Tuesday, January 20, 2009
The Loudest Scream or "Avoid Rooms Full of Mirrors"
I’ve muddled my way through another one of these Fear Park extravaganzas! There are only three books in this particular series but I’m gonna be honest with you. I wish there were more. These are the goriest, craziest Fear Street books! As I write this, I’m also trying to remember the last time I DIDN’T enjoy an R.L. Stine book… I’m pretty sure this website is slowly progressing into a very long love letter to R.L. Marry ME you crazy old man! Whisper stories about murderous teenagers in my ear every night before we go to bed!
Ahem. The Loudest Scream cover depicts our contemporary protagonist, Deirdre. And she’s falling off a carousel horse? Well that’s just bad. Not only did that not happen in the book, it also seems like she would have to be a huge spaz to do that. The horses in the book do not come alive. There were so many creepy parts to this book, I don’t understand why they would make up one that doesn’t make sense. I do enjoy that the cover artist appears to have used the same model for The First Scream and The Loudest Scream. One of our intrepid commentator’s noted last week that she has an uncanny resemblance to Mila Kunis! I would say that she actually was the model, if she hadn’t have been like 9 when this book was published. Anyhoo, the tagline is good: “Buy a ticket to terror.” Kinda nonsensical but also reminiscent of “Ticket to Ride”. Try getting that song outta your head all day. You’re welcome.
The Loudest Scream picks right off after Paul’s funeral, who was Deirdre’s trusting boyfriend. She’s feeling a little guilty because she was cheating on him with Robin Fear (who we know is from the magical 1930s, but we’re not sure if he’s still evil). Deirdre doesn’t feel THAT bad though, since she’s still with “Rob”, making out after the funeral. Class. Act. Okay, we find out really fast that “Rob” Fear is totally still evil and it is his life’s mission to make sure the park never opens. He’s been at it for like 70 YEARS. The new couple runs into Jared, who is Paul’s younger brother that looks identical to him. Jared is super pissed off at Deirdre’s dad for letting Paul’s head be chopped off by the Ferris Wheel (that seems like a feat in itself).
While Deirdre and Rob are walking home, Rob notices that half his face has become the stinking, rotting flesh of the elderly/and or dead. Thank goodness he wasn’t facing Deirdre! He runs home and applies gunk while chanting. This is the key to immortality? You’d think more people would know about this. Someone interrupts him… and it’s Meghan Fairwood, his crush from the 1930s! Unfortunately, she’s not elderly, come to get her revenge just before she dies. She’s a young teenager, just like Rob so apparently she works some mojo too! Is she evil? …No, she thinks Rob became immortal to protect the “cursed” Fear Park. And she became immortal to … keep Rob company. Since he won’t let her outside. Alright, they never mention it but: these two HAVE to have sex. Right? They’ve been horny teenagers, living in the same house for 70 years. Case closed!
Jared comes back to Fear Park to talk to Deirdre’s dad. He wants to take over Paul’s job running the Ferris Wheel. Which… really? That would not be my first pick for employment. The thing that killed my brother. Anyways, Jason, Deirdre’s father refuses to give Jared a job because there are no openings. Jared is SO angry after this, he throws a rock at a monkey! What?! Oooo there is an animal sanctuary at the Park. Well, it’s not really a sanctuary if people can just throw shit at the animals. Poor monkey! The guy in charge of the animals, Gunther, comes over and kicks the kids out. Rob sees this and decides this is a good opportunity to cause havoc. He convinces Jared and his friends to sneak up on Gunther while he’s feeding the lions and scare him into thinking they’re gonna push him in. Foolproof plan!
I think you know what happens. The boys sneak up on Gunther after dark, only to have the crazy purple smoke surround them and Gunther leaps into the lion pen on his own free will. Jared and his friends are startled, then nauseous and then in a hurry to get their asses outta there! Rob and Deirdre were on an after hours stroll through the park I guess and come across the madness in the lion pen. Rob hopes that this is the final straw that makes Jason Bradley shut down the park but he’s all “Ha ha ha. What a ridiculous idea! This was just an accident!” Kinda blasé if you ask me …
There is a big re-opening night and Meghan Fairwood is pacing through her lonely house of solitude. She finally decides that Rob needs her help and she doesn’t care if she gets hurt! She treks to the park, marveling at all the new sights and fashions (Seriously, Rob didn’t let her out in SEVENTY YEARS?! How did she not clue in that he was evil!?). She’s a little miffed however when she comes across Rob kissing Deirdre! O noes! She rushes back to the mansion, finally realizing that she’s a prisoner in her own home. She vows to pay him back. Go Meghan!
