Which, I think you'll agree, is not likely to get a Y-7 rating.
So as much as some parents and teachers campaigned against Goosebumps's supernatural elements, I think we can all agree that those same supernatural elements ended up making this particular story more suitable for kids.
|And isn't it ironic, don't you think?|
|Scratch that. She's crazy enough to be a Batman villain.|
Carly Beth: "I'm sore-y. I'm just staying in character."
Ah. A method actor.
Ah. A method actor.
Carly Beth: "You know, gettin' in the mood."
Some people light candles.
Carly Beth: "I like scaring people. Usually, I'm the one that's always afraid of everything."
Sabrina: "Well, next time you decide to go berserk like that, please warn me. Okay?"
|Forget that, Sabrina, you need to set up a safe word first.|
When the mother inside answers the door with her two kids, she expresses disgust over Carly Beth's mask, despite the fact that... you know. It's Halloween. A green-skinned, fangly mask is pretty tame, all things considered. I mean, those skull masks that drip blood are more hardcore than Carly Beth's mask.
|These are scarier than Carly Beth's mask.|
|I would not have guessed that.|
|Actually, I think Sabrina's costume looks more like a mouse than this one.|
Well, welcome to Halloween, kid.
Mother: "Oh, it's just a funny mask, hon. Don't be afraid."
But Carly Beth decides to take it too far and tell the kid to watch what she says around her.
Carly Beth: "If you know what's good for ya!"
The little girl is understandably scared by this.
Mother: "Listen, don't scare her like that! She's just a little girl."
Yeah, Carly Beth took it too far, but... perhaps your daughter shouldn't answer the door with you if Halloween masks scare her?
Carly Beth threatens the mother with "what's coming to her" and flees the scene. But not before taking a handful of candy. Because even when turning evil, Carly Beth still has her priorities straight.
|No joke here. Her face just cracks me up.|
|"How dare she take more than one piece!"|
Sabrina chases after her friend, who seems to be rather chill about the fact that she's getting the cops called on her.
Carly Beth: "I'm not afraid of her."
And I'm sure that will matter when the cops find you.
Carly Beth: "It's not me, Sabrina. It's the mask. The mask made me do it."
Carly Beth: "No. This is my night. Halloween is my night. It's the one night I get to have fun. The one night I don't have to be pitiful, scare-able Carly Beth."
Carly Beth runs away from Sabrina, despite how sore-y she claims to be, and starts terrorizing more innocent kids. Meanwhile, Rosenstern and Guildencrantz are in front of the cemetery dressed up as pirates.
Rosenstern: "Ohhh. What a haul!"
Guildencrantz: "Yeah. I got some great stuff."
Huh. I didn't know the cemetery was a good place to collect candy. Let me try!
|...This doesn't seem to be working.|
|So now I'm shipping these two together alongside my Carly Beth/Sabrina ship. OTP! OTP!|
Carly Beth runs up to them and gives them a good RAAAAAAAAUUUGH. It scares them, but not in the way she intended. Carly Beth wanted her mask to scare them, but they seem to be more unnerved by the fact that a total stranger ran up to them and snarled.
Guildencrantz: "You're Carly Beth, right? You really scared us."
Having failed at the jumpscare, Carly Beth decide to delve into psychological terror by convincing them that Carly Beth's actual head is on that stick, rather than a plaster model. It's not clear if they believe that Carly Beth's dry, waxen, head and hollow neck are really on that stick... but they seem to believe that this green goblin is certifiably nuts.
Yeah, how are you making that weird voice... that sounds like the actress doing a fairly-standard scratchy voice? I mean, it's a fine vocal performance, but what is everybody's obsession with her voice? Did the sound guy forget to put a filter over it?
Anyway, Carly Beth demands that the two bullies should tell the plaster head how "sore-y" they are for tormenting her every day of her life.
Rosenstern: "We were just goofing around."
Guildencrantz: "We only did it 'cause we liked her."
...What? That's not in the book. Also... it doesn't quite work.
To be fair, it's hard to be a boy at this age. It's also hard to be a girl, but that's a whole 'nother ball of wax. Basically, teenage years are hard on everybody, but for many different reasons.
Middle school is that tough time where each boy matures at a different rate from every other boy. So while some boys still want to tease and annoy girls, others are starting to realize certain... stirrings within them, which they don't know how to deal with. Oftentimes, boys will resort to what they know how to do: teasing. Turned up to eleven.
All the adults assume you're just intentionally being a jerk to girls when you're trying and failing to reconcile conflicting urges within yourself as you grow into adulthood.
