Reader Beware: Spoilers for Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween are in play. If you want to avoid any details for the film's plot, please bookmark this piece until after you've seen the film.
Throughout the course of two major motion pictures, the Goosebumps franchise has seen a lot of the monsters from R.L. Stine's pages come to life. And yet, there's still plenty of them left untapped, waiting for their moment on the big screen. Even Stine himself realizes this, as CinemaBlend's recent interview with him revealed that he wants to see the following story go Hollywood:
They haven't really done [The Haunted Mask.] You know, there are a lot of masks in the new movie, right? But no one's ever done the mask that sticks to your face and becomes part of you. I always thought The Haunted Mask was my best Halloween story.
CinemaBlend learned this fact during a phone interview with R.L. Stine, in celebration of Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween's release this weekend. Naturally, the talk turned to what monsters haven't been shown the celluloid treatment just yet, as Stine's prolific book series has yielded a wide variety of ghosts, ghouls, and creatures of all sorts. So obviously, it's going to be hard to get them all on the screen, without a lot of work.
Published in 1993, The Haunted Mask tells the story of Carly Beth, a girl who's bullied and picked on as most YA protagonists are. In true Goosebumps fashion, she finds an enchanted mask that starts to change how she acts, allowing her to intimidate her bullies, and become more and more frightening as the book goes on. Naturally, she can't remove this mask until she learns a powerful lesson, with the book ending on a classic R.L. Stine cliffhanger.
While the story was adapted as the first Goosebumps TV episode in 1995, and also lent itself to three literary sequels, it's never been properly featured in the films. This is kind of strange, considering it's not only one of the most well-known books in the whole series, it's also a very personal book for R.L. Stine. He revealed the genesis for the story, as follows:
That's the only Goosebumps book that was inspired by something that happened in real life. I think it's the only one. When my son Matt was a little guy, it was Halloween time. He was trying on a green, rubber Frankenstein mask and I was watching from the doorway. He pulled it down over his head and he couldn't get it off. And I'm watching. He was tugging, tugging, and the mask wouldn't come off and I thought, 'What a great idea!' I should have helped him, right? I should have helped him instead, I thought, 'great idea for a story,' and that's where The Haunted Mask came from.
Thinking back to the film, there actually is a bit of a nod to The Haunted Mask that does make its way into Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween, via Chris Parnell's character, Walter. When Slappy the Dummy raises his army in the second act, he transforms Walter into a monster using a Halloween mask and some magic. While that's not exactly a one-for-one adaptation, it's definitely a sign that this universe is open to such magic.