviously written by a dad, but not too cheesy. The setting of the decoration-trashed school with no one around sets a terrific atmosphere, and the possible consequences of the unassuming kids ups the scare factor. In true horror way, however, I wish it would have ended with the prom princess going her own way.

 

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5. Seance

A younger sister wants to fit in with her big sister and her friend, and while following them around mercilessly, annoys the friends. Little sis, who also stars as a little sister in The Conjuring is the victim of a prank, but ups the ante she gets her revenge. Seances are fun and spooky, and I bet every younger sibling got a few ideas of revenge after watching this episode.

 

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4. My Imaginary Friend

Another twisty story that ends kind of sad because you don’t really see it coming. It’s about a boy with an invisible friend who’s kind of a bad-ass, and is very much a negative influence. The boy’s good-natured brother doesn’t get along with his sibling’s imaginary friend and the conflict between the two goes from bad to worse. There are a lot of interesting ideas in this episode such as listening to your conscience and being able to control what you’d created with your own mind.

 

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3. Terrible Love

A Valentine’s Day episode where a girl wishes for cupid to make the popular boy like her… but she goes too far, and their love turns sour. This is another example of a mature episode that discusses jealousy and obsession in love. It’s creepy in a very real way and I appreciate how it’s guessable but still likable it can be. There’s a spotlight on awkwardness and desperation, and isn’t that every teenager’s nightmare?

 

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2. Lovecraft’s Woods

Time loops (in my opinion) are not used enough in movies, and I’ve definitely never seen it be used in a kid’s show, so this is all sorts of awesome. It’s about three friends who are trapped in the woods. One of the kids gets bitten and turns into a horrible creature who tries to warn her friends. Werewolves aren’t my usual horror cup of tea, but I fancy a spooky stroll in the forest, mind you.

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1. Le Poof de Fromage

The kid painfully trying to have a funny french accent may be hard to sit through, and the plot may be… ahem… cheesy, but it’s silly and fun and original. It’s simply ridiculous and I like that about it. This episode is about a foreign exchange student who moves in with a family to hunt down the alien cheese puffs that are trying to invade Earth. It kind of reminds me of 10 Cloverfield Lane because of the paranoia and flip-flop beliefs. Must be eaten with the puffy Cheesies, not the crunchy ones.

Also read: Seasons 1/2 Top Ten

Masters of Horror: The Fair Haired Child

Masters of Horror is a 2000s television series with a different director for each of the thirteen episodes in the season, running about an hour long.

Directed by: William Malone (House on Haunted Hill, Feardotcom)

Evil Category: witches, warlocks, the undead, and monster-alien-babies

Score: two out of five bad swimmers

The last episode of the first season is a strange one. Nineties teen romance with a little Are You Afraid of the Dark wrapped up in a Eurythmics music video. A husband and wife who have lost their son sacrifice twelve children to a weird, branchy, bald monster in order to have their family back together. This hollow-eyed alien thing with the mark of the Devil on its forehead is unique and not CGi’ed to death. It moves in a film-cut choppy kind-of way, and its a little scary, but the glowing holes in its face take away some of the fright. There’s a twist at the end but it isn’t very believable and although the characters are likable, they aren’t impactful and you’re just watching to see what happens, really. If you’re wondering where you’ve seen the mother before, she plays Lolly in Orange is the New Black, but she’s the only recognizable actor out of the four main characters in this episode. This is another one of those films where two movies that don’t fit together are made into one and it’s hard to really love an episode like this.

 

photo: http://fanpop.com/

Goosebumps (2015)

Score: 5/10

Length: 103

Language: English

Categories: 2000s, 3D, recent, almost-horror, horror comedy, zombie, ghost, clown, monster, vampire, werewolf, animal, Stephen Kingy

I went to see this reincarnation of a gem of sorts from my childhood, expecting a cheesy, pun-filled, Jumanji-esque feature. I wasn’t so looking forward to Jack Black, but he did a pretty great job of toning himself down. The only thing I didn’t find amusing was his slight cartoony voice. Though, as Slappy he was dead-on. I recognized the other characters from The Haunting Hour and The Giver, and they all did and okay job. Packed with monsters from Goosebumps books you’ll remember: The Blob That Ate Everyone, killer bees, a vampire dog, The Shocker on Shock Street‘s praying mantis, the ghost from Ghost Beach, the aliens with their freeze-ray guns, the werewolf from Fever Swamp, and a whole bunch more. It even has some folks you might not quite remember, such as the zombies and the horrific clown. Either way, it left out two of my favorites. Monster Blood would have been overkill with the blob already a main character, but I really missed seeing the sponge from It Came Beneath the Sink. Seeing the pointed-toothed dish scrubber would have been a hilarious twist ending. The story- (a few friends and R. L. Stine try to save the town from the monsters in his books that have come to life)- isn’t too overdone nor too inventive. I know it’s a kids movie and you don’t have to try hard when overcoming the plot holes, but there were so many and they were incredibly easy to find story fixes for. An example: the kids open a book and unleash a snowy monster. When they leave the room, we see another book’s lock snap open (although it was untouched). Later, the teens come back to find the book on the floor, where it opens and Slappy emerges. Now, if the book had just been shown knocked down on the floor, that would have made more sense, as at any time, if any of the books could just open and caused havoc… wouldn’t they!? Or the dummy in the bus scenario. There’s no way that they had the time to make a dummy, put it in the bus, and then the dummy drives the bus?! They could have easily asked someone- anyone- to drive the bus. I loved the teeny cameo of R. L. as the drama teacher, and surprisingly, the nostalgic end credits scene was my favorite part of the movie. It was totally unnecessary for this to be in 3D, as it was just what I like to call “3D effects” and not really 3D with shit flying in your face. Overall, it’s nice to see my favorite retro things come back all fresh and new, but I had low expectations and it didn’t exceed them.

