Hey guys. I’ve probably been making you undergo this formula every week on Sammwak: videos, videos, games, books, breast cancer. Rinse and repeat. Well, now I’ve decided to rewind back to books, but I’m also rewinding back to a segment that I haven’t done in a long time on Sammwak. And that’s book reviewing. Considering the fact that I just turned out a couple books to and from Chicago just Wednesday, I’ve decided to bring them back right here on Sammwak. The one that I actually finished will be here today. This book was released February 1994, so that makes it approximately seventeen years old (older than my sister!). The next ride might be the last in the sixteenth installment in the popularly paranormal series, One Day at HorrorLand. (Fun fact: Do you know that Scholastic was 74 years old when they made this?)
SPOILER ALERT: For anyone who does not like their books spoiled, I suggest you roam elsewhere on the site.
RATED TV-PG: For people who don’t like severe horror and are easily nightmare-prone, I suggest you also roam elsewhere.
Front tagline: Enter if you dare….
Back tagline: The next ride might be their last…. (Which is a little old, but let’s go with them)
Description: The Morris family got lost trying to find Zoo Gardens Theme Park. But that’s okay. They found another amusement park instead. It’s called HorrorLand. In HorrorLand there are no crowds. No lines. And the admission is free. It seems like a pretty cool place. But that was before that heart-stopping ride on the deadly Doom Slide. And that terrifying experience in the House of Mirrors. Because there’s something weird about the rides in HorrorLand. Something a little too creepy. A little too real…
This book was deeply squandered, repetitively and predictably unfunny, and…it breaks my heart to say this…scary. Perhaps this is one of the most original Goosebumps books to actually scare me even for a moment. As depicted in the description, it depicts around the Morris family: Dad, Mom, narrator Lizzy, her little brother Luke, and his friend Clay. This whole adventure all happens because a foolish dad forgot to pack the map. Driving out in scenic nowhere, they stumble across HorrorLand, “where nightmares come to life.” Just as they exit their car, guess what happens? It explodes. I’m not even joking. It explodes. Twisted metal and burning cinders are everywhere, much to Dad’s horror. He tries calling 911, but HorrorLand strictly prohibits phoning. Sad and unlucky day.
To save all the energy and muscle it takes to type out the whole literal story, let me break it down to you:
Doom Slide – Warning! You May Be The One To Slide To Your Doom! – How is it scary? Take the unlucky pick, and you might slide to your infinite doom. Pretty cheesy, huh? Lizzy, Luke, and Clay are the participants. Considerably, the slide basically has you sliding at the speed of light (maybe even faster) through fake fire, and then out you go. If that were a cartoon, you’d literally be flying over HorrorLand at this rate.
House of Mirrors – Reflect Before You Enter. No One May Ever See You Again! – How is it scary? The walls cave in on you, crushing you into a perfect human square? Lizzy, Luke, and Clay are also the participants. There are a bunch of mirrors everywhere. That’s it. Also try not to hurt yourself.
Coffin Cruiser – A Relaxing Float To The Grave. – How is it scary? You apparently lie down in coffins as you float on a brown water river, then the lids suddenly shut on you. That’s it. Everyone is a participant here.
Bat Barn – How is it scary? How do you think it’s scary? In the dark, a bajillion bats. That’s how it’s scary. Lizzy, Luke, and Clay are also the participants.
That’s pretty much HorrorLand in a nutshell.
The Ending: After realizing they were the victims on the candid camera show HorrorLand Hidden Camera (more like Punk’d Monster Mix) that airs on the Monster Channel after 30 Monster Meals and viewed by 2 million beasts worldwide, the family goes through an obstacle course and sets a new record of all five surviving. They hitch a HorrorLand bus to drive home, but a monster was in the back the whole time…just to award them tickets for next year.
Memorable Cliffhanger Chapter Ending: Page 73, concluding chapter 15. The Morris parents have abandoned their children with a message: “Goodbye.”
This book really had hopes and dreams. But how it turned out, those got roughly shattered. The premise got old fast (going to die? I prefer not, you’re OK), and so did its humor. The only thing that could stick around for literally half the amount of chapters was the horror…and I guess that’s a good thing. It just couldn’t last long enough to squeeze out the entertaining juices.
FINAL SCORE: 6.5/10 (a fair book)
CONCLUSION: If you know your Goosebumps, then this book would be more like One Day To BoreLand. But if you’re a newbie veteran, you might be interested into gazing at a few chapters. One Day To HorrorLand just fails to be fresh and entertaining, and that’s what so violently destroys it.’
p.s. I like new challenges every day, so I’ve decided that a Spanish version of Sammwak may be launched sometime! (And yes, it will still be called Sammwak, because who’s heard of that word?) Even if it’s out for just a momento, I’m sure that any Spanish fans of this blog can understand it in their own lengua! (That’s Spanish for language.)