Haunting Hour Season 2 Retrospective

Hello, Spongey here.

The time has come once again to discuss RL Stine’s The Haunting Hour. This time, it’s the second season. This is the best season, in everyone’s opinion. They took the best traits from Season one and made it BETTER.

Things were bigger, better, and of course scarier. Most of it was perfect, which is why a lot of these eps were on my top 11. This was an amazing season, so let’s look at the episodes I’ve failed to talk about.

This, is the Haunting Hour Season 2 Retrospective

Creature Feature

Director: Peter Deluise

Writers: Billy Brown and Dan Angel

 A classic film lover named John (Joel Courtney) just wants to watch movies, but his male friend, and female friend pull him away to have a life. They end up at an old drive on, where John gets sucked into a 1950s B-movie called I Was A Teenage Tick Monster. He soon ends up in the movie where he is pursued by the Tick Monster and the evil scientist Dr. Mangle.

This is another comedy episode, and to me, it’s the funniest episode. Mostly cuz of how much it spoofs cheesy 50’s B movies. We’ve got “Bad” acting, a hammy villain, and music cues only John can hear. What I like is that John early on says he that he knows it’s bad, but he highly enjoys it.

He says the acting is bad, but gives one crap performance praise…cuz it’s a chick he likes. . Pfftt, how dumb. I would never watch something that’s dumb just cuz a chick I like is on it-

Jessie_logo

Don’t judge me.

So I like that the main characters knows this is dumb and rolls with it. In most shows, they take the B movie a bit too seriously. But here, he’s like us. This makes him easy to sympathize with. But of course, the bulk of the episode is showing off the cheesy movie, and it’s great.

We got the good scientist and his daughter, the chick I mentioned, and his “clearly the villain” assistant who he trusts. Of course John is self aware, and there’s a good gag where there’s a music sting, and John asks if anyone else heard it.

As you can expect, the villain is very hammy and is a ton of fun. They even do that Austin powers evil laugh gag that got old years about, but is still funny here. Dr Mangle (Isn’t that a great name) wants to turn people into Tick creatures, and has already done so to some boy. The Tick himself is pretty cool, cheesy costume and all.

There’s a great scene later on where a cop stumbles on the drive in with the kids watching the movie with John in it. He ends up in the movie too and right away, the Tick-Boy gets him and turns him into a tick monster too. I thought he died at first, but it’s a comedy episode so he came back. It’s a very cool scene that comes straight out of a B movie.

We get bits with Lisa and the male friend whose name I forget. The dude wants to get lucky with Lisa and he wanted to pull John along with a date with an add-on I guess. Most of the episode has them watching the movie and trying to get John out. I loved that Lisa agrees that the movie sucks but by the end she actually gets sucked into it. …in both ways.

This is a two parter, so at the end of part 1, Lisa cuts the film strip. Part 2 opens with this working as John and the cop get back to the real world But it’s not over. See, John was captured by the bad guy and he was about to tick-ifiy him before he left. But as it turns out, the needle got John and now he’s turning into a tick in the real world, and must go back into the movie to reverse it.

The entire section where he turns into a tick is scary. You read that right, the funniest episode actually gets SCARY. The way he transforms into a Tick is very well done, and it’s quite gross in a good way. In a way, it’s one of the spookiest scenes in the show. And for a comedy episode, that’s impressive.

Not much to report on for the rest except for the ending…except a scene where Tick!John is kicked in the nuts the the other two question is he still has any. You know-for kids!

At the end, they change John back to normal and stop the bad guy for good. Nathan and Lisa leave…but John decides to stay, as he feels he belongs here. Yeah, good luck explaining that to his parents. As weird as this is, it’s a fine ending, I guess.

Plus we get a trailer for REVENGE OF THE TEENAGE TICK MONSTER featuring John. John enjoys his new life and says “Fade to black” as the credits role. This ending works even though it doesn’t make much sense.

Otherwise, this is a great sense. It’s a great homage to 50’s B movies, with great bad acting and some stellar performances. The story is simple but it works, and it even has a scary moment at one point. This was gonna be in my top 11, but I had no room. If I made a follow up list, this would be on there.

The funniest episode, and a great way to start the season’

Grade: B+

Swarmin’ Norman

Director: Peter Deluise

Writer: Jack Monaco

A bullied boy named Norman (Man, kids named Norman don’t have good luck in horror) discovers that he has god-like power over bugs and uses them to get revenge on his tormentors – only to discover (the hard way) that absolute power corrupts absolutely.

