PHBC – Halloween Night by R L Stine

 


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Do you remember the Point Horror Book Series from the 90’s?  The Point Horror Series was a series of young adult point horror books and was launched in 1991 by Scholastic always with the Point Horror banner on the spine and on the top of every point horror book.  There were a number of authors that wrote these books for Scholastic: R L Stine, Diane Hoh, Caroline B Cooney, Sinclair Smith to name but a few.

Are the Point Horror books we loved as a teenager still our favourites on the re-read?  Are you new to Point Horror?  Has our opinion changed?  Are they still as good?  Do they stand up to modern day YA Horror?  Or are they a whole load of cray cray?

Lets find out…

#pointhorrorbookclub

 Join in the discussion with this months title!

Halloween Night by R L Stine

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Don’t forget to use the #pointhorrorbookclub on twitter so I can see your thoughts or tweet me using @chelleytoy

 There is a link to a poll at the bottom of this post to vote for your next #pointhorrorbookclub read! The next book will be announced on 17th October 2015

For links to #pointhorrorbookclub posts old and new, Point Horror guest posts and interviews with Point Horror authors please click here

We also have a fantastic guest post from the lovely Anne Finnis who was part of the team responsible for bringing the Point Horror books to the UK in the 90’s.  It’s so wonderful!  Check it out here!


** Please note that as this is a discussion there will be spoilers**


The Tagline

This party is a killer…

Okay ….so…What’s It All About?

WOW!  Where to start!  Brenda and her friends are plotting a Halloween party with homemade terrifying Halloween costumes including a clown, a monk and the most terrifying of all ever Halloween costumes….a peacock!

A Peacock?!

Yes you heard me right!  But that’s the least of Brenda’s worry and woes!  Halley, Brenda’s cousin, is staying whilst her parents sort out their divorce and not only is she content in pinching Brenda’s bedroom and Luke Perry poster she sets her sights on Brenda’s boyfriend Ted too!  And over a truck full of buns and a hard gear stick Ted falls for Halley and snogs her under Brenda’s bedroom window!  This makes Brenda mad enough to plot revenge!

Revenge?!  Like jumping out on her in her clown outfit?!

Pfffftttt don’t be silly!  Brenda means business….murder!  But not any old murder!  A Halloween Murder!  Whilst writing an assignment with her two friends Dina and Traci about the fictional murder of her cousin and after Halley dumping Ted and moving onto Traci’s boyfriend, but then back to Ted and then many study dates with other boys (?!) Brenda convinces her friends that the murder should become a reality!  For realises!!!  Especially after some strange goings on!

Strange goings on?!  This can’t be true of a Point Horror!!?

Oh yes indeed!  Someone is trying to scare Brenda with blood messages and off meat in her bed with added maggots!  Who could it be?!  Brenda points the finger well and truly at Halley!  But could it be true?!  And will Brenda really murder her for revenge?!  Or will some perfectly placed air vents scupper her plans?!

*Tosses hair*

The Girl

Emerald eyed, copper haired, Luke Perry loving Brenda Morgan!  Don’t make her angry or her freckles with darken in rage!  She is a sewing master and thinks her cousin Halley is a monster and mean natured!

Brenda decides that to murder Halley is the only option!  I mean how could that be the only option!?  Did she not read The Babysitter?!  *tuts*

She really was very self centred and a little bit annoying, but then in a way this was good as it made me laugh when she got scared of the creepy mask in her window and the creepy messages to beat all messages….SEE YOU ON HALLOWEEN!!!  I mean the horror!  Perhaps someone just couldn’t get through on the phone so went for a more traditional way of messaging in the 90’s with a Halloween vibe.  Quite frankly I think Brenda over reacted!

AND that’s not all!  Picture the scene!  Your hatred for your cousin who you are plotting to kill for being mean, stealing your boyfriend and Luke Perry poster spiralling out of control, but yeah sure it’s okay you can borrow my car Halley!  NO BRENDA NO!

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Don’t get me wrong I was cheering Brenda on a few times with how she handled Ted the slimeball….but then she went and got back with him…..then he went and abandoned Brenda at the prom and copped off again with Halley!  OMG!

Don’t forget though Brenda always did her best thinking with a needle in her hand!  Did she drop the needle?!

I think it’s fair to say I had a love/hate relationship with Brenda!  Most of my love came from the catfight scenes with Halley over the table and then on the driveway!  Meow!

It was nice to see that Brenda’s parents were in this particular Point Horror…although they may well have not have been!  They were as unsupportive and as useful as a chocolate teapot!  They even made her sleep in her blood stained room!  There was a point where I actually did feel sorry for Brenda but don’t tell anyone!

