Saturday, September 17, 2022

A History of Horror: Paperbacks from Hell

A History of Horror: Paperbacks From Hell

R. L. Stine has not published another Fear Street (as far as I know - you'll let me know if he did though, right?) But I read a lot of horror, including books about horror, and when I came across this absolute gem, I thought it was only fair to share with you guys!

 I've somehow become a horror writer myself, which is still surprising. Although maybe not so much, considering: this blog. If you want to read some of my horror stories, or get more info about some of my work soon to be published, check out my website at And if you'd like me to post more here on Shadyside Snark, I'd love to hear what you're interested in! I see that R. L. has a new TV series coming out on Disney - if anyone wants me to recap that, let me know in the comments! 

I randomly came across this absolute gem of a book Paperbacks From Hell: The Twisted History of '70s and '80s Horror Fiction. It's written by Grady Hendrix, a horror writer himself and obviously a great lover of the genre. He began collecting vintage horror paperbacks in the remote recesses of used bookstores, to the great delight of anyone who can't get enough of these covers. Not that I know anything at all about random collections of obscure horror ...

Hendrix separates these vintage horror books into categories, from Satan's spawn to evil animals to splatterpunk (ugh, not my vibe). His collection is vast, these covers are beautiful or grotesque or cheesy, or sometimes, somehow, all three. And he is also very, very funny. I especially love when he would offer life advice throughout:

"Even if, despite [all] precautions, you have given birth to the spawn of Satan, all is not lost. Look on the bright side: deadly children are the best-dressed children."

Truth. I enjoyed reading about a general history of horror, which began in early days as gothic romances, which are essential adult dark fairy tales (think Jane Eyre, Frankenstein and Rebecca). But the '70s style of cheesy horrors began with a set of intensely creepy novels that captured the world's imagination by storm in the 1960s: Rosemary's Baby, by Ira Levin, The Other, by Thomas Tryon, and The Exorcist, by William Peter Blatty. These books were commercial successes and some went on to become very successful films. But if you love horror, you've probably seen Rosemary's Baby and The Exorcist, still terrifying in this day and age.

Once it was established that people wanted to buy novels like this, there was no holds barred on what was published over the next 25-ish years. It includes the good, the bad, and the bat-shit crazy. Some were intriguing and well-written, most were not, and it provides excellent entertainment looking back on these books. The cover art alone is breathtaking, with some of the best artists of the day creating gorgeous paintings designed to make the book jump off the shelf. Contrary to the old adage, we do absolutely judge a book by its cover, and cover art is almost the most important element to book sales! When the cover artist is paid more than the author, you know there's a reason why.

Of course, I was most interested in whether Hendrix covered my one-and-only when it comes to horror, and he did not disappoint. However, horror for a younger audience arose from the ashes of the adult horror boom. With the spectacular success of Silence of the Lambs, adult horror made the shift from overtly cheesy to the more subtle label "thriller," and the early '90s spelled the end of many horror publishers. Right at the time, though, the horror industry saw a massive revival with a younger generation, with Point Horror novels and Christopher Pike's horror-philosopher craziness. And of course, our darling R. L. Stine, who broke into the horror scene with the first Fear Street novel in 1989, The New Girl.

I love reading about the sequence of horror books, and I wonder where things will go next. There's no doubt our appetite for horror isn't going anywhere!

If you're into vintage horror, check out the Too Much Horror Fiction blog, by Will Erickson, who in fact co-wrote Paperbacks From Hell

If you're looking for even more horror book reviews, I review witchy books every week - you can see that here at Curl Up With a Good Blog!

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Drop Dead Gorgeous or "You Don't Want to Drink Blood With Me? Ugh, Such a Square!"

I am back with the recap of the third book in this new Fear Street Series, Drop Dead Gorgeous. Full disclosure, I had to return this book to the library immediately after I finished it, and about two weeks before I wrote this recap. Safe to say... my memory has failed me in some parts. Also, when I went to check Goodreads for some background info, the book description was just wrong? They mention a boyfriend named Ben… who does not exist in this book. Is there another Fear Street book out there brewing? One can only dream!

Drop Dead Gorgeous starts out on a high note with a diary entry - always one of my favorite Fear Street tropes. The writer self-describes herself as a dead girl looking for a fresh start. Aren’t we all.

We meet our main characters in the first chapter: Julie (pretty/regular Fear Street girl), Amber (bad hair and smart), Liam (nondescript boy), Zane (quiet and shy), and Delia (small and mousy) and Winks (Delia’s boyfriend). They have met at a comedy club because even though Zane is shy and quiet, he’s suddenly decided to go into stand-up comedy and it’s an open mic night. This sounds like a legit nightmare. They’re sneaking wine (!) and Delia and Winks are arguing, which is apparently their thing. 

While Zane is doing his set, all the boys (including Zane!) get distracted by the most gorgeous girl in the world coming into the club. Winks is essentially drooling which makes Delia upset. (This new girl is described as having (of course) the most beautiful red hair. R.L. loves his redheads and I was pleased one was included!) One of the guys invites her over to their table and Julie thinks about how she doesn’t like this new girl, haha.

New girl might be super hot but she’s also super weird! She makes them oddly guess her name, which turns out to be Morgan Marks. Julie thinks she is flirting with all the boys, but in a weird way.  She won’t tell them anything about herself like where she’s living or where she’s from. Morgan tells them all she doesn’t get jokes - so why was she in a comedy club then? “Fresh blood”.

In an interesting turn, the next chapter is done from another persons perspective - Bernie, a veteran comedian who was on after Zane. He describes the most beautiful redhead coming up to him and then… sinking her teeth into his neck! Vampire book! L.K. Stine will be SO jealous!  

Morgan starts at their high school that week and Delia and Winks are already fighting over her. We find out a little bit more about these characters like that Julie has been into Zane for a while now but hasn’t told him, and that Liam is super into frisbee. Cool. I really wish I had the book to reference right now, because I have a note that says “blood buddies!” and have no idea what that’s about. Oh well!

Anyways, the four boys (Winks included) make a bet to see who can get Morgan to "fall" for them first. Julie’s mom is the principal, and through her we find out that Morgan doesn’t have a school record. Dun dun dunnnn.

Winks sees Morgan walking home and picks her up. Instead of going home, she suggests they get to know each other and they head to the make-out spot of town. Love it. While making out, Winks actually passes out (?) and realizes he needs to get to his job before he gets fired? So strange and he is so relaxed about losing consciousness. When he finally gets there, he’s assaulted by a man named Cal who claims to be Delia’s step-brother, who tells Winks to “stay away from her”! Delia or Morgan? It’s unclear… Either way, bad day for Winks as he gets fired for being late and also making a mess while being beaten. Harsh!