This is a simple episode helped by some great stuff. Goosebumps did the “Bugs kill you” type of episode (surprisingly well I might add) so this has big shoes to fill. There are a lot of angles they could have used. Jerk picks on bugs, bugs rise against Norman for little reasons outside of “HAW WE PLAYED YOU” etc. While both of those could have been awesome, what we get is far more fascinating.

Norman uses his bug power to scare off a bully, but in the process he stomps on a bug to prove his power. So that night the bugs attack him, as a voiceover of a teacher’s speech from earlier reminds us that bugs would overtake in a war. And…that’s about it. The episode ends there.

This is one of the most simple stories in the history of the show. There is plenty of good pacing before he gets the bug powers, and as he learns how to control the bugs. So it’s not like it’s completely rushed or anything

And that’s why it works. It’s not too complicated, and they make it very simple without making it seem like they padded out the runtime. The theme of bugs killing us is nothing new, but they added an extra lesson: The little guy always wins.

Which in most cases means you CAN fight city hall or whatever, but here it means the little guy has to make sure to stand up for EVERYONE, not just themselves. Or powerful creatures even smaller can kill them.

Or something like that. I’m tired.

What I mean by all this is that the combined the bug theme, the power currpting theme AND a new theme of the little guy always winning into one big story. And so a small story becomes big thanks to many hidden layers.

There actually isn’t a ton to say outside of that. It’s the kind of episode where it has nothing else outside of that. The rest is good but it’s mostly there to hold us over until well that.

It’s the most simple episode in terms of events, but it’s also one of the most complex in terms of themes. This episode is creepy for many reasons, mostly in how power crazy Norman gets.

It’s one of those underrated episodes that is actually a lot deeper than even I gave it credit for. A very simple episode, but a good one.

Grade: B+

Flight

See my top 11

Pumpkinhead

Director: Neil Fearnly

Writers: Erik Patterson, and Jessica Scott

Finally, another short story episode! One…of two this season. Again, go read my Nightmare Hour review for story details.

Dave is upset about how the local owner of a Pumpkin patch known as Mr Palmer, is a jackass, who on Halloween night, he and his friend Scott plan to pull some pranks there.

As you can see, the episode follows the short story rather well. Only, the focus is on the sister…and the boy’s name is changed and there’s a new male friend character and the female one is gone.

Well, it follows the story of it okay. I think it’s okay that the focus is on “Dave” since it makes it feel more like a true comeuppance story, as Dave pays the price for sneaking into a pumpkin patch. That’s the moral right? Never sneak into a pumpkin patch?

Well anyway, as a result it’s a very simple episode without much development. It’s like Ghostly Stare, but not as creepy. It does have that halloween feel, with of the jokes early on, and the whole pumpkin thing. So it’s a good Halloween episode at least.

It moves at the simplest pace, as the boys face the jerkass, make some jokes on Halloween night, go out to prank the dude, get in trouble, the sister finds out and the twist happen.

Pretty basic. You remember how the story ends, but I’ll say it anyway. Dave sneaks into the patch, but then he vanishes. The sister goes on and discovers that his head is now stuck to a vine in place of a pumpkin.

She sees a ton of other kids that have suffered the same fate. Palmer shows up and grabs Dave’s head and quips that it’s “not quite ripe”

The end. Just like the short story, this is a very creepy, unexpected twist that provides great comeuppance. The focus on the brother makes him a tad more sympathetic, but it also empphasizes the comeuppance more.

Which makes it more awesome when he gets what he deserves. Plus, he’s played by Frankie Jonas, so it’s more great to see hm die. Wait, Debby Ryan now him. Why do people connected to Disney stars always die on this show?

Weird.

Anyway, it’s also quite creepy when it happens, even more so than in the short story. This is a pretty simple episode, which stops it from being better, but it’s still good.

What else can I add? Other than there’s a “zombie justin bieber” joke. Ew. It’s short, sweet, and is a mostly faithful adaptation of the story.

It’s just a good, spooky Halloween episode.

Grade: B

Brush With Madness

See my top 11

Sick

See top 11

Mascot

Director: Jason Furukawa

Writer: Craig S. Phillips & Harold Hayes, Jr.

