Saturday, June 8, 2019

Fear Street: Lights Out by R.L. Stine

Welcome to the second installment of Summer of Fear,  a weekly series of posts where I will review/revisit a classic YA Horror/Thriller from the 70s-90s.  This week I re-read Lights Out, part of the Fear Street series by R.L. Stine.

Lights Out was the second Fear Street I ever got in the mid-90s. My first was The Knife. This was before the "Goosebumps" phenomenon. I was searching for something a little different than my favorite standbys The Baby-Sitters Club and Sweet Valley High. The cover intrigued me and a love of Fear Street soon developed.  My mom even paid for me to be in a “Fear Street Book Club" where I received two backlist titles a month. It even came with this rad magnet I still have today.  At the time I was adverse to horror movies, finding them too scary, but somehow I felt myself drawn to these books. In retrospect I see that they were horror “lite” and primed me for my current love of horror movies.

Lights Out has a lot of “jump scares” and a one very dark really good scare.  I loved the protagonist Holly. She was strong and resourceful in trying to solve the mystery and save her uncle’s camp. Early on one of the counselors references the Friday the 13th movies and one character is even described as resembling Kevin Bacon who started in the first Friday the 13th film. Light Out definitely had some subtle homages to my favorite 80s slasher film. This was a fun reread and I highly recommend seeking it out at your favorite used bookseller or secondhand online retailer. 3.5/5 Stars

I have had the pleasure of meeting R.L. Stine at Book Expo a few years ago.  His friendliness and humor in real life makes his books that much more enjoyable.

This year, R.L. released Return to Fear Street novels. My favorite of the new novels is You May Now Kill the Bride.  You can find more information about those here.

In my mid-90s copy of Lights Out, R.L. Stine has his author bio in the back pages. His son Matt referenced in the bio is now a music producer for Bettlejuice on Broadway. Clearly artistic talents for creepy fun run in the family. Good luck to the cast and crew of  Beetlejuice at this year’s Tony’s and check out Matt's production work on the recently released Beetlejuice Broadway Cast Album. You can find more information on that here.

Have you read Lights Out?  What is your favorite Fear Street book?

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Slappy is appeased.