A few days later, Morgan is hanging out with Liam at his house. They’re making pizza when Liam cuts himself. Obviously, Morgan does the rational thing of licking up his blood. When I read that, I suddenly realized I had read this book before! 

Except no, I hadn’t. I was remembering one of my last recaps of The Lost Girl. It also features an unusual new girl who tricks boys about her name (weird), refuses to tell anyone where she lives (weird) and also pricks their fingers and whispers “now we’re bloods” (WEIRDEST).  I felt like I was going a bit nuts for a second, but luckily my recap set me straight. But what’s up with the character repeat? So strange.

So we also find out via Julie and her principal mom that Morgan Marks apparently died five years ago. When Julie confronts Morgan about it, she laughs it off because she is very clearly not dead. But we also find out that Morgan is from... Shadyside! That would have been a cool reveal if I hadn’t assumed that this book was taking place in Shadyside, whoops! I think we also find out that her real name is actually Morgan FEAR at this point but I forget when that comes up. There is another girl named Morgan Marks from Shadyside. Surprise ruined, maybe!

Morgan hooks up with Winks again, and makes out with him until his lips bleed. Like a true R.L. character, he likes it. Cal shows up again and threatens Winks so Winks goes to Delia’s house. Delia is weirded out, both by Winks swollen and bleeding lips (wtf) and by the story Winks tells her about Cal. Because she doesn’t have a step-brother! Which feels like something her boyfriend should know about her. Damn, Winks is a bad boyfriend.

But a good cousin! Winks goes to babysit his little cousin Spencer, as he does every Thursday night. Morgan shows up even after her told her not to, but he forgets all about that because she is there to hardcore make out. Bring on some bleeding lips??

Unfortunately for Winks, while they are making out, Morgan suddenly becomes very old and decrepit. She attacks and bites him all over and he attempts to run out of the house and escape to his car (I guess f*ck his little cousin Spencer, amirite?).

Delia is hanging out with Julie and is getting worried about Winks. He always calls her once Spencer is in bed, and tonight he’s not picking up his phone. The girls decide to go over to Spencer’s house to check. When they get there, they see that Spencer’s parents have come home and are freaking out because the door was wide open and Winks is gone. Spencer is thankfully alive.

Delia goes outside to call Winks again when she trips over his body. Dun dun dun! The police are called and a police officer says that the crime scene is already polluted so it doesn’t matter if more people come to the house. If that isn’t some classic Fear Street detective work…  The coroner also casually tells the girls that there were two sets of bite marks. Hmmm, two vampires??

Morgan arrives at the scene of the crime and is ultra dramatic - like falling to her knees and crying/screaming. Listen, I don't want to tell anyone how to grieve but that's a bit much for someone who just met Winks (oh and murdered him). We cut to Cal who is creepily watching them all.

The next chapter is a Morgan FEAR chapter! Amazing! She is apparently a super goth and BFF with the other Morgan in town, Morgan Marks. The two Morgan's spend a lot of time at the Shadyside Mall because what else are two goth girls going to do? They unfortunately get bullied and egged one day by a bunch of boys, so Morgan Fear does some fancy family magic to make the boys all itchy. Some pretty wholesome magic for a Fear, I gotta say.

Original Morgan Marks (OGMM) has a terrible boyfriend and Morgan Fear is out to prove it to OGMM. Turns out it's not so hard. See, OGMM's boyfriend is a tattoo artist and he invited her to his studio to get a tattoo for her birthday. Except when they arrive, he's making out with another girl. Dude wants to be caught at this point! The girls don't say anything and leave to plot their revenge. Like all Fears, Morgan Fear has some ideas. 

And oh boy, is Morgan Fear's revenge plot super weird. The girls go back the next day and are all "oh OGMM wants her tattoo and Morgan Fear also wants a tattoo. We're going to choose them for each other!". So Morgan Fear goes first and gets her tattoo and then when it's time to tattoo OGMM, Morgan Fear does a spell that knocks out the boyfriend. My notes finally tell me his name is Lanny. The girls revenge is they are going to tattoo Lanny while he's unconscious! Couldn't they have...just knocked him out when they came in? So strange. I guess Morgan Fear got a free tattoo.

Anyways, Morgan Fear goes to tattoo Lanny and somehow screws up so royally that he starts to bleed profusely. And her solution is to... lick up the blood? Uh. 

OGMM is also as disturbed as me, but Morgan Fear keeps going and actually just starts drinking all his blood until he's drained dry. (A human stomach couldn't hold that much blood, right? Ugh, revolting). The girls leave and OGMM yells at Morgan Fear for killing her boyfriend and also being a horrifying vampire. Morgan Fear tells her "you're just paralyzed to try anything new" which seriously made me howl with laughter. "You don't want to drink blood with me? Ugh, such a square!"

Okay so the next part makes the least sense. The girls get into a horrible car accident and they both die. But somehow Morgan Fear is thinking "I'm dead! I know how to cheat death!" Then reaches into her purse (?), takes out a syringe of something (??), and takes it and all her bones un-break and she becomes alive again (???). But it makes her a blood thirsty creature? Or was she already because she just killed Lanny. In no world did it make sense! Anyways, she flees the scene, OGMM dies and Morgan Fear takes her identity.

Back to now. The group is talking about poor Winks and how he was drained of all his blood. Meanwhile, a lovely lunch lady (who happens to be Liam's mom) gets into a small disagreement with Morgan. Later that night Morgan kills and drinks her blood as revenge. K.

Liam can't find his mom so he and Zach go to the school to look for her. They find her (dead) as well as (an alive) Cal lurking around the cafeteria! They knock him out and call the police. When he comes to, he shows them all his card that says "Professional Vampire Hunter". Hahaha! I'm so into that. Why don't more homicidal maniacs try that plan?

There's a weird diary sequence where the vampire goes to Liam's mom's funeral and eats the funeral director.

During this time, the teens have been working to plan the 25th high school reunion for the class of 1995. It's actually a great idea by R.L. because it means that he gets to pepper the teens discussions with 90s trivia, truly where he lives. Although somethings are off, like the dance has a poster of Rugrats? Odd.