Willie and his friend, Drake hate their school’s weird mutant mascot, Big Yellow. So with the power of petition, they get Big Yellow booted, and replaced. But the thing is, no one knows who Big Yellow even is.,as the old manager who picked him vanishes. Regardless, they get a new mascot anyway. But as it turns out Big yellow does not like being replaced..

They say that a good comedian can make the phone book funny. Well that applies to horror too. You can make anything scary, if you really try. And this episode, made a living masot costume scary.

Story wise, there’s not too much to report. It mostly has them replacing Big Yellow, and trying to find out his beef when the new mascot vanishes. By the way, the new mascot is a wolf, and after wolfie is attacked, Drake wakes up to find the wolf mascot head in his bed.

The whole scene is straight from The Godfather. Unexpected, yet awesome.

The story still works, cuz it’s simple and mostly relies on the scares, which are good. The guy playing Big Yellow is surprisingly good, even though he doesn’t really do a whole lot. I guess you can attribute to this to score, and camera work.

The way it’s shot makes Big Yellow pretty damn scary, and you can almost tell what he’s thinking, even though he has no facial expressions. One good example is the scene where Wille ends up in Big Yellow’s liar (long story) and has to hide from him. You can almost tell that Yellow knows someone is/was here but he wants to keep quiet just to scare the intruder even more.

Scenes are that surprisingly tense. But at times, the idea still seems silly, and some small bits can come acoss as…cheesy. However, the really scary scenes more than make up for it. As far as characters go, Drake is the nerdy one while Willie is the more jerk-ish of the two, which is why Willie is the one to perish at the end.

Still, they are both semi likable, but there’s a reason Drake is the one who gets out alive. There’s not much to report as far pacing goes, so let’s skip to the end.

At night, Willie finds Big Yellow sitting in the gym. He pulls off his head, to reveal…nothing. Big Yellow is not a costume, but an actual monster. Willie is attacked, and the next morning, Drake can’t find it. Cuz no one seems to care, things go normal until Drake looks for him at the pep rally.

He calls Willie’s phone…and hears a ring coming from inside Big Yellow. He confronts Yellow and hears screaming. Cut to the inside of Big Yellow as we see Willie and Wolfie surrounded by inside-y stuff, screaming.

The episode ends at this point. Damn, that’s another messed up ending. They pretty show that Big yellow is costume-ish monster that is pretty much EATING those two kids. Which makes that shot pretty damn gory.

It’s sort of abrupt, but it fits. This is another case where the ending makes the episode. You can ask questions about how Big Yellow got in, or why he wants to be mascot so bad, but I don’t care. It still works in spite of those plot holes.

This has always been one of the smaller episodes, that not many people pay attention to. I’ve always liked it, but it’s not until recently that I saw it for how spooky it really is.

It’s not very complex or even that amazing, by the way it’s done is just very well. They make a weird idea damn scary and the fantastic atmosphere helps make this an underrated gem.

Short section, but this is a pretty simple episode to review.

Grade: B+

Bad Feng Shui

Director: James Head

Writer: Melody Fox

A Chinese girl named Jessica hates how strict her mother is right down to rearranging her room. When Jessica decides to arrange the room the way she wants it, dark forces begin haunting her house and she turns to Mr. Ming on how to set things right.

From that summary, this may seem like the “Asian stereotype’/ episode…and it is, but since the actors as Asian, I think that makes it okay. That’s how it works, right?

Well, either way, it’s good. It’s an episode that tries to strike a balance between scary and sweet, and it does well in doing that. While it’s not quite as spooky as it could have been, it still has it’s moments.

Stories like this may make the main character a bitch, but since some of us have been in her position, she ends up being likable. Plus, she actually learns from her mistakes, and has some really sweet moments at the end.’

The story is pretty simple, but the way it plays out is good. It starts off with us seeing how Jessica is failing at her studies, and that her mom is trying to fix that. Mom goes to an old Chinese shop and gets some advice about Feng Shui and leaves with no evil dolls, or Frogurt.

So she ends up changing Jessica’s room to attract Good Feng Shui so Jessica can relax better. You already know what happens after that, and it’s not good.

Not too long after something is broken and Jessica is blamed, the spirit shows up to take Mom. Long story short, Jessica has to top the evil spirit. The spirit guy is fairly creepy, as the scenes with him are shot in a nice, tense way.

