Here we are at the end! It’s been a while ride with this series I had no memory of and ended up enjoying a lot. And tomorrow is Halloween, so our spooky month of ghoul filled houses has come to an end, and we’ll return to your regularly scheduled, non-themed horror.
I don’t hate this cover (pulled from its Amazon page). It doesn’t make a lot of sense but it’s fine. It’s very clearly a different house from the other covers, which bothers me a lot, and I suppose that’s supposed to be Cally. I don’t know why she’s wearing a red hood but it looks ceepy. Of the covers I like this one the most.
The House of Evil
Still a factual statement.
No prologue for this one! We jump straight into Kody Frasier returning to the house that killed her sister, her brother, and blinded her dad. She walks up to 99 Fear Street, feeling dread at reliving the worst few weeks of her life, and she sees a young blond girl in the doorway. She runs up to greet her sister Cally, only to realize it’s Persia Bryce, TV actress, who’s wearing a wig in order to play Kody herself. Kody’s family moved to L.A., the most logical choice after losing your whole life to an evil house. In L.A., Kody took her chance at being an actress, and her life’s story was sold to be made into a horror movie, in which she’ll play her sister. The production doesn’t seem to have too much money, as it’s two biggest actors are Kody, who’s never acted before, and Persia, who was a TV star, and the romantic interest Anthony is played by a guy who’d previously done commercials. Bo, the director, clearly seems aware of this, and seems his last two movies were flops, so he really needs this one to succeed.
Now that the stakes are set, the horror can begin. Instantly Bo and his producer McCarthy are attacked by rats. Kody is very anxious to be back in the old house, and she talks to Rob, the boy playing her love interest, about it. Kody thinks she sees Cally again, but when she runs up to the blond girl she’s disappeared. Cally’s ghost is floating around being pretty annoyed about everything. She’s mad Kody came back, she’s mad Kody is claiming to come back to help her, she’s mad that Kody looks like her now. She shoots some spikes out of a door Kody is trying to open, which scares her. I think spikes were used in the Secret Bedroom, which seems like a weird ghost power but I guess all ghost powers are weird.
Bo discusses with Kody shooting several of the key scenes, including where the green goo comes out of the pipes and the scene Anthony loses all his fingers. Kody instantly isn’t sure if she’s willing to relive this scene, and Rob is hesitatnt too. They show Rob the prosthetic hand he has to slip his hand into in the sink, and he tells Bo he has a bad feeling about this. McCarthy runs through it for him, putting his hand into the sink, and Kody feels someone push her, causing her to hit the disposal button. This raises many questions, first and foremost being why are the appliances still working in the kitchen, especially when they state later on everything else is fake, the second of which is, where the flip is the disposal button? Because 99% of the time I see it on someone’s wall like a lightswitch, which is the best place to put it, so you don’t accidentally mutilate someone’s fingers.
Production is paused while they deal with this. Like Anthony, McCarthy won’t be using his fingers again. Bo asks Kody if she did it on purpose, and Persia is rude to everyone. She also proves herself a terrible actress when she tries to convince Kody to step down and can’t get through it without smirking cruelly. The girls straight up start fighting, and Bo has to pull them apart.
Rob calms her down by making out with her face, but instead of going back to the hotel with the crew she decides to stay behind. She sees Mr. Lurie hanging around and the housekeeper Mrs. Nordstrom. She’s in her trailer when she hears someone tap three times at her door, just like she did to Cally. She calls out for her sister and wanders into the house, where she’s stopped by a security guard, who recognizes her.
The next day, Bo is taking them through the shots. They’re doing zoom-ins on their screams. They’re waiting on Persia, but her stand in has to come stand in. Joanna flips out Kody by looking like her sister again, and when she gets in front of the camera to scream, the camera slips off the track and slams into her face. As they’re taking her to the hospital, the security guard says something to Bo, who takes Kody aside and asks what she was doing in the house last night. She defends herself and wanders off, certain the house is doing its nasty work again, when she sees the fridge has been plugged in despite it being fake. She opens it and sees Cally’s head, but it turns out to be a prop. Kody’s clearly cracking at the seams, and Persia is using the opportunity to turn the crew against her.