photo credit: http://cdn.hitfix.com

Top Ten R. L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour Episodes (Seasons 1 & 2)

R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour is a modern-day teen horror show that started in 2010 and plays on YTV (and I’m sure some other channels).  It was extremely hard to pick a top ten for several reasons- I had no emotional childhood attachments to any of these episodes, there are a lot of creative ideas, and none of them are really scary, but they’re all pretty much Goosebumps-style twisty-ended. They all have teenage cheese and they’re all watchable. Here are my top ten most memorable episodes from seasons 1 and 2 of The Haunting Hour!

Let’s start off with my honorable mention:

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Really You, The Return of Lilly D

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So, as you should know by now, doll stuff really doesn’t scare me (dummies are a totally different story), and although I found the doll-scares lame as usual, I know that these are probably the “stand out” episodes for most people watching the show, just like the dummy series in Goosebumps. The episodes do, however, have some fine ingredients: the actors playing the bratty girl as well as the poor, innocent girl are both fantastic, and the doll itself is very well done and lifelike.

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10. Mascot

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This episode about a tired, old basketball mascot is silly but creepy and strange at the same time. As an adult, I kind of pictured the person underneath the yellow monster as being a lurky pedophile, dying to stay in high school forever. That is, until its head popped off.

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9.  Afraid of Clowns

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This kid’s paranoia got to me, and I felt pretty bad for him, having to deal with his fear head-on. I mean, if I had to be stalked by a bunch of giant spiders and then chill out in their web, I’d be horrified. The end kind of caught me off-guard, but it made me chuckle a little, which I guess is the intention of clowns anyway.

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8. Creature Feature

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A kid with a love for retro horror flicks gets trapped in a film himself with an ant-like monster. This was a really solid story with the right amounts of campy and tension. There are a few double-episode features in the series, but I didn’t really like any of them as much as this one.

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7. Dream Catcher

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Tween girls stay at a camp they’ve been having nightmares about. While some try to stay awake, others encounter an evil, black spider-creep that traps them in his dream web. A Nightmare on Elm Street meets Coraline meets Babadook in this episode centered around gal pals.

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6. The Walls

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A (hilariously over-acting) kid moves into a house where something sinister lurks behind the walls. This slimy creature also likes to be constantly fed syrup. Strangely adult, sickly yet playful, and perfectly intriguing with the usual surprise ending.

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5. Catching Cold

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A chubby kid longs for the perfect ice cream which rides in an evil ice cream truck. But the lure of the Kreamy Cold treat is too delicious to resist and the obsession gets more intense with each bite. I love a mix of horror and food, and I’ve never really seen an episode quite like this. Pass the neapolitan.

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4. Perfect Brother 

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Two ridiculously good-looking teen brothers uncover a horrible secret- the perfect brother is perfect for a reason! One will do anything to save the other, and the end is full of fun sci-fi twists. There have been many a kids horror novel about this particular robot-featuring story, but not many TV shows or films aside from Artificial Intelligence.

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3. Flight

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A boy gets on a plane with the reaper and learns a lesson about love and family. Suspicious looks from sinister old ladies make me uneasy and story was going great until the “magical lesson learned” part. My favorite line from the episode was “Do something totally unselfish and way cool”. Obviously written by a dad.

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2. Fear Never Knocks

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A brother and sister (Alex from Modern Family) play with their psychiatrist grandpa’s fear machine and unleash their biggest fears. This is the only one I actually found scary, and I had no previous fears of a makeuppy lady with a nylon over her head hiding in the closet. I now have that fear, thanks to this episode.

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1. Pool Shark

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Okay, this isn’t scary or amazingly well-acted or anything, and my favoritism for it might have something to do with the fact that I was planning for a trip to Hawai’i when I first watched it. Nevertheless, I was so into the episode, I didn’t really expect the ending for some reason. I liked that this one was about native Hawai’ian history, and similar to the Fear of Clowns episode, family secrets. (Oh, you’re afraid of something?? Well now you are that something.)

*side note: I find it odd that I’ve been watching this on YTV, and they’re really pushing the dating sites and adult diapers during the commercial breaks.