It’s not super scary, but it still works. How is it that the episode with the living mascot costume ended up being scarier? This one is still better, since it also has a good story, and good characters. I won’t spoil exactly how it happens, but the scene where Jessica officially saves mom and apologizes is very sweet.

Okay, I’ll mention the part where Jessica tries get out Mom out of the weird void the evil guy put her in by…playing Villon, cuz her Mom loved her violin playing and has been trying to get her to practice more. It sounds cheesy, but it ends up being really sweet.

At the end, the day is saved and Jessica earns her happy ending. Yeah, it’s another happy ending, but damn if it wasn’t earned.

While I wish it was a tiny bit scarier, it still works pretty well. I like the story, and I really enjoy the main character. It’s very sweet without being cheesy. They even use the stereotypes well. If you are offended…just repeat to yourself “It’s just a show, I should really just relax”

This is another short section, but this is another simple episode. It’s sweet, spooky and well made. What else you want from me?!

Grade: B+

The Hole

Director: Peter Deluise

Writers: Erik Patterson & Jessica Scott

Rob and Carrie’s family move to a new house when strange things start to happen. They discovered a big hole in the backyard, and also uncover the secrets about the family that previously lived there.

When this episode first aired, I wasn’y paying 100 percent attention cuz I was on my computer at the same time. As a result, I didn’t fully get it. When I fully re-watched it, I really liked it.

Then I watched it again for this blog, and I still like, just not as much. It starts out like a typical haunted house story, where the kids see weird stuff happening. It’s still done well with good atmosphere.

The first half is actually more like Paranormal Activity than even Lights out. Want proof? At one point, the door closes by itself. That demon just won’t leave people alone!

Anyway, the episodes get really good when the kids discover hole, and a picture that came out of it helps them research the family who last lived there. The story then moves on from the typical stuff, and we start to get hints as to what might happen later.

The hole coughs up a video tape, showing a video of the family eating at a barbeque, and the dad making them sit down, cuz “families eat together!”. Then he ends up flipping a grill at the camera

They later find out the man’s family died in a car wreck, and they think the hole is somehow warning about a horrible future event. It’s stuff that this that makes the episode work and the pacing is quite good.

I find it funny how the first time they tell the mom that ghosts are here, she denies it…then shit happens right away and she gets pulled to the hole. The ghosts wasted no time in avoiding that cliché, eh?

The climax itself is…anti-climatic. Long story short, Dad gets home and gets sucked in by the hole, but he climbs out. Then…that’s it. The bulk is done. I guess the ghosts were warning them that some other evil ghosts were gonna do that, and that’s that.

But thankfully, that isn’t the ending. A week later, they never moved out for some reason, but their Mom says nothing has happened since the climax, so it’s okay.

A few minute later they family eats lunch outside, and their dad reveals a new shirt he found in the attic. A shirt that looks suspiciously like the one in the video. Noticing this, the kids try to leave but the Dad yells at them to sit down.

Families eat together!”

They awkwardly sit down. Creepy close up on dad’s face. Roll credits. Yeah, that’s a pretty abrupt like few minutes. However, it does work as it’s a good parallel to that video and they imply that the dad is possessed, which means he will ikely kill them all in a car wreck.’

This show is so dark sometimes. Anyway, as a whole, this is another basic good episode. It probably belongs somewhere in Season 1, but that’s not a bad thing. It still works very well, and some nice writing makes it more than a typical haunted house story.

I just wish it had an actual climax so that the “ending” would hit harder. But even then, it’s still a good episode that does a unique take on the haunted house story.

It has a good story, and it’s quite creepy. What more could you want?

Grade: B

Scarecrow

See my top 11.

Dreamcatcher

Director: Neil Fearnly

Writer: Katherine Boutry

Lisa is the new kid at a camp, and she quickly befriends Applebloom, I mean Amelia. However, Amelia was already friends with Meg, the local alpha bitch. But thanks to the whole Alpha Bitch thing, Amelia is ready to make a better friend. As revenge, Amiella tells them all the scary tale of a creature that can indave dreams, making them nightmares…and make them come true.

And the three girls soon discover the truth…the hard way.

This is one where it wasn’t until my most recent viewing that I realize how truly good and scary this episode is. The plot is familiar if you’ve seen A Nightmare on Elm street but they add in extra stuff to make it good.