The Love Interest

I can’t believe I have to call Ted the slimeball the love interest!  Ewwwwww!  His thick mane / mop of curley brown hair and crinkly eyes did nothing for me except infuriate me into a Point Horror rage!

It annoyed me as I kept imagining him as Robert Sheehan!  Although Robert Sheehan would NOT be such a slimeball!

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But fear not surely Stiney put a back up love interest in Halloween Night!

Pfftttt This ain’t no Point Romance!  Silly me!

I present to you Noah!  NOAH!  With a high pitched laugh that set peoples teeth on edge, straw coloured hair and pudgy hands…who could resist!  Well certainly not Halley who steals him of Traci (with an I) !

Basically Stiney gave us rubbish love interests who were selfish and thought they were gods gift to women!

Rant over!

I feel better now!

The Gang

Traci (with an I) Warner aka Milky Way lover!  With her straight black hair that she tosses over her shoulder so many times I lost count, her silvery eyes and her copy of Seventeen magazine that was originally going to be the murder weapon (I know how Stiney was thinking pre edits!).  She was a bit gullible and basically hung on Brenda’s every word and just went along with things.  You know as you do!

Long legged, tall, slender, short brown haired Dina Smithers who could rock a cat suit for Halloween and holding down a job at a vets as well as school was always complaining about her looks and sticking up for Halley!  She had her time to shine 3/4 of the way through the book when Stiney must have forgotten he was writing from Brenda’s point of view and switched to Dina for …wait for it….A WHOLE CHAPTER!  Full Point Horror glory right there!  Well that was until she tripped over the pumpkin and right into the hands of two policeman!  How shameful to say you were busted by a pumpkin!  Kudos to Dina for refusing to be part of the planned murder which ended up not being a planned murder but a trick to lure Dina into admitting she was the one behind the nasty (hilarious) tricks on Brenda.  I liked Dina!

Talk of the devil!  Little old Halley!  Oh dear oh dear!  To quote Point Horror book club member Paul….her milkshake brought ALL the boys to the yard!!!  Yep indeed!  Giving women drivers a bad name with her reverse parking, flirting with Ted and Noah and Ted and a pumpkin (probably) and taking Brenda’s things I really did not like her!  But then I guess I was not meant to?!  It had nothing to do with her gorgeous blonde hair, blue eyes, dry sarcastic sense of humour and a little miss perfect routine!  I highly disagree!  That gorilla scene when she jumps on the table was Point Horror gold!

Shout out to Randy Brenda’s ten year old brother who made me lol especially over pandagate and his enthusiasm over Prince Of Persia!  I LOVED THAT GAME!

Fashion Faux Pas

Did anyone else notice that we seemed to be told about what everyone was wearing in nearly every new scene?!

There were jumpers, turtle necks, leggings…you know the norm!

Until!

A leopard skin style jacket made it’s appearance on Dina!

It was so very Kurt Cobain!

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Woooohhoooooo!  I have never been so happy for a fashion faux pas in my life!

Dialogue Disasters

“Brenda thinks Halley is a monster”

Monster is a bit harsh I guess?

“You don’t even have room for your Luke Perry poster”

EVERYONE should have room for a 90’s Luke Perry poster!  *stares at Luke Perry poster on the wall*

“She promised she’d help me fertilize the rhododendrons this afternoon”

Brenda’s Mom is in the wrong book!  This is Point Horror Brenda’s Mom!  POINT HORROR NOT 50 SHADES!!!

“I wish a fly would fly into her mouth”

Brenda knows ALL of the evil plot twists!

“Maybe her face will crack and disintegrate into a thousand pieces”

Early Botox voodoo spell!?

“Lets murder her!”

See it was all your idea Traci with an i!

“It isn’t hard….once you get the back in”

*spits out buttery popcorn in horror* Ted is such a stud!

“That whole truck is filled with buns….amazing”

Ted really knows what to say to the ladies!

“Wow!  It doesn’t take you a lot to get excited does it!”

*coughs* Nope just a truck load of buns!

“Well plotting a murder mystery isn’t going to be easy”

Stiney has read The Boy Next Door and is looking at you Sinclair Smith!

“It’s a gorilla”

Something I never thought I would quote from a Point Horror!

“Why would Halley do a dumb thing like that?”

No comment!

“No.  Forget strangling.  It’s too good for her!”

No it really isn’t!  Do it already!  Oh come on I’m not the only one who shouted this at the book am I?

