Goosebumps: Attack of the Jack-o-Lanterns (1996)

attackofthejack-o-lanternsIt is Halloween and Drew is ready to dress up as her favorite superhero and collect candy. It’s her favorite night of the year but her best friend Walker has no desire to go out for the holiday. That’s also because there’s been a string of mysterious disappearances over the last month, with four people gone without a trace. After successfully convincing her parents to let her go out at night, Drew convinces Walker to go out for Halloween, now that her friends from her old neighborhood Shane and Shana have come to town to pay her a visit.

With local bullies Tabitha and Lee threatening to torment them while trick or treating, the group of kids is surprised when they are taken hostage by a pair of demons with Jack O Lanterns for heads. The monsters have lobster claws and spit fire and are quite intent on keeping the kids trick or treating until they’ve dropped from exhaustion. The episode is usual RL Stine at his craftiest, as he manages to create an episode that’s full on Halloween but with a twist. Not just that, but Attack of the Jack-o-Lanterns sports two plot twists that compliment the entire narrative and bring the episode full circle.

The episode ends on a really ominous note that kind of makes the following Halloween for our characters even more menacing than ever, and I love how even with our characters at an advantage, they still find themselves in a vulnerable position. Author Stine has a knack for punishing his characters even when he roots for them, and this episode is no exception. It’s a neat Halloween treat with some very good monsters at the forefront and I will definitely have to check out the original “Goosebumps” novel.