Jared and his friends decide that they need to talk to Rob Fear, since he knew about them going up to scare Gunther the night he died. Do they want to silence Rob Fear? They’re progression to murder came awfully quick. Anyways, when Jared and his minions try to get into Fear Park to talk to Rob, they refuse to pay for tickets since they don’t want to go on any rides. The ticket guys says no (duh). Jared shakes him so hard it almost kills him and the four boys get thrown out again. Seriously Jared? Cough up the 5 bucks next time. Jared is no longer scared about being caught for murder, but wants revenge for being thrown out of the park! What?!
So Jared and his friends sneak into the park through a hole in the fence and plant firecrackers throughout the House of Mirrors (seems dangerous on its own). Rob sees them, and they see him. Jared and his gang of thugs skedaddle. Rob tries to convince Deirdre to wait for him in the House of Mirrors because he is up to no good! She can’t but Rob decides to go through with his plan anyways. A purple fog fills the room and all the mirrors shatter. And rip the people inside to shreds. Blech! There is a very long description of the body parts and limbs that litter the ground but let’s not go there. When Jason Bradley arrives to assess the damage, Rob triumphantly tells him that he saw the perpetrators and can describe them to the police!
Deirdre goes home after a long day of almost being dismembered and finds a mysterious package waiting for her. It’s a photo of the kids from the 1930s who hacked each other up. And she recognizes the cold, serious eyes of one Robin Fear. Dun Dun Duuunnnn!
Cut to Robin and his common-law wife, Meghan’s house. Rob can’t find Meghan anywhere until she leaps out from a dark corner and stabs him in the heart. He’s all “Ummm, we’re immortal, what the eff are you doing?” while removing the blade from his cold, unbeating heart. What, did Meghan forget for a little while? She’s pissed that he was kissing Deirdre until he explains that it was the only way to get close to her to protect her. O, who hasn’t heard that line a few times! Rob thinks she buys it. I’m not so sure…
Jared and his friends are hiding out in an abandoned mansion. With Rob’s help, their sketches have been released to the media and they are on the lamb! They don’t know it was Rob who turned them in though, so they decide to talk to him because he saw them put FIRECRACKERS in the House of Mirrors, not bombs! Rob Fear’s knowledge would set them free! Question: Wouldn’t the police just assume that the firecrackers had somehow caused the explosion? I wouldn’t be coming forward with that kind of explanation anytime soon…
This part is really good. Deirdre comes up to Rob while he’s clearing debris from the House of Mirrors (body parts?) and shows him the picture from the 1930s. And accuses him of being in the picture. What did she think was going on, time travel? Why on earth would she jump to that conclusion?! Rob is like, that’s my grandpa, duh. Even if Deirdre was correct in her assumption, who in their right mind would assume time travel/magic BEFORE considering look-alike relatives? Especially in Shadyside, where everyone seems to have a doppelganger. Rob goes home and accuses Meghan of sending the photo but she claims innocence.
Jared and his friends abduct Rob on his way back to the park. They explain their situation, and Rob’s all “O yah, I’ll go tell the cops right away! You wait here!” He goes away, thinks of an evil plan, then comes back. He tells the boys that the police are on their way to kill them! Their only chance is to take Deirdre hostage and demand the police listen to them! Rob will go get Deirdre, then pretend to be kidnapped beside her (because he doesn’t want his pretend girlfriend to know that he’s using her as bait). Foolproof! Once again, these characters need to review the definition of “foolproof”.
Rob leads Deirdre to the maintainence shack the boys are hiding in, and reconsiders his desire to kill her. He thinks maybe he’ll kill Meghan and keep Deirdre so he’s not lonely. That’s nice… I guess… Anyways, they go to the shack and are taken captive. Deirdre wakes up and actually escapes her ropes. She unties Rob and together they try to escape the building by climbing out the window. Just then… a purple fog rolls in! It surrounds Jared and his three friends. And then rips them apart. BLERG. Deirdre watches this, then feels the fog surround her, then decide against it. I guess Rob is killing Meghan! The book ends with Rob and Deirdre embracing in a room full of body parts, and Rob promising to take real good care of her. …At least they didn’t make out?
Once again the disgusting gore in this book made it a favorite of mine. And also… Rob is kinda like a zombie right?! I mean, if he didn’t take the potion, then his skin would rot, but he would still be alive… walking dead! I love it. 44 bodies cut to pieces by mirrors out of 47.