Friday, November 20, 2015
Goosebumps Read-A-Long Review & Discussion: The Scarecrow Walks at Midnight
October is over, but I'm still reviewing the books I read during the read-a-long. I'm having a lot of fun with these books and I'm really happy that I've re-experienced books from my childhood.
Stay Out of the Basement
Let's Get Invisible!
The Ghost Next Door
You Can't Scare Me!
Why I'm Afraid of Bees
The Scarecrow Walks at Midnight by R.L. Stine
The Scarecrow Walks at Midnight is the twentieth Goosebumps novel and even though it's a later book in the series, I think it's one of Stine's best. I remember watching the TV episode of this as a child and it scared me. I had already been briefly introduced to Children of the Corn (I say briefly because I was a chicken and refused to know more) and the thought of corn stalks and rows already scared me. I mean have you seen Signs? I never want to live on a farm or near that kind of setting. My whole childhood I spent driving through country because my family lives there and nothing is scarier than driving past fields of swaying plants that can hide the worst creatures imaginable. Suffice to say, corn and fields have been a creepy place for me.
I think Stine did a brilliant job of playing off that fear of what lurks in rows of a farm. The plot could get a little out of hand and just wacky, but I was so apprehensive about the scarecrows I could care less. I think my imagination is what got me for this novel. Stine isn't the best writer and I think it attributes to him having to dumb down descriptions, but I can easily see these scarecrows swaying in the wind and pulling themselves off of their stakes.
Some people probably won't find this a great read in the Goosebumps series, but since I had a slight fear of the rural settings as a child I felt like if I had read this as a kid, I never would've wanted to visit my aunt again. The thing about Stine is that in this novel he plays off of a real and understandable fear. The scarier things lurk in the dark and in places that are isolated from cities and towns.
Whimsical Writing Scale: 4.5
Jodie and her brother Mark are typical Stine characters. For some reason, Stine loves writing about allergies and Jodie's allergies eventually come back to cause a bad situation in an already horrifying one. I'm not a fan of either of these kids, but I liked the air Jodie brought to the story. She's also one of the Stine's stronger main protagonists. The grandparents are sweet old people who offer an unsettling feeling to the farm. Also grandma is not cooking the kids' favorite foods.
Stanley, the hired hand, is an interesting character. He doesn't mean harm, but he wants to be in control and be appreciated.
Character Scale: 3.75
I think the plot of how the scarecrows awoke was a little ridiculous, but only because Stine wrote it to seem ridiculous. If King or the writers of Supernatural had this plot they could really scare people.
Villain Scale: 3.5
This is a Goosebumps novel I actually think a lot of people will enjoy. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. Definitely recommended to those who like creepy atmospheres.
Plotastic Scale: 4.5
Cover Thoughts: Scarecrows can be scary, but they can also look ridiculous.
This scarecrow looks like a grumpy pug. I would not want this in my field.
This one isn't horrible, but I don't think it could even scare crows away. In comparison to the others in these editions it's a better cover.
PUG! But I think that zooming in on his face isn't as scary. I usually love these covers most, but I think the original it's based off of is fantastic.
I don't think this is scary. In fact using pumpkin heads wasn't a great idea.
The tone of the episode is a lot darker than the usual episodes. It has the usual changes from the book, but I enjoyed the changes in this one. It added suspense and the scarecrow creeping around trying to get into the house is definitely creepy. Definitely a creepy episode!
What are your thoughts on the book, cover, and TV episode for The Scarecrow Walks at Midnight? Let me know down below in the comments!