Goosebump a thon #20: The Scarecrow walks at Midnight

Hello, Spongey here

 

Welcome back to Goosebump-athon!

The Scarecrow walks at Midnight

 Image

Cover: creepy one. Its…just cool. I need more things to say about these covers..

                                            

Front Tagline:  “It’s a field of screams!”

Back Tagline:  “They’re alive!”

Summary:

Jodie and Mark are visiting their Grandparents farm. As the book opens they are at a train station, arriving. They are picked up by Stanley, the hired help. He is a forty-something man described as being slow

 

Yep, they imply he’s special.  No comment.

Stanley makes some small talk about people who have died and then mysteriously says “The scarecrows walk at midnight.”

Oh so that’s why it’s called that.

 

Pulling into the farm, Jodie notices a lot of new scarecrows lining the fields. Upon arrival, Grandpa Kurt and Grandma Miriam greet their grandkids sort of half-heartedly. Jodie and Mark readjust to life on the farm. Stanley shows the kids the scarecrows, which he made by following the instructions in his special superstition book.

 

Yes, he has this book and he claims it shows him tons of strange rules and pretty much everything

…wrong book of everything owned by a Stanley.

Stanley sees that the corn in the field is covered in some sort of fungus and freaks out, as apparently his superstition book had warned him about corn growth.

As you can tell, Stanley is a rather interesting character.

 

It’s here they bump into Stanley’s son, who plays pranks a lot. His name is Sticks.

No, that’s really his name

 

I’d mock him…but knowing Stanley at this point, it’s not so weird.

 

After dinner, Jodie and her brother wait anxiously in the living room, hoping Grandpa Kurt will tell another one of his scary stories. But Kurt provides no scary stories, (much like Rl Stine. *rimshot) opting instead to go to bed early.

Oh, and they have a stuffed bear. No, not a teddy bear. A real bear that was killed and stuffed. Who the fuck who has that in their living room?

 

Jodie thinks and sees  that her grandparents seem less energetic and more tired than last year’s visit. She is suspicious.

 

…it’s called aging. Try it sometime/!

 

The next morning Jodie and her brother whine about not getting served chocolate chip pancakes as they always are. Grandma  tells the kids that she no longer makes pancakes, as they are too fattening.  She sets down a bowl of corn flakes in front of Jodie as Stanley pours himself a second bowl of the cereal, and says he much prefers it.

The night before, Jodie and her brother had seen the scarecrows moving in unison. She tells Grandpa Kurt about this astonishing occurrence but Stanley immediately insists that it was only the wind.

Crappy foreshadowing alert!

After that, Stanley takes them all  to the the nearby river for some fishing. Once they finally get to the pond, Jodie spots a scarecrow spying on them and tells Stanley. Stanley gets very worried and runs off, leaving the kids behind.

Stanley is crazy, overly suspicious and insane…I love this guy.

 

She runs into Sticks and accuses him of setting all of the scarecrows (more scarecrow stuff happened, but I skipped it)  up to scare her. When Sticks hears that his father got spooked, he immediately runs off to find Stanley.

 

At dinner, Jodi is shocked to see that,  while apple pie is Grandpa Kurt’s favorite, Grandma Miriam is instead serving cherry pie, …which Stanley happily announces is his favorite.

 

Good to know his pie preferences

 

The next morning, Grandma Miriam tells the kids that everyone else has gone into town, but they saddled up some horses in case they wanted to ride after eating.  Oh yay, horse action. This should be fun.

The kids take the horses down the trail along the corn fields when suddenly a scarecrow jumps in front of the horses. They get spooked and knock both kids to the ground.

That’s why you shouldn’t get Fluttershy to be your farm horse.

 

After recovering from that, Jodi is pissed and think Sticks did all this. Even the grandparents say that sticks did it, and nothing scary is going on. And yet they don’t care about Sticks pretty much injuring mark back there.

Great grandparents, eh?

 

Jodie has had enough and decides that she’s going to scare Sticks in retribution. Jodie’s plan is to dress Mark up as a scarecrow and have him hang from a pole with the other scarecrows in the field. Jodie will lead Sticks to the field and then Mark will “come to life,” scaring Sticks.

Okay, you all know this cliché. Jodie heads to find Sticks, but “Mark” pops up and Jodie tells him to go back. It turns out to be an actual monster and not the kid in disguise.

This was done like 5 books ago, is Stine that out of ideas?

 

Jodi runs and bumps into Sticks. Sticks then explains to Jodie what is going on.

 A few weeks before Jodie and her brother arrived, Stanley read an ancient spell from his book and brought the scarecrows to life. This terrified Jodie’s grandparents and they made Stanley promise to undo his spell.