Anyways, Liam and the girls are working on the invitations for the reunion and he starts to tell them about how Morgan one time licked up his blood and maybe they should consider her being a vampire? Morgan, of course overhears and goes so hard into denying it, she makes a joke about Liam's dead mom. WTF Morgan. They also find out that the funeral director was murdered and just keep on working. I guess they weren't really close to him, but it still seemed a bit callous. So much murder!

This book is too long. This recap is too long. I'm gonna speed it up to get to the weird ending! This are the notes I took until the ending:

  • Zane and Julie kiss (aww)

  • Cal is at door

  • Morgan and Zane talk - she invites him over

  • Morgan tried to feed off Zane but Delia interrupts

  • Cal tells the group that Morgan is the vampire (but is she a vampire…?)

It seems like the next day is the reunion dance party, which I know is insane because they were just making the invitations. Listen, if you want a story to make sense chronologically, you're gonna need to take your business elsewhere. Anyways, the dance is getting going and then…

Morgan arrives and brings zombies?! There's a big fight between a bunch of zombies and these poor people who just wanted to dance to "Waterfalls" with their high school friends. It's so weird because it comes out of the blue! Why does Morgan bring zombies to kill everyone?? What's the point?

Morgan and Delia have a tussle and Morgan bites her...but doesn't like how Delia tastes. Hmm. Delia cuts off Morgans head and kills her. The best is the description of the zombies after that as they "murmur and look around". Do they just shuffle out awkwardly?? WHAT IS HAPPENING.

Anyways, the rest of the gang survives and we (the reader) find out that Delia is also a vampire and was the one that killed the funeral director as well as Winks after Morgan started to eat him. She caught him in the driveway and finished him off.

The end.

Just… What?

I know I'm probably more confused than I should be because I can't go back and check the book and my notes are extremely poor. But there was some truly insane stuff.

  1. Was Morgan a vampire?? She took some special Fear serum so she wouldn't die (or maybe came back from the dead? It's very unclear to me). I think she would maybe decay without blood… but why did she drink that guys blood before she died?! Just a Fear thing?

  2. What's up with that zombie attack? It totally blew Morgan's cover. Why wouldn't she just continue slowly eating her friends and their families then move to a new town? It's like she doesn't even want to be a successful vampire.

  3. I saw the twist of Delia being a vampire but her killing Winks makes ZERO sense. She was with Julie the whole time and then they found his body together. I think that was maybe just poor editing.

  4. I'm sure I have another million questions but I just can't with this book anymore.

I hope you enjoyed this lengthy, meandering recap that has lead to so many questions. I give Drop Dead Gorgeous 12 maybe-vampires out of 18. Honestly, points off for gaping plot holes!

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Fear Street 1666, or "To Carrie is a Verb, Right?"

Time for the third installment of the Fear Street trilogy, and I am so excited to see how this creepy story wraps up! So far, things seem dire. Just when Deena and Josh think they can end the Shadyside curse, Deena is pulled into Sarah Fier's life more than three centuries ago!

Deena is Sarah, but when you see reflections of the character, it's a different, although similar woman, so Deena is experiencing what happened to Sarah. Amazing, I love this concept! She's living on a homestead, in the small settlement of Union, birthing pigs and being sassy. This is not a hounded witch, but a member of the community. She tells her father she won't marry Solomon Goode (!), despite the fact that his wife is dead and he is possibly interested. Another potentially evil Goode?

Oh my goodness, Kate and Simon are here! While they have different names and speak in English-y accents, they clearly remain Deena's naughty friends. All the characters in Union are played by characters from the first two movies, and I love this continuity. Constance and Abigail are Cindy and Ziggy from Camp Nightwing. And then Hannah Miller shows up and ... it's Sam! Sarah Fier and Hannah Miller are clearly as in love with each other in this time as they are in the '90s. I'm swooning, this is all very romantic.

Hannah is the pastor's daughter. Thomas (who played Tommy/Burlap Head in other films) is a creepy religious guy portending doom. Sarah is bringing a piglet to Solomon Goode, who is played by Sheriff Goode. They're friends, and Solomon seems kind.

Lizzie (Kate) is bringing Hannah and Sarah into the woods to visit the widow who lives outside the settlement, and apparently practices witchcraft (even though Soloman warned Sarah not to be out that night). The widow essentially knows Indigenous medicines and handles abortions for women, so obvs she's "evil." When the full moon rises before the sun sets, she's open for business, which does seem to be a bit of a sketchy time, although I think I want to put that on my business card.

When they arrive at her hovel, the widow isn't there but Sarah finds her grimoire. She reads a spell about Satan before the widow arrives and knocks the book away (hi, Nurse Lane!) Sarah shouldn't be messing with things she doesn't know about. Lizzie manages to find the "berries" she had come for (which is a cute nod to the fruit codes she put on her drug business in the first movie). The girls go to a clearing where the young people gather and eat crazy berries and it's a pilgrim party.

A grabby guy tries to feel up Hannah (her vanilla boyfriend!), and Sarah defends her. They run into the woods and have a hot and sweet makeout session. But somebody sees them! Hannah says they'll be hung for what they did, but Sarah says let them because she was never alive before now. Swoon!

Next day, everything is wrong. The pastor is behaving weird, and Sarah's father denounces her as an abomination. All of the food spoils suddenly and the happy Mama pig eats all of her babies. Sarah kills her with an axe. Something is stuck in the well, and it turns out to be the corpse of Sarah's dog.

Thomas has told everyone about Sarah and Hannah and says the devil has come. Wow, the whole town atmosphere changed from contented to messed up overnight. Solomon comes to find Sarah, and she confesses she's not sure it isn't her - because she loves Hannah! Solomon is sweet and comforting, telling her she can't be evil without inviting it in.

Screaming. Pastor Miller has locked all the children in the church and mothers are desperate to get to them. Sullivan breaks down the door. All the children are motionless in the pews. Oh god, and there's ... entrails on the floor? Oh no, it's eyesballs. All of their eyeballs.

The town goes into riot mode. Isaac (Simon) tries to tell them all they just drank apple jack and danced like fun-loving teens, but Hannah's ogre would-be boyfriend accuses Hannah and Sarah of laying with the devil. The town runs after the two girls who had been listening at the window. Only Hannah is caught by a mob, while the womenfolk look on terrified and baffled as the men go effing nuts.

Sarah comes to rescue Hannah, but Hannah tells her to run, there's no saving her. They've already decided she's guilty. Sarah decides she'd actually rather make a deal with the devil. I love this! If they want a witch, I'll give them a witch. But when she gets to the widow, she finds her murdered and someone has stolen the grimoire. Sarah thinks someone else has already made a deal with the devil, and Solomon believes her.

