Goosebump a thon #24: Phantom of the Auditorium

Hello, Spongey here

 

Welcome back to Goosebump-athon!

 

Phantom of the Auditorium

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Cover:  this one’s decent. That’s…about it

                                            

Front Tagline:  “he’s out to stop the show…for good!”

Back Tagline:  “Lights, Camera…phantom?”. That pun doesn’t work with a play, Stine.  

 

Summary:

 

Brooke (yay, another female main character) and Zeke are aspiring thespians, having appeared in the previous school year’s production of Guys and Dolls. When Brooke and Zeke go to look at the cast list for the new, “scary” show that they tried out for, Brooke discovers a note pinned to the board telling her that she has been suspended. Upon whirling around, Zeke laughs and reveals he set up the joke.

Zeke receives the lead role as the Phantom and Brooke is cast as Esmeralda.

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…I wish.

 

A seventh grader named Tina (who doesn’t much like Brooke), discovers she’s Brooke’s understudy and also is in charge of scenery. At the script reading the next week, Tina reveals that the play is cursed.

Tina starts to tell about how there is an actual phantom in the school, but she is interrupted by Ms. Walker, the director, who tells her that the story is, “Very scary… very upsetting.” However, she gives in and reveals the old legend to the class.

The legend reveals that seventy-two years ago, a student found a copy of a play called The Phantom in the basement. The boy shows the play to a teacher who decides the school will perform it. On opening night, the boy disappears, never to be found again. After that night, all copies of the script were destroyed (except one, which was kept locked in a safe). The play was never performed again

But then the school decided in a board meeting that they will ignore a DISSAPEARING STUDENT and put on the play anyway.

‘She then disappears out of nowhere. As students worry and scramble, Ms. Walker reveals that she had used a trap door below the stage. She has the kids help her up and then excitedly tells them that they’ll be using said trap for theatrical effect during their play, but to not use it before its fixed, due to safety reasons.

So no one has ever seen this blatant trapdoor? In the room’s 70 years of use, no one found it, or fell threw it? No one warned the students before?

Whatever

 

Brooke gives us a brief synopsis of The Phantom. A man named Carlo owns a theater. Beneath the theater lives a phantom with a scarred and hideous face. Esmeralda, the daughter of Carlo, falls in love with the Phantom,..

Wait a disfigured  guy falling In love with a chick named Esmeralda..

 

Never seen that before.-

Anyway…but her handsome boyfriend Eric finds out…and kills the Phantom.

..phantoms can die?

 Esmeralda runs away and the Phantom haunts the theater forever.

 

Kind of a downer ending for a middle school play, but sure.

 

After everyone leaves rehearsals, Zeke and Brooke stick around to try out the trap door in secret. They go down the trap door, but instead of stopping at a certain height, they keep going…and eventually they’re beneath the school, in a vast, dark corridor. Suddenly, the platform begins to move up again and the two jump onto it as it goes back up. The platform stops a little short of the stage, so the two have to hoist themselves up. Once on the stage, they run into Emile, the “night janitor”, an old man with a big purple scar on his face. He chides them on using the trap door and tells them to leave.

The next day at school, there’s a new boy sitting in Brooke’s chair named Brian, claiming to have just moved from Indiana. He compliments Brooke on starring in the play and tells of his past theatrical, albeit small roles; she finds him attractive. Brooke runs out to her locker after talking to Brian and inside her locker there is a note written in red crayon, written: STAY AWAY FROM MY HOME SWEET HOME.

 

Brooke thinks Zeke is behind the letter. Despite her belief, he vehemently denies it.

After school, Brian asks Ms. Walker if there are any parts left in the play. She tells him that unfortunately, there aren’t; however, he can work with Tina on the stage crew. Suddenly, the lights go out, and there’s a terrifying scream in the auditorium. A masked man comes swooping down from the catwalk and disappears down the trap door. This time, Brooke is absolutely certain it’s Zeke. Afterward, Tina tries to blame the incident on Brooke, since, “Zeke is YOUR friend after all.”

Great logic honey.

The next day at play rehearsal, Brooke forgets her lines at the purposeful fault of the malicious Tina. But then, the Phantom appears again from the platform and begins violently shaking Brooke before disappearing again. This time, it couldn’t have been Zeke, for he was watching from the front row. Later, Zeke and Brooke decide to go to the school’s main office and ask if perhaps Emile, the “night janitor” had turned in a book Zeke had left in the auditorium. While shutting the computer and preparing to leave, the secretary informs him that the school does not have a night janitor.

Brooke and Zeke later talk the new guy, Brian, into helping them catch the Phantom in the school.

Oh, and this dog barks at him. Remember ghost beach? Yeah. Spoilers…if this book wasn’t predictable about it.

Planning to break into the school, they find no entrance. Then, Brian finds a ground-level entrance; the home-economics room.. Trekking the very dark halls, they eventually come upon the dark, damp auditorium. With a good look at the stage, however, and in dim light, they see the backdrop slowly lowering itself. A violently-written message in splattered red paint reads the same as Brooke’s mysterious note from earlier.