I guess they never thought to burn them

 

He agreed, but on the condition that they adjust their life to doing the things he likes and making the food he enjoys. He wanted to be appreciated, and used scare tactics to do so.

 

Stanley is now a badass. Fuck yeah.

 

Stanley recanted the incantation but can’t account for what’s occurred: some of the scarecrows never went back to sleep! Sticks has been keeping it a secret from his father though because he doesn’t want Stanley to recast the spell, thus re-waking all of the scarecrows. Stanley bursts out of the house, having heard bits of their conversation. He prepares to recite the spell so that he can exert authority over the legion of scarecrows,

So Stanley has a wish to be master of something, instead of just being a farmhand. I must say, this is an interesting thing stine came up with here. And kids liked this book due to the boring scarecrows?

Then Mark comes off his pole in the scarecrow costume. Stanley is spooked and uses the book to try to kill him. So the fact that the scarecrows attack is…mark’s idiocy.

Fuck you.

 

So Stanley brings them to life, but fails control them, but of course they attack him. Thank you mark!

 

Then there’s a boring pointless scene where the Scarecrow’s think mark is one of them and then we get a scene of a simon says, but with scarecrows. There was no point to this, as it didn’t help the plot at all..

 

BIG LIPPED ALLIGATOR MOMENT!

 

Suddenly a bright flash appears from behind the line of advancing scarecrows; it’s Sticks, and he’s got lit torches. Sticks wields the torches like baseball bats and burns every scarecrow to ashes. \

 

Why didn’t they just do that in the first place?!

 

Stanley apologies for this and says that he should have just told the grandparents about his issues instead of trying to take control. So we have a fine moral and a really awesome character to boot.

Wait…if the grandparents knew Stanley was stirring up trouble…WHY DID THEY INVITE THE KIDS?!

Bah.

 

Twist Ending:

The next morning, Jodie is relaxing in the living room. as she hears Stanley reading quietly in the other room. She sees it’s the book, and asks what page he is reading.

The stuffed bear in the corner moves its paws and licks its lips as it moves towards her.

…yikes. Typical ending, but it works.

TV Episode:

This is the episode used the book in Youtube poop

That gives you a good idea of what it’s like.

 

First, Sticks is played by that one dude from Ginger snaps. Also he sounds like a country boy and says stuff like “this ain’t no place for city kids’

2nd,there aren’t a huge amount of changes. It mostly simplifies the story a bit. But they do change the climax

Instead of burning them, they get crushed by sticks with the wheat thrasher. Hell yes. I love that.

In the twist, the thrasher comes to life instead of the bear. Oh cool, I’ve seen Maximum overdrive too.

What makes this ep insane is the corny acting. Stanley’s actor gives a wonderfully   hammy performance. He says everything in an insane way that sounds more funny then scary.
Oh, and mark’s is pretty bad, but funny. At one point, he randomly says “CHOCLATE PANCAKES” in a freaky ass voice. That really needs to be a meme!

When Stanley  says “Cherry’s my favorite” it is so over the top, and done so straight, it comes across as insanely funny. And that’s not even scratching the surface.

“LEAVE THE BIKES!’

 

Every single time he is on screen, it’s like he’s in his own little world.   They also really explore his character and make him more sympathetic than the book does. So the episode may be the most wonderful piece of cheese ever, but it has heart.

It’s so bad it’s amazing

 

Notable Lines:

I think I will cheat and take one from the TV episode

 

“It makes no more sense than when he said pigeons like their toenails polished”

Useless Fact: Acordding to a Goosebumps POG book, this was inspired by the time RL Stine saw…a crazy kid talk about cholcate chip pancakes. Jk, you know what it really was.

Final Thoughts:

This one is meh. The ideas are cool, and Stanley is a cool, well done character, but he’s the only great part of this book. The characters are bland, the story is dull, and it’s just plain boring for most it. Stanley takes a meh book and makes it worth reading. It’s just kind of boring, but not BAD per say. Stanley is a cool sort of villain, who’s not really a villain. I’d say this is worth reading just for him. Maybe if they had made the story more engaging, and explored Stanley a bit more, it’d be a classic. But alas, it’s meh. Without him, it’s just mediocre. It’s just okay.

Grade:  C

 

 

 

 

See ya!

 

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About Spongey444

I'm 20 and I'm a slightly below average man who can barely spell. I mostly spend my time watching TV and movies, hence why i ended doing a blog all about those things. I tend to have weird tastes, but I like think I'm just fair on things.
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One Response to Goosebump a thon #20: The Scarecrow walks at Midnight

  1. sweetie buttons says:

    CHOCOLATE CHIP PANCAKES

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