The men search Solomon's house while Sarah is there, so she hides in his cellar. Only it leads to the caves with the witch's mark! And the grimoire! It's all Goode! I knew he was evil! (Seriously, I was so excited at this point). Solomon was the one who saw Sarah with Hannah in the forest all along.

The disgusting pulsing thing emerges. Solomon has already sacrificed Pastor Miller, giving his name to be possessed by the devil. One person every few years for the price of power - that's how the Shadyside curse works. Solomon wants Sarah and tries to bring her to the dark side, but she stabs him. Reasonable.

She flees through the twisting caves, where she comes to the ... outhouse exit? I don't know how else to describe it. She tries to climb out but Goode gets to her. He tells her he loves her while attacking her, then cuts off her hand. She manages to crawl away and finds her way to the meeting house. Solomon is right behind her, claiming he found the witch.

There is a very disturbing torch-wielding mob. I feel like you're probably never on the right side of history if you are wielding a torch in your hand. Like, just don't. The girls are shackled, while their friends look on, horrified. 

After a lingering look, Sarah confesses to witchcraft to save Hannah, saying she used witchery on her as well. As Solomon wraps her in chains, she says the truth will come out, and she will shadow him forever.

She is hung. Her friends dig up her body and move it to the forest, giving her a proper burial. Sarah Fier was good and she was loved. The truth is her curse to Goode - she would follow him forever until everyone knows. This was a devastating scene, and my god this movie is tragically romantic. Also, feminist, thank god. I have such issues with the "evil witch" trope, which was my one hold-back from loving the first two movies, that all the horror comes from an evil woman. Now that I know it comes from a long line of evil men, well. That makes more sense.

Part Two (haha, this is in like, every Fear Street book)

Back to 1994, Deena comes back to herself with all these memories. And, oh shit, Sheriff Goode just pulled up. He pulls a gun on them. Can I just say I called it FROM THE START. Sheriff Motherfucking Evil. The teens do what anyone would do in this situation, and steal his car.

So to recap within my recap, the Goodes of Sunnyvale trade Shadysiders to the devil. That person is possessed by the devil who kills and feeds off of that murder - and the Goodes get whatever they want. And this also means that - Nick Goode was the one who named Tommy Slater. The Sheriff was the cause of the Nightwing Massacre. When they tell Ziggy, she's horrified. Nick Goode might actually love her, but he is hella fucked up.

Now, all of the killers are going to be after the small group of people trying to stop them: Deena, Josh, Ziggy, and a zombie-esque Sam who is still growling in chains. They need to kill Nick Goode. And they're going to need help.

Then the best line of the entire trilogy comes up when they pull up in the yard of Martin, the guy they helped escape from jail in the first movie.

Josh: Want to help us kill Sheriff Goode?

Martin: Let me get my coat.


I'm going to reiterate that it's messed up they kept the hanging tree as the centrepiece of the Shadyside Mall, but what else are you going to get in Fear Street? Deena gives an inspiring speech that they're doing this for all their loved ones, and prepare the Mall to some wicked Offspring beats. The plan: they will use Deena's blood as a lure to get each of the killers into a different mall store, then release the gate and lock them in.

Only they are stopped by the mall cops! This isn't going to go well, as the demonic killers begin to arrive. The psycho mailman stabber gets there first. I'm surprised Ziggy doesn't have a PTSD breakdown from seeing the thing that knifed her to death before, I think she's awfully resilient. The killers walk right by Josh and Ziggy and Martin, following Deena's blood tracks. Ooh, Ruby Lane hasn't shown up yet, she's the creepiest. She needs her own show.

The plan is working, some of the killers are locked away, but then they go still. Ziggy says it's him.

She faces Sheriff Goode down at the hanging tree and Carrie's him, dousing him in Deena's blood. Then they release all the killers, sending them after the man who raised them. But Nick grabs Ziggy as a shield, so maybe he doesn't love her all that much, god, so Deena slices her hand to distract them. She runs to a back part of the mall and finds a grate that leads to the cave system. Goode has been stabbed but follows her down.

Upstairs, the remaining team covers the killers in Deena's blood and they go after each other. Only Sam gets free and goes downstairs too. The malformed child and Ruby just showed up, and they are out for blood. Only Josh is ready to fight them.

Deena finds the pulsating evil, only to be tackled by Sam. Before she hurts Deena, though, Sam stops, as though remembering her, and Deena knocks her out. Nick is there and stabs Deena, but before he can kill her, she forces his hand on the pulsating evil.

Sarah Fier comes back, making him see all his victims from the start to the end. Then she possesses Deena's body and stabs him in the eye.

The killers explode and the pulsing evil is finally gone! Sam is back and they kiss. More happy news: Deena wasn't stabbed! She had made a stab-proof vest out of Fear Street novels and duct tape. My god, I love this movie!

The carved names on the wall disappear, as does the witch's mark. Sam and Deena leave the cave together, to a weird house mounted with goat heads everywhere. Yup, that would be the Goode house.

Bad things start to happen to Sunnyvalers. The Sheriff is named the Shadyside Killer, and Shadyside starts to feel hope again. Ziggy goes to find Nurse Lane, and they reconcile. Josh meets a cute nerdy girl. And Deena and Sam go to Sarah's resting place, where the carve: Sarah Fier, the first Shadysider. And they kiss! It all ends happily ever after. I love this so much. Nothing will destroy my happiness that ... oops, somebody left that pesky grimoire lying about. And in the credits, somebody reaches out and snatches it!

Guys, how much did you love the Fear Street trilogy! I got over my fear of horror movies to see this through, and I was not disappointed. 18 out of 18 tragic love stories that finally get their sort of happy ending!

Monday, October 4, 2021

Return to Fear Street: The Wrong Girl, or "Overreacting Teens, Overreacting"

This second book in the revamped Fear Streets was reminiscent of the series I know and like to snark on. A group of teens get into trouble, and things spin out of control on Fear Street. My issue was the POV kept on changing, and I had trouble keeping up!

Part One: Six weeks before the Robbery

Poppy is a bored teen poet and pretty whiny at that. She meanly describes all the other kids in her group of friends, including Keith, her boyfriend she is so over. Others she snarks on include bestie Ivy, her boyfriend Jeremy, and Manny. They are SO BORED at the mall, and I remember when I had all that time on my hands. Must be nice.