“It should be the person you never suspect”

Why did Dina have to say this?  Why?!  It was like waving a flag saying oh it’s me they would never suspect me!  Grrrrrrrr

“Yay”  She cheered “I’m a murderer”

Oh Dina!  If only buns did it for you like Ted!

“You look like a racoon”

Dina has ALL the insults!

“Goosebumps climbed her bare arms”

*Hi fives Stiney for some self promotion there*

“I’ll shove it down the laundry shoot.  No one will ever think to look there!”

We will let Brenda off as this was in the days before CSI!  They ALWAYS look in the laundry shoot Brenda!  ALWAYS!

Body Count

We can only dream!  0!

With the exception of many pumpkins!

Is it scary?

Not really!  But I did find that scene with the pumpkin coming alive in Brenda’s dreams and turning an talking quite terrifying and it made me dream I was pumpkin (this is not a joke!)!

I mean who knew that an evil pumpkin coming alive would make a wet sucking sound!  Mind = blown!

Also dead headless bird!  GROSS!

And also the most scary part of all was people dressing up as Princess Di and Cindy Crawford for a Halloween party! Just me who didn’t get the joke here?

Did the best friend do it?

DING DING!  We have a winner with this Point Horror!  One of the best friends did do it!  Or tried to and failed *curses Brenda’s sewing skills and extra padding*

Some Mild Peril?

Well apart from the constant hair tossing over the shoulder (did anyone else notice this?) the only mild peril was the hope that whoever was in the Gorilla suit was really brown bread!

Is it any good?

I’m honestly not sure how I feel about this book.  I think I liked it, but yet I’m not sure.  It took a long time to get going and the Halloween Night party was in the last 20 pages or so.  I do admit I did like the end although I had a feeling it was Dina I liked the uncertainty and I was hoping I was wrong.  I think the only character I liked was Dina (except Randy) and look how that ended!

Final Thought

Pudgy!

Over to you!

As well as your thoughts on the book I’ve added some fun questions to ponder!

  • Who would you go to a Halloween Party dressed as?
  • What happened to Dina after Halloween Night?
  • Ted or Noah?!
  • What extra prank should Dina have played on Brenda?

You can leave a reply by using the reply button at the top of the page!

See you at #pointhorrorbookclub on 13th November 2015 !

Billy is back with his Halloween Night in emoji’s!  I love it!

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You can vote for your next #PointHorrorBookClub read here!

Voting closes on the 17th October 2015!

And the winner was….

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Don’t forget to check out the fab guest post with Anne Finnis who was part of the team responsible for bring Point Horror to the UK here

Also the lovely Anne has said we can put some Point Horror related questions to her!  Do you have a question for Anne?  Let me know and I will include it in my Q&A with her which will go live next month!

The next read will be announced on the #pointhorrorbookclub page here and on twitter using the hashtag #pointhorrorbookclub on the 17th October 2015!

For links to #pointhorrorbookclub posts old and new, Point Horror guest posts and interviews with Point Horror authors please click here

Thanks for joining in….

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I am often known to be a bit clumsy and a little loopy! Book loving (obsessed), theatre loving, slasher film loving csi geek!
Winner of UKYABA Champion Newcomer 2015 and nominated for Champion of Social Media 2016 and Blogger Of The Year 2016!

© 2014 - 2017 Michelle Toy All Rights Reserved

13 thoughts on “PHBC – Halloween Night by R L Stine

  1. paulhirons81@gmail.com'@PaulHi

    Hey PHBC!

    Happy Halloween, guys. Hope you have a spooktacular time!

    Well, after the affront to literature that was last month’s Boy Next Door disaster, I can honestly say that I really enjoyed Halloween Night. Clunky not-quite-finished title aside, this was actually kind of a blast. RL Stine, as we know, is practically Evelyn Waugh in comparison to Sinclair Smith, so I had high hopes – and for the most part, I wasn’t disappointed.

    As with all Stine efforts, Halloween Night is sassy and fun-filled, and not afraid to play with the conventions of the genre. Having the characters constructing their own murder mystery while becoming involved in an actual murder mystery was probably a little ambitious, but it lent the whole thing a sneaky layer of pre-Scream self-awareness that we rarely get in Point Horror.

    Like you Chelley, I really liked Brenda. Sure, she was a bit of a stroppy cow, and there were times when she was outright mean, but Halley was a monstrous beast, who deserved every one of those bitchslaps I had great fun imagining Brenda delivering during the Driveway Smackdown. Your parents’ divorce gives you licence to steal EVERYBODY’s boyfriend does it, Halley? Not on my watch, lady.

