Top positive review
One of the better Goosebumps and most memorable storylines.
Reviewed in the United States on August 17, 2020
The Haunted Mask by R. L. Stine is Goosebumps books number 11 in the original season order. This book was good sort a revenge plot gone bad. Carley Beth is scaredy cat, tired of everyone picking on her because she gets scared buys a mask that scares people but the mask is haunted and can't be removed. This one is actually pretty scary for a Goosebumps book. The monster voice that the mask puts out and the personality attached is kind of terrifying. " I'll eat you up!" was one of the lines. This is the first book in the series so far and I like how Halloween was incorporated and the old out dated costumes mentioned, Freddy Kruger and Indiana Jones are still popular, but I haven't seen an E.T. in some time. The Haunted Mask did bring the dreaded fake scare back, but there was only two and they were used in a way that helped the story along.
The Plot: Carley Beth is a scaredy cat, who her so-called friends prank on a daily basis. They prank her into eating a worm and that a tarantula escaped. These pranks would get almost anybody but carley will scream at the top of her lungs every time. She decides she's going to get revenge this Halloween and get a scary mask this year. She rejects the costume her mom already bought her, a duck. She gets her life savings, 30 dollars, determined to buy a scary mask on Halloween, the store is closed but the own opens back up. She finds what she wants through a door in the back. The store owner said he took the mask off the market because they were deemed to scary. She's persistent and she buys the mask. The mask gives her a cool evil voice and serious anger issues. She scares her friends but when the fun ends, she finds the mask won't come off. I she doomed to have the mask be her new face forever?
What I Liked: The revenge storyline is great Steve and Chuck are jerk and had it coming. I loved the some of the lines where she yells, "I'll eat you up!" to kids, then the mom of the kids says something and she says, "I'll eat you up too!" Carley Beth gets demented and starts scaring everyone and stealing their candy. The tarantula prank was pretty good and well thought out. The horror of the mask attached to Carley Beth's mask is good. I almost want a backstory to how the unloved were created, which were briefly discussed. The final scene was great even though it was predictable it was still pretty perfect. The Classic cover for this book is one of the best in all of Goosebumps covers.
What I Disliked: Her costume was only a mask, and regular clothes, the mask was described as scary but the regular clothes would have counter balanced that on Halloween.
Recommendations: This is one of the better Goosebumps books from the series. There is some good laughs and good scares. This book ranks high in my ranking. This book also has one of the better tv episodes that is a two parter, and one of the first stand alone episodes to get released on VHS when that was a thing. I rated Goosebumps the Haunted Mask by R. L. Stine 5 out of 5 stars. Here's my full ranking of the 11 Goosebumps books that I have read in order to my favorite to least favorite Stay Out of the Basement, The Haunted Mask, Night of the Living Dummy, Welcome to Camp Nightmare, The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb, Say Cheese and Die, Let's Get Invisible, Welcome to Dead House, The Girl who Cried Monster, The Ghost Next Door, and Monster Blood.