But then Poppy sees new kid Jack, who is attractive and intense. Also, we know he's a badass because he has an earring AND a tattoo. He convinces them to play a prank, letting in a bunch of stray dogs into a pet store. Keith is out, and Poppy thinks he's so lame. The rest of them get the whole thing on video and post it on YouTube, becoming internet darlings. Poppy lets Jack drive her home, and they make out. I guess she's really over Keith and into dangerous guys.

Heather, Poppy's sister, is furious Poppy didn't invite her in on the prank, but Poppy can't really stand her lame younger sister and tells her she doesn't have any friends of her own. Ouch, Poppy is just plain mean.

The next day, Poppy auditioned for the school play, up against her arch-nemesis Rose, a beautiful bitch. Poppy craps on her audition and is upstaged when her sister shows up and stabs herself in the heart. Obviously, it's with a stage knife and, like, super melodramatic.

We change to Ivy's POV, thinking about how her boyfriend is a Martian. Does anyone in this book like who they are dating? It's just like high school! Jeremy is super allergic to everything. Keith calls Ivy to see what's going on with Poppy, and Ivy is uncomfortable because she can see the writing on the wall with Keith. When Ivy goes to Poppy's that night, Jack is already there, and she thinks Keith doesn't stand a chance.

Rose very bitchily tells Poppy she didn't get any part in the play, and Poppy shows off her impressive temper. She stabs her ... but of course not for real, just a fantasy. Classic Fear Street.

Poppy has her friends over that night to plan their next prank, to cheer her up from being such a bad actress. She wants to target Rose, like putting a laxative in her drink. Jack pooh-poohs (see what I did there?) the idea. Instead, he suggests a fake car wreck, staged at an intersection near the school so no one can get there to watch the play. They're all in and name their prank group Shadyside Shade. Ooh, guys, how great would it be if they had called it Shadyside Snark? I would die.

Now Keith's POV. He's a stressed-out boy. He goes to Poppy's to find comfort but instead finds her with all their friends and Jack, and he didn't get an invite. He races home, downs some rum and starts cutting himself. Whoa, Keith has demons.

It's the day of the big play, and Poppy has just broken up with Keith (and kinda broke him). She and Ivy are on their way to the staged accident, where they lightly bump their cars together, blocking the intersection. Then, for greater effect, Poppy puts a smoke machine in Ivy's car. Except it actually set fire to the car, which then explodes. Whoops.

The cops investigate, and one of them is Manny's brother. Poppy agrees that all of this is her fault and is ready to accept the consequences ... just kidding! Ivy is in super trouble because it was her parent's car that exploded, and she's furious with Poppy. And Keith is feeling pretty good about being dumped and losing all his friends - not! He goes to buy beer with a high school dropout who works at the Pic-n-Pay, who confesses to stalking girls. Then Keith cuts himself. This book should come with a trigger warning.

Poppy is now working at the hamburger joint, Lefty's. Ooh, Rose comes in with Heather. Maybe they formed an I Hate Poppy Club. In a massive overreaction, Poppy smashes a burger into Rose's face. Ooh, that temper! And yeah, she's fired.

Heather's POV: she's hanging with Rose after the burger incident. Rose says she's never taken Poppy seriously, which is such a burn because, as Heather says, Poppy is obsessed with Rose.

Jack gets the gang together, telling them the best thing to do would be to rob a store as a prank. Poppy is in, mainly to impress Jack. He's targeted the Pic-n-Pay, the same place with the creepy guy who stalks girls - so that's not great. They all agree, then Jack and Poppy make out, like, a lot.

Ivy, Poppy and Jeremy case the joint. Run by a guy named Harlow, who seems really nice - but it's okay, he'll be in on the prank because it's good publicity. There's a moment where they discuss Oreo flavours and how they keep on coming up with new ones and nobody likes them - it's true. Do Carrot Cake Oreos actually exist? Ew. Poppy runs into stalker guy in the storage closet. He's so creepy, and her gut instinct tells her to run away, and then he calls her by her name, which is devastating. How did he know?

They prepare for the prank, but just before they go into the store, Jack hands Poppy a gun, telling her it's real but loaded with blanks. But when they hold Harlow up, he doesn't act like he's in on it and tries to discourage them. Then he reaches for his gun, and Jack screams at Poppy to shoot.

She freaks out and shoots him in the head. Holy shit, the whole thing is caught on camera. Jack laughs until he realizes Harlow is actually dead.

Part Two

Poppy stops to vomit everywhere as they flee. Her mom comes home from her fascinating work experimenting with giant hornets (oh god, this was written before the murder hornet crisis, right? Did RL know something?). Poppy confesses what she did, but her mom didn't hear her, so that was a lot of nothing.

Manny calls Poppy because she needs to turn herself in, he accidentally posted the video, and it's everywhere. If she goes to his brother, he'll be kind to her. Poppy arrives there by herself and confesses. The cop takes her to the crime scene.

Harlow is there, and he's fine. Everybody's laughing and cheering. It was all a prank ... on Poppy! Jack orchestrated it all because ... he's actually with Rose and had been stringing Poppy along as a joke. That's black, man; I don't condone that. Was Rose cool with him making out with her all the time? Wtf?

As to be expected, Poppy loses her exceptional temper and vows revenge on all of them. Again, massive overreaction. I think it would be appropriate to be happy you are not, in fact, a murderer, and the nice man you thought you killed was still alive? But no. Poppy is all me me me.

Part Three

Poppy is feeling sorry for herself - she has such mean friends! Ex-friends, now that she refuses to speak to any of them. She's working as a taxi dispatcher now, and when she leaves, she is stalked by extremely creepy stalker guy. He is intensely rapey but finally lets her go. This scene was genuinely terrifying because most women have been in this position at one time or another. Was this written by a woman? I'm getting that vibe. Anyways, Poppy backs up over the stalker, and I approve.

She goes to Ivy's, who's been begging her for forgiveness. Poppy uses her washroom, then tells Ivy she never wants to see her again. Poppy, get over it. I wouldn't forgive Jack because he was a creep, but her actual friends should be given a pass. Oh, god, Poppy does not forgive. Instead, "someone" put acid in Ivy's shampoo, giving her horrific burns and causing all of her hair to fall out. Ivy had perfect hair, so this is huge.

Swing over to Jeremy's POV, who's having an asthma attack as he gets the horrifying news from a sobbing Ivy. It's at that point he realizes his bedroom is filled with hornets. They attack, and Jeremy falls over, unable to breathe ...