    Stine always gives good supporting cast, too. Bolshy little brother Randy walked straight out of the Big Stine Book of Stock Characters, but he was fun, and believable. And while poor Brenda’s useless ma and pa deserve to be reported to social services for making her sleep in a blood-smeared room, at least we had some on-screen parents for once.

    Traci was a little thinly written, but her tell-it-like-it-is approach to friendship was good for lolz. “‘You look tired,’ Traci told Dina. ‘You’ve got circles under your eyes.'” Jeez, with friends like Traci, who needs Halley? And poor old blatantly-batshit-from-page-one Dina deserved better. I really felt for Dina – no wonder she was unhinged, when her so-called friends spent the majority of their days plotting fake murders to lure her into commiting a real murder, which would in itself be fake… something something ape costume… something something peacock… something something Cindy Crawford. No, none of this made sense. My point: #TeamDina all the way.

    Which brings me to Ted and Noah, who, sorry ladies, were 100% no-question, straight-up doing it. While Point Horror never came within a country mile of openly dealing with gay characters, I truly believe that this pair of knuckle-draggers were the closest we’ve come so far. Think about it, you guys: it’s the only POSSIBLE explanation for the slap-kiss-slap drama of their relationship. I’d stake my Luke Perry poster on it.

    Question time!
    Who would you go to a Halloween Party dressed as?
    Nothing could top the mysterious Alissa and her Cindy Crawford get-up, but I’d give her a run for her money by going as our very own Caz-Coo.

    What happened to Dina after Halloween Night?
    Everybody immediately lost interest in her, so she moved into one of the dog kennels in the vet’s where she worked, and still lives there to this day.

    Ted or Noah?!
    These bozos were too wrapped up in each other to notice anyone else. Neither.

    What extra prank should Dina have played on Brenda?
    Stink bombs in the gorilla costume, natch, though nothing would ever outdo the maggoty meat in the bed hi-jinks. Chill out, Dina.

    So that’s me. Feel like I’ve been a little more brief than usual, but I think that suits the book – brisk, efficient, job done. Did anyone listen to the audio version? I can only imagine the migraine you must have endured during any scene involving Dina, Traci, Halley AND Brenda. Yikes.

    Reply
    1. Chelley Toy Post author

      Hi Paul! Fab comments! I particular liked that you would go to a Halloween Party as Caz Coo! That’s awesome!

      I think I may try and listen to the audio version on the way to work this week! I could do with some loll’s!

      Reply
  2. cmilton81@gmail.com'Cazzy

    Hey!

    I loved your post!

    I found this website too late to get hold of a copy and ready the book, sadly, but I do vaguely remember reading this the first time around (many moons ago) and being slightly disappointed. This wasn’t one of Stine’s best. I vividly remember the excitement of my weekly trip to WH Smith to buy a new PH book and how I was even more excited whenever I saw a Stine title in stock that I hadn’t seen before, so it was all the more disappointing when one didn’t live up to expectations!

    Looking forward to actually re-reading the next book and having making a contribution!

    Happy Halloween!

    Cazzy

    Reply
    1. Chelley Toy Post author

      Hi Cazzy! Welcome to Point Horror Book Club! So happy you could join us 🙂

      Our next book is The Roommate by Diane Hoh which is part of the Nightmare Hall series. I don’t think they have to be read in any order, but this is the 2nd book in the series. They work as stand alones too. Do feel free to join in the discussion on the 13th of November. I normally tweet our on twitter when the post is live using #PointHorrorBookClub 🙂

      What were your favourite Point Horrors? Can you remember?

      Reply
  3. billy.lane@live.com'Billy

    (ten years later)

    Well I’ve finally finished the book lol – apologies for taking so long, but these Krispy Kremes won’t eat themselves.

    Okay so Halloween Night: after The Boy Next Door, *anything* would have been better, but this was actually a blast and I enjoyed it immensely. Randy was, by far, the best thing in the book, complete breath of fresh air. His stand out moment for me was after the huge showdown at the dinner table. After Halley runs of crying and Brenda’s screaming and the parents are parenting, he asks for more frosted flakes. What an absolute ledge.

    Brenda, Brenda, Brenda. Coppery haired Brenda. As annoying as she was, I was genuinely rooting for her during parts, especially when her parents never seemed to even want to know *why* she had such a problem with her cousin. It’s like, ask her. Wow. Halley was great. Usually the Regina George’s are background characters in PH, but to have her play centre stage was refreshing. Traci was a bit of a non-entity, and Dina was the classic red-herring-that-actually-isn’t-a-red-herring red herring. So that kind of worked.

