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: Imprint

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: Takashi Miike (Audition, Ichi the Killer)

Evil Category: black-smear-toothed, red-headed whores

Score: five out of five skin-sweeping scars

In regular Takashi Miike form, this episode is strange and intense. Considering the rest of the season is at times a little dull and watered-down, this was a fun finish to season one. I saved this movie for a night with sushi, and I’m going to have to have another sushi night because I want to watch it again. There was just so much going on I don’t think I was able to absorb it all. It’s about this guy (he’s in Charmed, acting as badly as he does in this episode) who is looking for his lost lover. Instead, he learns of her torturous death through the stories of a woman with distorted features. This gnarly, complex episode features everything from a weird little pimp with a nose scab to a conjoined hand twin. (What?!) At the same time, the colours are rich, the costumes are intricate, and it’s beautifully filmed. I didn’t love everything about it, but for sure, the best episode so far.

Sharknado Series Special

As construction season ends and the storms of fall begin, it’s time for one last hurrah! It’s the Summer storm Sharknado spectacular!

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Sharknado (2013)

Score: five out of five octopus tidal waves

Length: 86

Best Line: “Hey man, there’s a shark in your pool.”

Movies such as this is why I love good-bad movies so much. It’s exactly what you’d expect and more. Action-packed from start to finish, the movie is pretty self-explanatory. It revolves around (literally) our heroes- Ian Ziering as Fin Shepard and Tara Reid as April Wexler as they manuever a strange “natural” phenomena of tornadoes spinning with an array of sharks. Cheesy script and horrible CGI galore, nom nom nom. Poor acting, accents you can barely understand, ridiculous names, and so many levels of nonsensical water situations. But all mostly on purpose, obviously. A lot of the movie was a wet and splashy traffic jam full of starved, freak sharks. A great movie to watch in the bath. Sure, grab some toy cars and plastic sharks.

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Sharknado 2: The Second One (2014)

Score: three out of five platypus tsunamis

Length: 95

Best Line: “Even the sharknadoes are tougher in New York.”

Sharks on a plane! In New York! Our main two characters are back, and this one includes a whole slew of celebs including Kelly Osbourne, one of the girls from The Craft, Vivica A. Fox, old man Sugar Ray (Mark McGrath), Andy Dick as a cop, Kelly Ripa, Judd Hirsch, Billy Ray Cyrus, Matt Lauer, Al Roker, Biz Markie, and a bunch of others. It was a lot of the same old- bombs and sharks and water. I enjoyed the sharks on fire in this one, and the New York setting but there weren’t that many differences; they needed to kick it up a notch. The second-go involved quite a few more painful acting scenes and heroic speeches than th first, and that took some extra patience to sit through. I mean, he even chain saws through a shark again. Pulling out her hand from a shark’s mouth to get her wedding ring was pretty outrageously funny though (in the lamest way possible).

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Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! (2015)

Score: three out of five king crab sinkholes

Length: 88

Best Line: “Sharks… in… space!”

On to number three, and from the title I’m expecting an increased dosage of hilariousness. But this time, we’re in Washington/ The White House. I was really hoping for Hawai’i or even Texas this time. Even Canada! The sharks could fight grizzly bears. Luckily, they end up in space, and so do… the sharks. The characters are comprised of our usual family, and I’m pretty over Fin and his stank face at this point. Added to the crew are the dirty and determined Frankie Muniz and Cassie Scerbo. As we’re onto number three, I’ve seen a lot of sharks die at this point, so I’m starting to feel bad for them and their inevitable extinction. You get to a point where you’re bored of the plot and begin to dissect the “veiled” stupidity of these movies, but then suddenly- luckily- you are distracted by a laser chain saw, sharks boinking against a spaceship, and a difficult struggle inside of a shark… in space… getting fried by he sun. And then I actually had to pause the movie when I saw the baby- I was laughing too hard. Here’s to Sharknado 4!

Language: English (USA)

Categories: 2000s, recent, monster, animal, horror comedy, good-bad, recommended, Painful Movie Mondays

photo credits: i.ytimg.com, www.btchflcks.com, womenwriteaboutcomics.com

Masters of Horror: Homecoming

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: Joe Dante (Piranha, Gremlins)

Evil Category: bland military zombies

Score: one useless ballot out of five

No, this is not about some sort of evil teen queen, it’s just another lame zombie movie. A political writer makes a scene on a news talk show, stating that if soldiers were alive, they’d vote on his side. Then a bunch of undead soldiers come out of their graves in order to vote. They obviously vote for the opposition, and when things don’t go their way, the eating of flesh begins. As you can tell from my magical synopsis, this episode is definitely not the star of the season. I mean, it’s okay, it’s there, but it’s not memorable. It’s supposed to be funny, but as I am watching this after almost a decade of zombie madness, if you’re in the genre you’ve really got to impress.

photo: http://ilarge.lisimg.com/image/full-masters-of-horror/homecoming-screenshot.jpg

Masters of Horror: Sick Girl

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: Lucky McKee (May, The Woman, All Cheerleaders Die)

Evil Category: Branch Bugs

Score: three out of five gushing boil ears

This episode is one of the highest rated, but I have to say that I’m a little disappointed. With a title like Sick Girl, I was either expecting to see someone with a horrible flu strain or a demented serial killer girl. It’s actually about a entomologist who begins a relationship with a woman she sees drawing fairies outside of her work place. Her apartment is full of bugs in cages, but her landlord isn’t having it, and right after she gets yelled at about it, Dr. Bug loses a horrible, branchy-looking bug who puts its gross little pinchers inside of her girlfriends’ ear. This creates a disgusting bubbly ear-disease and eventually she is turned into an insect-person. I get that the story is about moving too quickly in a relationship and that it’s supposed to be more comedy than horror but that didn’t make it any better. And I have to say, that although the main actress was fantastic in May, she was so painfully awkward and goofy in this, it was hard to watch.

photo: http://ilarge.lisimg.com/sick-girl-screenshot.jpg

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

season 1 episode 1 & 2, season 2 episode 18

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

season 2 episode 8

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

season 2 episodes 1 & 2

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

season 2 episode 12

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

season 1 episode 8

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

season 1 episode 17

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 

season 1 episode 20

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

season 2 episode 4

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

season 1 episode 11

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

season 1 episode 18

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.

Masters of Horror: Jenifer

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: Dario Argento (Suspiria, Opera, Inferno)

Evil Category: deformed, devouring diva

Score: one out of five floppy freak boobs

I saw this episode a few years ago, and I gave it a big   (:/ )   . Watching it again, I mean, it’s a relatively unused idea, although a predictable and eye roll-inducing journey, and the end has a very circle-of-life “twist”. It’s all about the cringe- lust versus revulsion, and revulsion won for me; Jenifer’s lumpy, white tongue made me want to throw up. The director is just having a little fun here, and you’ll have to excuse the less-than-believable script and frequent goofs and plot holes. Let me be Frank (from the episode) here, it’s pretty much a story about having a woman-beast as a pet, and this doesn’t fly so well with me.

photo:http://3.bp.blogspot.com/Jenifer-eye.jpg