Cops come to Poppy's house to investigate since she did vow revenge on the victims just the other day. Heather unhelpfully points out that Poppy uses a strong acid to clean jewelry. And when they go to look, the bottle is gone! Now Poppy is suspect #1! She's also a real piece of work and showing a shocking lack of empathy towards Ivy. They get the news at that point, Jeremy died in the hospital from the hornet stings. Now Poppy's mom even thinks she did it because Poppy knew about her experimental hornets.

Now, at first, I thought this next chapter was in Poppy's POV and thought she was psychotically un-empathetic, but then I went back to realize it was Keith. Keith is shockingly nonempathetic, and apparently, he overdosed once and spent some time in a hospital himself. This is why he pretends to be boring, but he's actually hardcore.

Poppy remembers she saw her mom's hornets WITH KEITH - and all of a sudden remembers he threatened her after they broke up. So, of course, she goes to confront him. And HE LIVES ON FEAR STREET. And her stalker is stalking her. And Keith isn't home, but his mom says he has "episodes."

Poppy returns home to find her rabbit cuts to pieces in her bed. No, that's awful and way too personal. Now I actually suspect her weird sister.

Part Four

Poppy doesn't want to go to school because everyone thinks she's a murderer, but her sister says she'll sit with her. Okay, it was definitely the sister. It's the day of the school play, which they had missed because of the fake/real car wreck, and the curtain rises on Rose, tangled in ropes and strangled with Poppy's scarf. It's for sure the sister, right? Angry that Rose dropped her once Jack got rid of Poppy?

Everyone's a suspect, everyone's sketchy, and I still think it's the sister. All parties are gathered in the music room by the cops, and apparently, Poppy figures something out. She dramatically confesses. Which infuriates her sister, who angrily reveals it was actually her. Heh. I knew it.

But then she stabs Poppy, and Keith confesses for real - wait, what? He rips his shirt to show off his cutting scars to show how angry he really is. Poppy and Heather congratulate themselves on their excellent acting - it was a fake knife all along. They figured if they confessed, the real killer would want to confess. But ... that's stupid, even though it worked. If I were the killer, I'd be like ... yeah, it was them! Luckily, Keith isn't too sharp, and so the investigation wraps up. O ... kay.

I wasn't very into this one. It was a bit long, and all the teens were pretty whiny. I kinda wished that Poppy actually was the murderer; that would have surprised me. On the other hand, points for the realistic uber-creepy stalker, and there were some creative deaths in there. I'll give it three murderous hornets out of seven.

Monday, September 27, 2021

Fear Street: 1978 or "Outhouses Are Not Good Places for Sexy Times"

The second movie of the Netflix Fear Street trilogy basically picks up where the first one left off. You need to watch these in order - it's all connected!

The camera pans through a super dated home as the radio plays the news of Shadyside's latest terror - the Mall Massacre, so we know we're in 1994. We meet a new character, who has some real issues re: locks and clocks. This woman lives in anxiety. She nearly vomits in fear when she's woken by desperate banging.

It's Deena and Josh, trying to break into her house. Mystery woman nearly knifes her, before Deena pleads for her to listen ... they called her! She was the survivor from the Camp Nightwing Massacre of 1978. They beg her to help them - they have a possessed Sam tied up in their truck, and mystery woman nearly faints, but eventually gives in to tell them her story. So they sit as she reminisces back to the old days ... at Camp Nightwing.

As one would expect from a camp set between Sunnyvale and Shadyside, things are fucked up. A girl flees through the woods, before being caught by a group of vicious teens. They string her up to the hanging tree, where Sarah Fier once dangled, and burn her arm.

Some councillors run in to intervene. Strung-up girl is Ziggy, a Shadysider camper with a chip on her shoulder and a laundry list of strikes against her. She is nearly expelled from camp, but one of the councillors speaks up for her - it's Nick Goode, potentially evil future sheriff of Shadyside. He expects gratitude from her, she tells him to go fuck himself. I like Ziggy.

Her older sister Cindy is an uptight councillor with control issues, desperately trying to get the outhouses clean. She has a Shadysider boyfriend Tommy who tries to get sexy with her. No. Outhouses are not good places for sexy times.

She goes to find the other Shadyside councillors, and walks in on them graphically banging while smoking joints. Cindy nearly has an aneurism as Alice, the girl, taunts her. Clearly they have history.

Ziggy goes to the camp nurse to get treatment for her burn. The infirmary is empty and Ziggy finds a journal with all kinds of information about Sarah Fier and the Shadyside curse, including stuff about the most recent Shadyside serial killer, Ruby Land. And Nurse Lane comes in, and we realize she was Ruby's mother. And has researched the curse non-stop since it took her daughter. And is pretty intense about it.

Ziggy and Cindy have a massive fight - these sisters could not be more opposite, and Ziggy is so bitter it's epic. She accuses Cindy of trying to get out of Shadyside by being perfect, but joke's on her because no one gets out of Shadyside.

An aside, but I love these clothes so much. '70s camp clothes = style goals. Also, where do I get the playlist?

Cindy and Tommy are still cleaning when Nurse Lane comes into the mess hall with a big ass knife. She apologizes to Tommy, saying she can't save him, but she might be able to save others, since his name is on the wall. One way or another, he's going to die that night. He fights her off, but everyone is freaking out.

Cindy obsesses over the reason Nurse Lane snapped, so that evening while the campers are playing colour wars (Sunnyvale vs. Shadyside, of course), Cindy and Tommy break into the infirmary to go through Nurse Lane's stuff for answers. Alice and her boyfriend Arnie also break in, to steal drugs. They read Nurse Lane's creepy journal about Sarah Fier. She emerged from the meeting room missing one hand. Though she was hung and buried, without her hand her grip on the land will remain forever. When she is near, blood will fall, and the curse will last until body and hand are reunited. Lane also has a map of the camp, which is right over the old Shadyside settlement from 1666. It shows where Sarah Fier's house was, so they decide to explore. In the dark they stumble over graves. They realize Nurse Lane has been digging holes, trying to uncover Sarah Fier's hand!

Nick Goode tries to befriend Ziggy, helping her come up with a plan to bring down one of her tormentors. She starts to soften towards him. Not evil sheriff?

Councillors go into the ruins of Sarah Fier's home, and the witch's lair is amazingly terrifying. Tommy looks unwell. They see a light from beyond her fireplace; when they crawl through, they find a flame lit within carved markings on the ground - the witch's mark! Someone's been there recently. Names are carved into the wall, centuries' worth of Shadyside serial killers. Underneath Ruby Lane, a new one has been added: Thomas Slater. Tommy!