It’s great seeing how this Alpha went from Alpha Bitch with a propose to just being amazingly irredeemable. Perhaps the best scene is when she is telling the whole story to the other girls.

It’s actually quite creepy, and the way the actress tells it is quite chilling…even if it results n a jump scare. Speaking scary, the pacing is quite good. Lisa has a nightmare, where the “dreamcatcher” shows up, and when she wakes up, there is a scratch on her arm.

The girls soon start to have creepy dreams and soon figure out that the dreamcatcher is real, and he’s coming for them. The girls minus Meg try to stay awake, which leads to some tense scenes as the dreamcatcher starts to leak into their minds.

Another great scene is when they are at the campfire, and they are singing. Lisa starts to feel sleep, and everything slows down, and the dreamcatcher joins in the singing for an actually effective jump scare.

Speaking of him, The Dreamcatcher himself is like the joker meets the spider from lost in space. He’s a tad silly, but the atmosphere makes him creepy.

The episode gets more tense as the Dreamcatcher starts to catch up with them. They all end up in the dreamworld, having fallen asleep. Meg teamed up with them only to backstab them earlier, and now in these final moments, Lisa and Amelia are all webbed up in the evil dude’s liar while meg is safe.

Then she gloats about it and acts like a bitch. See what I mean? Anyway, the two girls actually set alarms so they would wake if they fall asleep, so it ends up waking them up, and freeing them from the dreamworld.

However, Meg didn’t want that so she went to sleep somewhere else. Thus, she is still asleep while the others are free. The dream catcher than approaches Meg on his spider-y legs..

No! I’M AWAKE!”

If you were awake…I wouldn’t be here!!”

Roll Credits. Yet another freaky, and amazing ending. This episode is one of the more underrated of the season. The dream plot has been done, but they pull it off in a surprisingly scary way.

Plus, they add extra character bits to make it interesting. It’s got great pacing, good character stuff, and overall nice, creepy atmosphere.

It’s episodes like this that made me a fan in the first place. No jokes. No heartwarming stuff. Just…fear.

Grade: B+

The Most Evil Sorcerer

See my top 11. But I will say that I failed to mention that Margolin is played by Micheal Ironside. He’s an actual famous actor, so why I missed him is beyond me. He’s always awesome and this episode is no exception. Even his last name is awesome!

Stage Fright

Director: Peter Deluise

Writers: Erik Patterson & Jessica Scott

A high school drama club is doing a musical based on the story of Hansel and Gretel, but bad things have been happening: the original lead actress breaks her leg and is demoted to a treeand thewitchactress keeps forgetting her cues. One of the stage hands reveals that the play is cursed and other schools have had trouble with it, but the teacher thinks it’s all dumb and the show must go on. Things go wrong, spoilers.

At first glance, this may seem like a retreat of The goosebumps book “Phantom of the Auditorium” but it’s actually not. Instead of the whole mystery thing, after the base plot is set up, the rest of the episode takes place on the night of the performance as the cast members start to vanish, and the other guys try to keep the show going without them.

So already this episode gets points for doing something different. But the first thing I have to mention is that they were putting on a musical…we get to hear songs. 3 to be exact. Two from the show…and the other I’ll mention later.

So yes, this is the closet we’ll get to THE HAUNTING HOUR: THE MUSICAL. Is it bad I actually the want a full musical episode?

Anyway, the story moves at a good pace, mostly focusing on the characters’ attempts to keep the play going. This episode is surprisingly comedic, as the characters really try to keep the thing going without some of the actors.

The characters aren’t that complex, but are enjoyable enough and their clashing personalities make the humor even better. It moves at a quick pace, and it’s such a joy to watch. Of course it’s not THAT scary, but there are two spooky moments.

First, when Gina, the chick playing the witch, is backstage doing exercises, a lady comes in and makes it so her legs stretch up to her head. It’s surprisingly creepy, and it cuts to commercial before we see anything else.

Then there is the ending. Eventually, the kid’s figure out that their teacher is an actual witch who has cursed this play. So when she comes to replace the witch, they throw her into the cardboard oven…for some reason.

Then the ACTUAL witch shows up, saying they got all wrong, and she is the witch., Using magic, she ties them up and makes them sing a brief awesome song. After they finnish, she makes the curtains close.