True story, a classmate of mine once said this in 8th grade without a hint of irony:
"Ha ha, you got kissed by a girl? That's so gay."
So it makes sense that these two would have a hard time reconciling these feelings for Carly Beth and would resort to teasing her. However, the lengths they go to are pretty extreme.
"Hey, Carly Beth is kind of pretty. Let's trick her into eating a worm!"
That's stretching my suspension of disbelief. In a show about a haunted mask. I am aware of the irony.
But Carly Beth sets these two young men straight.
Carly Beth: "That's not excuse. And it's not how you show someone you like her."
|I love how the bird's all like "Dude. Chill."|
|"Am I symbolism? Am I Carly's Beth's soul made manifest? I don't even know."|
Carly Beth cackles and howls as they run away before digging a hole to bury the plaster head in for good. And with Carly Beth buried in both her psyche and the dirt, she runs off, doing a little cartwheel for good measure.
She heads across the neighborhood, where Sabrina finds her. She deflects any and all questions as to where she was, what she was doing, and why she ditched her plaster head. And it seems as though she's having a little trouble remembering what she's been doing.
Sabrina and Carly Beth head back home, hand in hand. Once inside, Sabrina shows off her major haul for herself and her flu-ridden cousin. As she counts it, Carly Beth tries to take off the overheating mask, but it seems to be stuck to her skin.
When Sabrina tries to help, they discover that there's no seam between the mask and her skin. For all intents and purposes, the mask is her skin.
|Let's not worry about the logistics of her rubber teeth over her lips.|
Sabrina: "What about them?"
Carly Beth: "They're not my eyes, Sabrina."
|"These eyes are not my eyes. And these eyes are not the color that my arid eyes might be."|
Witch: "What are you supposed to be?"
Yeah, well, stow the philosophy. You're scaring people.
She heads to the Happy Mask Shop, finding the creepy guy expecting her.
Creepy Guy: "I know."
He reveals that the "mask" is actually a real face. They all are. When they were first made, they were beautiful. But one by one, they all turned ugly.
Creepy Guy: "I called them the Unloved Ones. Because no one will ever love them now. Only you, Carly Beth. You're the only one who ever wanted them. The only one who ever loved them."
Dude, go to a horror convention. People will want and love them there, too.
Carly Beth doesn't care, and still wants the face off, despite him telling her that she has no hope to remove it.
|Geez, it's not even 10 PM? Not even the supernatural stays up late in Canada, it seems.|
|"Not sure why I didn't lead with that, actually."|
Carly Beth: "Taken off? Once."
Creepy Guy: "There still might be a chance...."
If Carly Beth can find a symbol of love, she can take it off. Carly Beth wants to rightly know how they heck this guy knows all this, and he reveals that he made the masks in the first place.
Creepy Guy: "I was like you. I did not love myself. I made these face to hide behind them. To hide my faults. But the faults were inside me. That's what infected the faces, turned them into monsters. Like this one is turning now."
I was gonna say, you're looking a little... gangrenous.
|Well, don't pick at it, man.|
Dude, don't be pulling anything off, for the love of all that's good and holy.
Carly Beth yells and screams again, but the shopkeeper shushes her. The Unloved Ones have woken up. The creepy shopkeeper yells at her to run, and she does, trying to ignore their intonations of "Join us, Carly Beth!"
|Okay, Goosebumps, you actually got a little creepy. Good job.|
The plaster bust, made because her mom loves her, was a strong enough symbol of love to loosen the mask's grip on her. And she buries the mask, as is the sensible thing to do.
Oh wait no.
That's not what happens.
That's not what happens.
She takes it home with her because we need to set up a twist ending.
Once home, she tosses her mask down before her brother freaks out over the scary mask she's wearing. But it turns out to just be a joke, referring to her actual face.
Mildly distraught, Carly Beth runs up and hugs her mom, who wants to know what she's been doing, why she ditched Sabrina, and most importantly, why she didn't wear the duck costume.
|It's an important question.|
They hug again, and the episode gets its twist ending as Noah shows up with the mask on.
|Unfortunately, it was permanently grafted to his face. The bills for the plastic surgery bankrupted the family.|
R.L. Stine: "Let's ask my family. Mom? Dad? What did you think?"
|"We think the makeup people could have done a better job making us look presentable for your little show, son."|
That's just precious, R.L. Stine. "Have a scary day"? That's something I'd expect a little cartoon skeleton to say.
|Look at that. That's adorable. Slap it on a t-shirt and sell it at Target.|