Oh my god, he has an axe. I just remembered about the man with the giant axe in the last movie. Oh god, he just axed Arnie in the head, that's not pretty. Alice and Cindy flee deeper into the caverns, Tommy right behind them. But a cave-in stops him from getting them. Now the girls are stuck in the cave, and he's free to murder campers. Tommy goes straight for the sweet nerd camper. No, don't kill him! This is very upsetting.

Meanwhile, Ziggy and Nick are having shenanigans. They lure Ziggy's tormentor into the outhouse on the promise of sexy times (again, outhouses aren't sexy. Am I wrong about this?), then cover her in spiders and cockroaches and lock her in. They flee to the camp's - I want to say vivarium? Reptile house? - giggling, and proceed to have a very cute kiss.

Down in the caverns, Cindy and Alice are not getting along. Cindy still refuses to believe in the witch's curse, while both me and Alice think she's delusional. Cindy storms away but marches around in a circle - they are super stuck down there. Until Cindy realizes the caverns are shaped like the witch's mark and they can follow it like a map.

At the centre they find - oh god, I don't know, a pulsating, fly-covered organ? Dear god, don't touch it! But Alice does, and hallucinates victims of the Shadyside killers, and she's surrounded by pilgrims missing their eyes. She freaks out and horrifically breaks her ankle, gross.

Murdered camper has been found. All councillors still alive are trying to track down the campers still playing colour wars, while Nick is being all manly and protective with Ziggy. Then she remembers she'd locked a girl in the outhouses and runs to get her.

Cindy finally gets tough and splints Alice's horrific break with a comb, confessing she had narc'ed on Alice back in middle school because she wanted to get out of town. The friends reunite, ready to take on the gd witch.

Then there is just so much graphic axe murdering. I found this upsetting: stop killing kids, goddammit! I'm not a horror film aficionado, but there's a reason why this is so disturbing. Fear Street 1978 broke a very basic rule of horror movies: thou shall not harm innocents. Jason, who Tommy is fashioned after, never hurt a child. But Tommy does! It's stomach-turning. Also, I didn't realize this until later, but only Shadysiders are murdered ...

Ziggy lets her tormentor out, then hears her sister underneath her. Alice and Cindy are under the outhouses. They try to climb up, and I know this isn't important to the story, but this is really gross. And then Tommy comes in and decapitated one of the councillors and the body falls into the cavern.

Nick and Ziggy hide from Tommy in the reptile house. Nick is stabbed saving Ziggy.

Alice and Cindy find a clue that Sarah's hand laid to rest on the stone right in front of them, and then emerged from the meeting hall - which is now the mess hall. Cindy follows the map to find the mess hall.

Tommy follows Ziggy into the mess hall, and that's where they all meet. Ziggy tries to trap Tommy in the pantry and stabs him, but he's too strong. As he strangles her, she wraps a burlap sack around his head - and now he's Burlap Head! Cindy jumps in, stabbing her boyfriend repeatedly until he is dead.

Alice emerges from hole, bearing the hand of Sarah Fier! All they have to do is put the hand with the body, and this nightmare will be over. Sarah was buried under the hanging tree, so they have all the pieces right there!

But then Ziggy gets a nosebleed all over the bones of the hand, triggering the curse. Shit, Burlap Head is going to come back, isn't he?

Now, wtf is the pulsing grossness? Oh, that's where the former serial killers are regenerated, and I think I'm going to puke.

Alice is so ready to end all of this, until Tommy revives and murders her. Sad, Alice was awesome.

Ziggy and Cindy run to the hanging tree and start digging like mad, as the serial killers surround them. I don't know who's the most disturbing. Ruby Lane is terrifying, the deformed child in a mask with a bat is also. The grinning deranged milkman is not my favourite. They find Sarah's grave, but her body isn't there. They look at each other, realizing it's over.

Tommy gets to Cindy and starts hacking into her, as the deranged milkman stabs Ziggy. I found this scene so disturbing. The sisters are looking at each other as these men violate and destroy their bodies, and it is so visceral. They die under the hanging tree, and the killers disappear.

But then Nick somehow survives and resuscitates Ziggy. She's taken away in a stretcher, and nobody believes her, maybe not even Nick. Although he clearly stayed close to protect her? And now here she is, 16 years later, crazy lady living behind a wall of locks and alarms.

Deena and Josh realize they have all the items they need, if they can get Sarah Fier's hand. It was left buried under the hanging tree, which is now ... the centre of Shadyside Mall's food course. Of course it is, all roads lead back here. They unearth the skeletal hand.

Deena gets to the woods where Sarah's body is, and reunites hand with body. Her nose starts bleeding, something that happens when the witch is near.

Then ... Deena is pulled into the past, and she's in Sarah Fier's body!

I am SO excited to watch the next movie, which will presumably give us all the details on how Sarah Fier went evil! Stay tuned ...

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Return to Fear Street: You May Now Kill the Bride, or "Fear Street Meets Twilight Zone and They Have a Delightful Love Child"


Hello Fear Street lovers! Watching the spooky Fear Street trilogy on Netflix has inspired AM and I to recap more Fear Streets, and as it happens, there are three newer books we've never read. Hooray!

Now, obviously our recaps of Fear Street will be finite, because there's only so many of these RL can pump out, but don't fret because we have other content out there. I am in the process of compiling a list of witchy book reviews at my website Cordelia Kelly. I you love books about witches as much as I do (and I love them a lot), then you should check it out at: Book Reviews But Make it Witchy!

Now, back to Fear Street, and the first in the new line of Return to Fear Street: You May Now Kill the Bride. Ooh, a book about weddings? I’m immediately curious – how old are these characters? Fear Streets (the books, not the movies ahem), rarely have any romantic interactions beyond a chaste nacho-flavoured peck on the lips. And now we’re talking marriage? I think the only wedding in a Fear Street until now was a disturbing child bride scenario in Bad Moonlight.

Part One

Ruth-Ann Fear is being strangled from behind by Peter Goodman. Oh, no, wait, this is sexy strangling, so it’s okay. Dear lord. It’s only page 1!