She then says she cursed the play because every got the Hansel and Gretel story wrong, and butchered. Which means any version, should be cursed, not just the musical. But anyway, she says they got it all wrong.

I didn’t eat Hansel and Gretel. I ate…”

She uses her magic to close all the doors, trapping the auidence.

Their parents”

Lights go out, people scream. Credits. Yet another awesomely weird ending. Yes, they imply she will eat all of these parents. This show has a warning in front of every episode which warns you that it might be too scary for children under 7.

They should it to: THIS SHIT WILL FUCK YOU UP IF YOU ARE NOT 12 OR OVER CUZ THIS SHIT AIN’T FOR 8 YEAR OLDS.

Anyway, what a great dark ending. Though some have argued that this witch isn’t so evil since, Hansel and Gretel’s parents were …well, assholes. However, she IS evil cuz she cursed the play to have people die simply cuz they got the story wrong AND she will now eat innocent parents.

Yeah, that’s a good girl for ya. Well anyway, this ending only makes the episode even better. The episode is surprisingly good given it’s cliché story.,

It was a good choice on the writers part to make it a bit more comedic, (and a good choice on the casting directors part to put in some nerdy hot chicks) as it helps move the episode along before the spooky stuff.

It’s somewhat original in places, and the twist is creepy and unexpected. An underrated late season 2 gem.

Grade: B+

Night of the mummy

Director: Neil Fearnly

Writer: Katherine Boutry

When a new rare Egyptian exhibit shows up at the museum his mom works out, Greg Heffley, I mean Seth, starts having weird dreams about it, and the creepy mueseme owner starts showing up in the weirdest places. Soon he uncovers a odd secret about himself and the the legend of a missing boy pharaoh.

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See, Seth hears a legend about two boy pahrahos, and one vanished without a trace. If you’ve read/seen the Goosebumps book A Night in terror tower, you know exactly what the twist is.

But it’s the journey that counts, and this was a very good journey. It starts out good enough, but it gets very spooky as Seth starts seeing the creepy museum dude everywhere, and weird things happen to him.

It’s your basic buildup, and it works very well. It’s a fairly simple and predictable story when you get down to it, but it’s still done well. I did feel for Seth and these creepy things happened, and I certainty was with him for the ride.

There isn’t a whole lot say before I get to the ending. I’ll mention that there is this female friend character who is with Seth as these odd things happen. So when Seth is whisked off to the museum in the middle of the night, she goes with him.

His hot mom shows up along with creepy museum guy, and they reveal the twist: Seth IS the vanished Pharaoh boy. They teleported him to the present with his hot mom servant with ne memories to protect him from assassins.

And now that the whole death problem is taken care of, he is ready to be reunited with his brother, who is now here, and played by the same actor. The lady friend shows up after Seth understands all this, but he tells her has to do this.

He perfectly understands what he has to do. So he and his brother lie down in the casket, and when lady friends pops in, the creepy guy and mom are gone, and Seth and his brother are now dead. And also mummies.

Earlier, Seth found a weird amulet on his neck in the morning, and Mom told him the musem guy gave it to him. He later gives it to the friend. When she sees dead Seth, she is okay as she knows what he had to do.

Then she looks at her amulet, then up at a drawing on the wall of the boy pharaohs, and some chick. She looks at it, and the credits roll. Are they implying she is connected?

I don’t know, but it’s a good cliffhanger. The twist can be seen coming, but it’s still good. Like in the TV episode of Terror tower you feel the weight of all this, and you see that he is quite important, and he must do his duties and such.

It’s a tad rushed, and there is no conflict in the end, but it still works in a sort of sweet way. It’s not too sweet and it perfectly matches the creepy build up. Seth was certainly likable, thanks to Zachary Gordon. That kid seriously needs more work.

The thing with the friend is cool, and it ends on a perfect note. This is another simple episode where I don’t have much to say, but it’s still good.

It’s not nearly as good as the mummy story from The Haunting Hour book but it’s still very good. It’s creepy, has good build up, and a great, if predictable twist.

It’s not the best episode, but it’s still underrated and decent.

Grade: B

Headshot

Director: Micheal Scott.

Writer: John Exposito.

In this homage to The Picture of Dorian Gray, Gracie Wilde (Hardy har har) is working at an ice cream shop when Cassandra Hobbs a scout for the Redundantly named magazine TeenTeen offers her a photo shoot, turning down money, saying ‘Its all about the desire.”. After the shoot, Gracie’s demeanor changes from sweet to diva and her picture on her phone begins to change into ugly….