The Stuff (1985)

Score: 6.5/10

Length: 87

Language: English

Categories: 80s, sci-fi, horror-comedy, murderer, almost horror, good bad

I was saving this little gem for when I was able to get some good, white yogurt that resembled “the stuff”. I picked out some banana caramel (surprisingly not yellowy) Greek yogurt and spoon fed myself this fun little eighties bite of magic. Michael Moriarty is our likable 007 hero, but you also get to see a younger “Earl” from 2 Broke Girls, whose name in the movie is… Chocolate Chip.This film is about an alien goop that is marketed as dessert, but becomes addictive and then kills you from the inside. It features a few lame kill-scenes of awesomeness and charming characters. It’s also probably the inspiration for Goosebumps’ Monster Blood series and Scary Movie. The only thing that makes absolutely no sense to me is why they keep trying to burn the Jet Puffed. Are they trying to make s’mores?

photo credit: http://static1.1.sqspcdn.com/static/f/627490/18057296/1336344574933/the+stuff.jpg

Poltergeist (2015)

Score: 4.5/10* (+1 for being in 3D)

Length: 93

Language: English

Categories: recent. 2000s, remake, ghost, haunted house

This was the best Goosebumps episode I’ve ever seen! I mean… it was okay for a horror movie. It was super fun and entertaining to watch, but they missed a few of the best parts of the original and it all seemed to happen too quickly. It unfortunately had one of my most hated movie flaws- characters under-reacting to an insane situation. I also didn’t love how the very very end of the movie was put together- it was just lazy with excess film. On the other hand, I really enjoyed the effects and the imagination behind how the “otherworld closet”  was done. The acting wasn’t too painful, excusing the ho-hum reactions issue. You really have to go into this wanting to have a good time at the movies as opposed to wanting to be actually scared. The tension is short-lived, and this remake of a classic poltergeist story is just like the original in many ways- it’s cheesy, a great time, and when you watch it again years later, it won’t be as good as you remembered it.

* 10/10 if it was a Goosebumps episode

photo credit: http://cdn3-www.comingsoon.net/assets/uploads/2015/02/Poltergeist.jpg

Top Ten Goosebumps Episodes/ Books

In anticipation for the upcoming Goosebumps movie (or the film of the summer as I like to call it), I will be reviewing the most memorable Goosebumps books (and accompanying television episodes).

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Night of the Living Dummy, Night of the Living Dummy 2, Night of the Living Dummy 3, Bride of the Living Dummy, Slappy’s Nightmare, Revenge of the Living Dummy

Slappy is by far the most famous character from the Goosebumps book, which spawned a slew of sequels that were each magnificent in their own horrific way.

Most memorable: Every time Slappy gets “angry eyebrows”.

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Be Careful What You Wish For

A nerdy girl called Byrd meets a strange woman who gives her three wishes, which, of course, all go badly. Not original in the least, but a really fun episode when you’re a kid.

Most memorable: When the most popular girl in school becomes an obsessive stalker.

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The Haunted Mask

The duck costume, Mary-Beth’s annoying whiny innocence, and the mask you were just dying to have for Halloween but which probably would have cost about $200 makes this episode one of the best.

Most memorable: When Mary-Beth gets her own human-looking mask.

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Say Cheese and Die

Kids missing from pictures go missing in real life. The lasting image is the skeletons at the family barbecue (from the book cover).

Most memorable: When you watch this ten years later and see the camera like it’s the first time.

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Stay Out of the Basement

You better listen to plant-dad and stay the hell out of the basement. Kids, they never listen.

Most memorable: The typical “which one is the real one” scene where one dad has to be hosed.

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Welcome to Camp Nightmare

A two-parter with lots of page-turning suspense and a fun, supernatural twist on the last day of camp.

Most memorable: There aren’t any super memorable scenes but you tend to remember the ending and Larry’s teeth.

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More Monster Blood, Monster Blood, Monster Blood II, Monster Blood III

When I think about Goosebumps, I immediately picture lime green slime… turning into a giant blob monster… on a plane.. trying to get a kid with a mushroom cut.

Most memorable: The throbbing, growing, green blob of goop.

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It Came From Under the Sink

The classic tale of an evil kitchen sponge with teeth. Bonus! An evil potato with teeth.

Most memorable: I think it’s pretty obvious.

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Piano Lessons Can Be Murder

A kid doesn’t want to go to his piano lessons. It’s easy to see why as everyone in the piano business is insane.

Most memorable: The scene with all of the unattached floating hands playing the pianos are what nightmares are made of.

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One Day in Horrorland

A family accidentally ends up in Horrorland on the way to their family vacation. They go on the rides which turn out to be too scary for their liking and soon meet the amusement park’s employees- a bunch of monsters who run a horrible game show where humans are the victims.

Most memorable: The monsters.

photo credits:

http://www.cinemablend.com

http://www.teenidols4you.com

http://www.geeksohard.com

http://images.tvrage.com

http://bummertimes.com

http://vignette4.wikia.nocookie.net

https://spongey444.files.wordpress.com

http://i.ytimg.com

http://41.media.tumblr.com

https://bloggiusmaximus.files.wordpress.com

http://80sand90srevival.weebly.com/