At the most inconceivably inappropriate time, Ms. Walker coincidentally enters the auditorium and catches the three of them staring at the now badly-vandalized backdrop. She firstly accuses them of of the crime, but several genuine explanations later, and Ms. Walker almost believes them.

 As proof, she sees a trail of red paint leading from the backdrop into the hallways. Relieved, the group starts to follow the trail before discovering that the trail leads to Zeke’s locker. Now furious, Ms. Walker demands Zeke to open the locker. Flustered, he quickly undoes the lock and as Brooke and her teacher peer in, they see a can of red paint. Now, no matter how much protesting Zeke does, he cannot explain himself out of such a purely incriminating situation. He’s not only grounded, facing charges, and in deep trouble with his parents…he is also ejected from the play.

Robert Hernandez, Zeke’s understudy, takes his place. Brooke thinks he is much too serious a person and is just not the same as Zeke, whom she can joke around with. At rehearsal, Ms. Walker finds her script’s pages glued together. In a fit of pent-up rage, she chucks her script and declares that the play is canceled.

DUN DUN-

After calming down from her irrational behavior, however, she retracts her former statement and allows the play to continue production,

 

Damn it, stine!

 

Outraged, Zeke vows to try one last time to catch the Phantom. The trio goes back to the school at night again, and find their way down the trapdoor, this time into a tunnel. To their strange surprise, they find a small, but fully-furnished room. There’s even a fresh bowl of corn flakes on a table.

Eventually they bump into emile, and talk to him.  As it turns out, he’s simply a homeless man whose father actually worked for the school many years ago. He knew about the underground room, and after losing his actual home, decided to make move-in. After finding out that people started fooling around with the trapdoor and getting nearer and nearer to discovering him, he started painting the warnings.

Shaggy would be proud, Brooke.

As she tells him about the play seventy-two years ago, he smiles bitterly and admits that he is only fifty years of age. The three are astonished as it dawns upon them that it is impossible for him to be the Phantom.

They head out. They find the trapdoor at the bottom, and as they ride the top, they discover Zeke’s father waiting for them. Asking how he found them, he says that upon coming home, Zeke was not there. Even though still grounded, he figured that Zeke would be back at school fooling around with the trapdoor again.  (How does he know about that?)

As he says Zeke is still grounded, though, the three begin to rapidly explain the situation. Calling an officer in to go down and investigate, he finds the room still furnished…but no books, cornflakes, or sign of Emile.

Zeke gets his part back, as it is now obvious that he was not the culprit. So now it’s time for the climax…ish thing!

The play night comes. . The play goes very well…but halfway through Act I, when the Phantom makes his dramatic appearance, Brooke figures out that the Phantom isn’t Zeke. It is the real Phantom.

In the final scene of the play, after the Phantom dramatically rises in dry-ice mist and from the trap door, Esmeralda (really Brooke) asks the Phantom a question. Instead of answering with the correct lines, the Phantom gives a short speech about how he died on opening night and had been haunting the stage, excitedly awaiting for his chance to play the role

So he’s not quite evil so much as he wanted to live out his dream. I admit, that’s a nice change of pace for the series.

the Phantom slowly walks backward…straight into the open trapdoor. Falling into deep darkness, Brooke runs and peers into the opening, able to see nothing

great,, even Stine like his falling deaths.

After the curtain closes, Zeke shows up in regular clothes, confused and inquiring as to what had just taken place. As it turns out, he’d been knocked out cold by the Phantom, so he could play the part instead of Zeke

 

Twist Ending:

They find an old yearbook near Brooke’s locker…dating to the very year the kid playing the phantom died. They look at the lead role cast picture for the Phantom. To their utter shock….the boy is Brian;

Okay, semi predictable, but still decent. It’s a twist without being cruel. I like iot

 

TV Episode:  this episode is good. There aren’t too many overall changes, plot wise. It’s faithful, but unlike Ghost Beach, the acting and atmosphere work. There are changes, but they are so minor I won’t bring them up. It’s a good episode, and that’s all I have to say.

 

Notable Lines: “The cereal  is still soggy…he must be nearby”

 

Useless Fact: The ep was the first Episode I ever saw

Also  Tina’s Actress has gone on to voice eva on Total Drama island.

She was also in  Disney Channel movie…called “Phantom of the megaplex”

She really likes her phantom of the opera references

Wait…that’s two books in a row who’s ep has a TDI actor. First Sari’s, now Tina’s.

COINCIDENCE?!

,…yea.

 

Also, In that pog book, Stine says any plot hole in this is an unanswered question. Yes.

Final Thoughts:

 

This one is good. It’s not great, but I enjoy it. It has a pretty solid story, and I like how it’s more of a mystery than a full horror story. Yes, it’s like Scooby doo, but it’s still a lot of fun,.  There are some minor issues, as I mentioned above. Yeah, it is unremarkable compared to Stine’s other ghost books, but this is just proof he does ghost stories the best. Can’t we get more of those and less …worms? Anyway, a good one.

Grade:  B

 

 

 

 

 

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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