I know absolutey nothing about The Picture of Dorian Gary, so I won’t say how good it is as a homage, and I’ll just say this episode on it’s own is great.

Ariel Winter returns after her turn in Fear Never Knocks to play Gracie, and she’s pretty good. But at certain points, she looks a bit fanserviced up and….more attractive. Then I realized she was roughly 13 when this was shot.

Ew. Granted, she turned 14 on the very day this episode aired, and she’s 15 now, but still! So anyway, this isn’t big on scares, except internally…and at the end, but that’s for later.

As soon as Gracie gets her head shot, she starts changing. She lies to her mom about studying, she cheats on her midterm, and she purposefully gives (hot) alpha Bitch Flynn a smoothie that she has a serve allergy to.

Flynn scored a free shot with Cassandra, which is why she did that. Seeing Gracie go from nice to really scary bitch is pretty cool, and Ariel Winter makes a surprisingly good bitch. But she’s also good at being meek at the start. Fantastic range, there.

Her friends Lexi is not okay with all this, and serves as the audience surrogate for the episode. She constantly tries to show Gracie that she is just turning ugly on the inside, but she won’t listen. She only cares about becoming the most “famous teen face on the planet”.

Cassandra makes for an awesome (and hot) villain. You can totally see how happy she is as she turns Gracie until this evil monster. Speaking of evil monsters, this actress is quite good at playing one.

At one point, her arm turns in a big red demon thingy for a sec, before it change back. When Lexi confronts her later, she figures out what she as, as she quickly turns into a photo shop effect.

And given how she is sort of stealing her soul….yeah Cassandra is Satan. Rated TV-PG, right?

Anyway, Gracie’s transformation is perfectly shown, and the whole thing with her phone picture just how she is losing her real soul.

But anyway, we have to get to the ending. At the big shoot will make Gracie a huge star, Lexi perfect much walks off to confront Cassandra. She sees the wall of headshots, and they turn into evil monster faces.

Cassandra gloats about Gracie’s soul will be heres. But she also says that she didn’t CHANGE Gracie, it was all her choice. Earlier, she was telling Gracie about how she was always sassy and beautiful, she just helped it come out of her. Talk about a dark ironic echo…thingy.

Then she does the photoshop face thing and Lexi runs. Gracie earlier talked to Cassandra, noticing the creepy phone face, and almost seemed to change back to normal…until Cassandra convinces her to do this, cuz it’s better than better “Another anonymous face”. So thus, Gracie goes out on the runway.

Casandrea said Gracie can stop this by deletering her Headshot, so Lexi does this. But…it doesn’t work that way. As Gracie becomes the hottest teen face, Lexi narrates to us that only Gracie could delete the headshot and fix this.

And it was her choice, and she chose fame. We cut to a dude on the street looking at a magazijne with Gracie’s face on it. She goes up to him, and we see that she has the face of a monster.

Roll Credits.

This show always has the best ending. So yeah, this was just a great episode. It’s a great tale of what could happen if you care a bit too much about fame and the like. Gracie’s stuff is very well placed, and Cassandra was a great villain.

On it’s own, it’s a classic morality tale, and it’s well very written, and also well acted. I would have put it on my top 11, but I just didn’t have room. I did put it in the runners up though.

And for good reason. It’s excellent, and while it’s not that scary til the end, it’s still a very good story.

Grade: A-

And now for the finale…which isn’t a two parter this time. But it’s still pretty special…

The Return Of Lilly D

Director: Neil Fearnly

Writers: Billy Brown & Dan Angel

The evil doll Lilly D is found by two boys who d then give it to Natalie, a sweet girl who cleans her up. The dollmaker catches wind of this, and believe that the severe nice-ness of Natile can turn the doll good. However, that turns out to be un-true as Lilly D fucks shit up.

With the popularity of Really You, it only made sense that there would a sequel. When I first heard the plot, I thought it would be like living dummy 2, where the actual story doesn’t move. Thankfully, they do move the story.

First off, Natalie is an incredible likable little girl, as she is so damn NICE for a Haunting hour character. She takes in a baby bird, and she is besties with her wheelchair ridden Grandfather she lives with.

It doesn’t end up being too sweet, though at times her acting can be off. Then again, she is from Twilight. But she also has her moments of being decent, so that makes up for it.