Kody tries to sleep it off, and Rob shows up at her trailer, letting her know the stand-in is dead. They make out some more, and Persia walks in on them, giving a snide aside. The police are now investigating, and Mr. Hankers walks by, confusing Kody. Kody and Rob take the afternoon off and just drive around. As night draws in, he asks if she wants to come back to his room and “practice”, which Kody does not get at all, which is a little endearing. She goes to her trailer to get her script, but when she comes back out he’s gone. Cally calls to her, and she follows her sister’s ghostly wails into the house. She brings Kody into the basement, where she runs into Bo with a few crates of explosives. It turns out the secret ending of the movie is the whole house exploding! He’s keeping it a secret so the he can shoot real horror on the his actor’s faces, which is a form of method acting that isn’t uncommon in horror movies but probably shouldn’t extend to explosions. Rats attack them, they run out, and Bo tells her if one more bad thing goes wrong they’ll have to stop production.
They’re finally shooting up in the attic to do the goo scene. They block it out, and then Bo and the others leave for a break. While Kody and Rob make out in the attic, the machine turns on. Instead of the harmless, odorless goo, a sour smelling green mix comes out, and it’s burning hot. They try to get to the door, which is locked, and Kody decides to make it to the window instead. The goo is getting higher and higher, threatening to drown them. Kody calls out to her sister, hoping she’ll help. She manages to break the window, but when she turns around Rob, who is face down in the goo. She manages to resuscitate him, and he’s rushed off to the hospital.
Production continues with a simpler scene. Bo decides to shoot the dinner scene next and warns everyone about any slip ups. Kody meets her movie parents and is annoyed that they don’t look anything like her real parents. She sees the knife prop and gets scared. She sleeps in her trailer again until she hears Cally calling her. She’s led again into the basement, where Cally manifests. They talk for a minute, and then Cally fades into a white mist that surrounds Kody, and she’s dragged into the darkness.
Kody shows up to film the dinner scene seemingly in a better mood. The scene has added a fight between Kody and Persia over the kitchen knife. They start to block out the scene, and then Kody grabs the knife and stabs it through Persia’s hand. Bo drags her away and prepares to take her off the production, and then she grabs a spotlight and holds it to his face.
We then cut to Kody tied up in the basement. She hears several rats and sees through a crack in the wall the housekeeper, the handyman, and Mr. Lurie. They’re playing with the rats and feeding them. The rats chew the skin off Mr. Hankers hands in a weird scene. They laugh about how Cally thinks she’s acting under her own free will. They leave, and Cally comes down to flaunt what she’s done in Kody’s body. It turns out she didn’t kill Kody because now dear Kody is going to go to jail forever and pay for the things Cally’s done. Kody tries to convince her that the three are playing her for a fool. Cally takes her to the three, who are ready to kill Kody. Their skin blisters off, revealing three large rats. Cally tells Kody to run. The rats try to bring Kody back, but Cally manages to hold them off for her. Kody makes it out of the house, and it seems Cally enacted the final plan, because the whole house explodes behind her, knocking her to the ground. The rats fly into the air, which is a hilarious image, and she sees the black shadows of the tortured spirits leave the house before passing out.
Cut to Rob and Kody back in L.A., still dating. I guess everyone who saw her stab a woman and burn the face off a man died in the explosion? Unless the police take “ghosts” as an alibi. She gets something in the mail, the only film ever shot at 99 Fear Street. In the blaze of the house explosion, they see the figure of a young girl give a sad wave. Cally saying goodbye.
“Now I understand why they gave me this yellow shirt! It’s because it’ll look good with all the green!” Rob joked.
Fear Street Trends
There’s a lot of shop talk in the book about making a horror movie. At one point Kody gets a step-by-step explanation of how the zoom shot works. Bo says her role has “Winona Ryder written all over it” which I’m not sure is true or not. Bo also wears Grateful Dead t-shirts, possibly to show how chill he is. The final film is on VHS, and I think we’re supposed to assume Kody’s trailer is fancy because it has a “cellular phone” in it.
I like the concept of this a lot. Filming a scary movie in the house it’s based on is a fun idea, and Kody returning to play her sister is pretty good, but the concepts don’t really go anywhere. It also feels a little out of place after the second book, and the ending is a little rushed. Still, I’ll give it three fake heads out of five.