    I read this years ago, but forgot everything except the fake pool of blood and the word ‘gotcha’.

    The only fashion faux-pas I noticed was Brenda’s long black and white nightshirt. I pictured her looking like Beetlejuice.

    Onto the questions…

    Who would you go to a Halloween Party dressed as?
    Something as equally un-scary as a peacock. So… a leaf.

    What happened to Dina after Halloween Night?
    She joined a monastery.

    Ted or Noah?!
    Lol, what a pair of bozos. I would have stabbed them both at the party.

    What extra prank should Dina have played on Brenda?
    Well it needs to be animal related… so a gorilla’s severed head on her pillow when she wakes up in the morning would have shown Brenda she meant business.

    Overall, this was entertaining and was just outrageous enough to work. It’s pretty clear why ol’ Stiney became the king of PH… when reading installments like this you can tell he just ‘gets’ it. Great stuff.

    And as ever brilliant write up Chelle and great comments Paul. Thanks for the loan of the book too! x

    Reply
    1. Chelley Toy Post author

      Hi Billy! Thanks for joining in! It’s my fault your a bit later I feel as I kept forgetting to post out the book! Anyway that’s yours for keepsies as I had a spare copy 🙂

      I’m so happy we all liked this months book….although it would have needed to be really bad for us to not like it compared to last months!

      So what’s everyones favourite Stine Point Horror so far? I think mine may actually be Beach House!

      An lol to the Beetle Juice night gown….I am rushing out to buy one tomorrow!

      Reply
  4. billy.lane@live.com'Billy

    Beach House is great but I think the Babysitter series is winning for me… though I seem to recall it nose diving from 3 onwards lol.

    Reply
    1. Chelley Toy Post author

      Hi All – this comment is actually from Hedwig! I had a minor hiccup with my blog and had to reverse it back a day and it deleted this comment so I thought I would copy and paste it here rather than it being lot in the abyss!
      ******************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

      New comment on your post “PHBC – Halloween Night by R L Stine”
      Author: Hedwig (IP: 155.198.14.63, lib-djs2.lib.ic.ac.uk)
      Email: hedwigtheowl@yahoo.co.uk
      URL: http://www.twitter.com/lazyhedwig
      Comment:
      I’m sorry this is late – wrote it and forgot to post!

      I liked this one more than the last one – more of a plot and the focus on fashion (black cat suit! Just as normal everyday wear!) that I remember!

      I wasn’t quite sure what to make of Brenda, if we’re meant to sympathise or not. She certainly seemed a bit irrational about Halley, but then byng kicked out of your room (and away from your Luke Perry poster!) did seem like odd behaviour from her parents.

      I enjoyed the plotting a murder and the lampshading of who the killer was. Not sure it’s the most convincing motive I’ve ever read, but there you go. To be fair, Brenda & Traci were pretty terrible friends – was it me, or did none of them seem to like each other?

      I think I kept track of the murder plot, but it did remind me of that trick that magicians do with the pea under the cup 🙂

      Questions!

      Who would you go to a Halloween Party dressed as?
      Woman Who Forgot It Was A Costume Party 🙂

      What happened to Dina after Halloween Night?
      She was found not guilty for reasons of really bad friends, and is now a vet

      Ted or Noah?!
      I’m pretty sure that Ted & Noah were on their first date when Brenda ran into them at the mall. Who’d want to break them up?

      What extra prank should Dina have played on Brenda?
      Not gone to the party 😉

      Reply
  5. mark.stewart@bendigoadelaide.com.au'Mark

    Hi PHBC. Sit down…we need to talk. I didn’t mean for things to turn out this way; it just kinda happened. You see (deep breath) – I’ve been reading teen horror behind your back. I didn’t think it would go this far! Just the odd YA novel here and there; I never imagined that our worlds would collide. But I was wrong. You see I read ‘Halloween Night’ 6 months ago, in secret, completely without your knowledge. Why? I don’t know – I just love Halloweeny things! But my secret YA horror life has now come to the surface as I have to admit to you now that I didn’t read this book this month. I just had to pretend it was the first time we met. It was all so awkward – I voted for another title, hoping to avoid the embarrassing moment when ‘Halloween Night’ would be announced as the book for the month and I’d have to be all like “Well hi! What are you about?” As if I didn’t know already…

    So, just like Usher, this is my confession. I promise that if you take me back I’ll be good – I’ll behave! I’ll restrict myself to Terror Academy.

    Reply
  6. Pingback: PHBC – Halloween Night II by R L Stine | Tales of Yesterday

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