This feeds into the whole “make Lilly D” good thing. I don’t know why The dollmaker thinks the evil Lilly D could suddenly good, but In a way, it makes sense. Lilly D was modeled after lily, who got the doll cuz she was selfish and just wanted a possession.

But now she’s in the hands of a nice owner, who took the doll out of kindness. So Dollmaker lady thinks this will rub off on Lilly D. Thus, it makes sense, in a way!

At least until her other dolls tell Dollmaker lady her that Lilly D will always be evil, and she has to stop her. But we’ll get to that in a second.

The plot mostly has Lilly D doing creepy stuff, so it feels more living dummy-ish compared to the first episode, but it still works.

For one, Natalie quickly thinks that maybe Lilly D is evil and alive. This thankfully doesn’t feel she’s just jumping to conclusions. as the stuff that happens is so big that it wouldc be dumb to deny it. Gramps (hey, the credits list him under this name) does brush it off, but he’s old, so maybe he just doesn’t want to think about an evil doll.

This makes her somewhat smart, and she gets even better by the end. As far as scares go, it’s pretty good. The effects on Lilly D have improved, so when she turns her head at some pojnts, it’s nice and creepy.

This episode is actually somewhat darker than the first one. At one point, Lilly D tries to DROWN the baby bird out of jealousy. Then moments later, she kicks Wheelchair Gramps down the stairs. THEN later, she holds a knife right behind Natalie, meaning she was going to KILL her.

Again, they were worried about kids under 7?

Anyway, it’s not QUITE as scary as the first episode, but stuff like that makes it pretty spooky. Back to the plot, The dollmaker lady tries to go to Natalie’s house to warn her, but Lilly D takes her out…with a fishbowl. How embarrassing.

Gramps sees the unconscious Dollmaker lady, and they end up calling the cops (instead of an ambulance?) who say they can figure out who did this, when they ask the old lady when she wakes up.

They never show up again. So much for that.

Anyway, that night, the bird is drowned and Gramps takes a dive. Normally, our hero would run away in fear and lilly D would attack. Not Natalie. She grabs a weapon, and heads over to where she thinks Lilly D.

We have a new Billy on our hands!

She thinks she sees Lilly D, but it’s actually a lamp with a wig on it. Lilly D comes up behind her with that knife. But then Natile whips out her frying pan, knocks the knife out of the doll’s hand, and smacks lilly D’s head off, and it land in a pot of water.

FUCK. YES.

And to make it more awesome, the dolls back Dollmaker lady’s place sing a lullaby from some reason, as Natile puts the lid on the pot. Meaning, Lilly D is dead.

Roll credits. Okay, that was AWESOME….but incredibly abrupt. Seems to just…stop before things can be explained or wrapped up.

Which is the only problem with this episode, as it is just great. It does a good job at contyinting the story of the first episode, it’s scary, and it has a very good main character.

The stuff with Lilly D being good could have had more to it, but it does make sense and in the end, she couldn’t be turned good for a reason. She was built evil and no matter how hard she, or we try, she’ll just be evil forever. So the moral is…some people are just evil.

Which is better than EVERYONECANCHANGELOL

It’s not nearly as good as Really You, since it doesn’t have that amazing combo of everything. But it’s still good at being scary, and that’s all that matters.

It’s a good sequel, and a very good episode. Dark, moody, and badass. Everything I could want in an episode.

It’s fitting that we end the season on a sequel to the first epi8sode. If the show ended here, that would be an epic book end. But it didn’t, which we’ll talk about soon.

Grade: A-

So ends Season 2. I have’t pulled out A’s recently, since all the A episodes were already on my top 11. But changes next season, as we discuss episodes even you haven’t heard of.

Overall, Season 2 was great. It wasn’t perfect since some eps were not as good as scary as others (Compare Pumpkinhead to Headshot). But most were either a B+ or an A, with only a couple B’s.

And things only get more epic next season. Before I go, here are the Top 5 Season 2 Episodes:

5. Headshot

4. The Most Evil Sorcerer

3. Sick

2. Flight

1. Scarecrow

In Hindsight, Brush with Madness should not have been number 11 on my original list. I should have put Headshot instead. But BWM is still amazing.

So that’s it for Season 2. Join me sometime later as we wrap up the series with Season 3!

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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