It’s 1923. We know this because Ruth-Ann Fear just got her hair bobbed, and they say “the bee’s knees” a lot. RA always comes in second to her perfect older sister Rebecca, who gets absolutely everything, including cute boy Nelson Swift. But Peter is RA’s boy she caught all on her own. RA actually thinks that he’s kinda dumpy, so he’s perfect for her! Unfortunately, Rebecca doesn’t want RA to date Peter for some reason, which makes RA angry. So she deals with her anger in a secret Fear attic full of secrets. Well, that can’t be good.

RA inherited the Fear family spellbook – and also being evil, apparently. She casts a spell, dancing naked in candlelight while delighting in her ability to control people. Except … her powers didn’t work out all that well because Peter (who she magicked into loving her) decides to go for perfect Rebecca instead. Damn!

One year later, it’s Peter and Rebecca’s wedding. It is happening on a mountaintop in Colorado, where the Fears apparently own property. Nelson Swift, Rebecca’s former boyfriend, shows up to make a scene. RA herself is pretty calm; she feels like she’s over it.

When it’s time to kiss the bride, Peter lifts Rebecca into his arms, kisses her, and with a blank look on his face, throws her off the cliff. Ooh, didn’t see that coming. Was Peter under the control of someone else? Or murdering of his own volition. Which of the suspects is truly evil? Peter, RA or Nelson?

Obviously, the murder results in complete pandemonium. RA’s father blames her. He knows about the attic; she was so obvious with her witchy spells. In fury, RA breaks free, runs, and also plummets over the cliff.

And the evildoer was … Peter! He was actually Peter GOODE, longtime enemies of the Fears, who continues the cycle of hate by murdering the Fear daughters.

Part Two

Cut to modern times, on the same mountaintop in Colorado. We have a bunch of new Fears: Harmony, with her perfect older sister Marissa. Hmm, I’m seeing some connections here.

But Harmony also has a twin, Robby, whose sole characteristic is apparently obsessed with his girlfriend Nikki Parker, who is referred to as shallow and dumb. Harmony is way too boy-crazy to settle on one guy, while Robby is a shy nerd.

Marissa is about to marry Doug, a humourless bull nobody likes. Their obnoxious Uncle Kenny tells obnoxious jokes at the rehearsal dinner, then starts to vomit chicken feathers. It’s probably a bad idea to piss off the Fears; you never know what kind of crap they’re going to do to you. At the rehearsal itself, everyone is attacked by zombie squirrels. You know, normal wedding stuff.

Old Grandpa Bud calls out Harmony – apparently, she’s taken up the mantle of family evil and casts minor spells. He accuses her of wanting to disrupt Marissa’s big day and warns her off.

In a huff, Harmony goes to the bar to pick up guys, but that’s when she sees Aiden, Marissa’s former boyfriend and the REAL love of her life.

Flashback to Aiden stuff: He was the college boyfriend Marissa was never supposed to have. She brings him home for Thanksgiving, despite not breaking things off with her high school guy, Doug. Everyone is confused, except for Harmony, who immediately lusts after him. Marissa warns Harmony off.

But Harmony doesn’t listen. She’s drinking beer with her friends and decides to do a little woodworking, as one does. Somehow Aiden ends up in the basement with her, and she tries to make out with him. He turns her down, but then there is a horrific cabinet-making accident where drunk Harmony runs a drill through his hand. Aiden, who had plans to be a surgeon, was significantly upset.

Back in the present, Harmony tracks Aiden down, speaking to several hotel workers to wiggle out his room number. She demands to know why he’s there. Predictably, since she mangled his hand, he doesn’t want to talk to her.

The following day, the bride can’t be found. Her hotel room is empty, with only a note for Harmony: DON’T LOOK FOR ME.

Part Three

Everyone is frantic, and the wedding is called off. Harmony goes looking for Aiden, only the hotel room he was in the night before is occupied by someone else. Most of the hotel workers she spoke to didn’t actually work there. Hmmm.

She’s confused until she sees a photo of the hotel staff from 1924 – the people she spoke to were in that photo! She’s even more confused now, but I am jazzed – this concept is kinda cool, a twilight zone time warp, I’m into it. Harmony thinks she’s losing it.

Part Four

There is a search to see if they can find Marissa, who has completely disappeared from the face of the earth. They do a helicopter search and find a body … only it is Taylor, Marissa’s best friend. The Fear family is falling apart; Mom is spiralling and drinking until she’s catatonic. Dad stays in Colorado to help with the search while everyone else goes home. Robby accuses Harmony of wanting to destroy Marissa’s wedding and calls her evil.

In a weird subplot, Robby goes to see his girlfriend Nikki, but her Mom says she’s gone camping and not to call her. Robby calls anyways, and Nikki answers, telling him she’s at home. When he’s like – you clearly are not – she hangs up and ghosts him.

Harmony is Facetiming with her Dad, who is sitting in the lobby of the Colorado hotel. Over his shoulder, Marissa appears and looks straight at Harmony. But when Dad turns around, she’s gone. Ooh, cool, Facetiming ghosts just gave me the creeps. Totally loving the vibe of this book; with the hotel, it reminds me of something a bit old-school like The Shining or Tower of Terror (which I realize is a ride, but still). I actually got goosebumps, and I’m loving this.

Harmony immediately heads back to Colorado. In the hotel, she hears her sister in the room next door! She tricks the night manager into letting her in, but there is no one there. But when she sneaks in later, she finds Marissa! She’s having a girl gab with Rebecca and RA. They all confirm that they are indeed dead. 

Right here - this is where the book hit its best part, I think. This is all cool. But things sort of unravel, with loosely wrapped up plot points and a rushed ending. But lots of points for this neato plot. Might I even say it's the bee's knees?

The ghosts explain. There is a curse on the Fears and the Goodes that they can never marry. Because Peter Goode actually married Rebecca, he set the curse in motion. So the Fears are doomed to haunt the hotel for eternity. And Marissa was killed by Aiden, who is out for revenge. He’s been working with Nikki, his actual girlfriend, who he met at the Thanksgiving of terror. I’m confused about how he ended up being in the other time, though?

Harmony needs to make things right. She’s been researching some spells in this and can go back in time, and she stops the original wedding from ever taking place. Rebecca and RA are no longer trapped in the hotel, and Harmony ends up in a staff photo from 1924, then goes back to real-time and saves the day.

I really enjoyed the setup. I was impressed by the nuanced connections between the two times, nearly a century apart, and felt like a really cool world had been established. The end was rushed and confused and ended kinda like a typical Fear Street, which was okay. I wasn’t really sure what to expect from these new Fear Streets and was pleasantly surprised. I give this 7 haunted hotels out of 11.