Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Fear Street: Ski Weekend (R.L. Stine)



Ariel just finished up a ski weekend with her best friend Shannon and her boyfriend Doug. Ariel’s boyfriend left early after a fight, but they’re also traveling with Red, a guy they met at the ski lodge. On the way home the roads get pretty bad and Ariel is nervous because Doug is driving like an asshole. Red convinces Doug to get off the highway because the county roads get cleared faster. As someone who grew up in the county, outside an actual town, I can tell you that this is completely wrong.

Red also points out that there’s a house nearby and it’s big enough for them to stay until the snow dies down. Since Doug is about to crash the car, they decide to pull off. A big, scary guy opens the door and introduces himself as Lou and his wife Eva, who basically hides out for most of the book. Lou starts hitting on Shannon, which should piss Doug off because he apparently hates when anyone looks twice at his girlfriend. Instead he decides that he likes Lou because they both like hunting.

They all call home, but Ariel is last and gets the answering machine, which makes her feel crappy. What I love is that none of the parents have a problem with their teenage kids staying with a couple of random strangers in the woods. Then again, what kind of parents let their teens go away for a ski weekend together? That night Ariel hears weird noises and becomes convinced that there’s a ghost or something worse outside. Then Red tells her that he heard Lou fighting with Eva and he heard a noise like he hit her.

At breakfast the next morning, Lou tells the group that Eva isn’t feeling good and is still asleep. They head off to check out the car and find that it’s now sitting in a ravine. Lou tries to call a tow truck, but the phone is out. Conveniently he has a Jeep with four-wheel drive, but it’s too bad outside for him to risk driving them into town. Ariel freaks out further when she notices that the car plates are from a different state and that Lou is drunk by lunchtime. Lou tries to start the car and it dies, so he says they’ll have to wait for help.

Ariel sees Eva just long enough for Eva to tell her she shouldn’t be there and then see a big bruise on her face. Ariel then sees some guy in a ski mask watching through the window, but he runs off. Doug and Lou get into a wrestling match, which is so gross. Doug ends up getting mildly hurt, which isn’t surprising given that Lou is like 4 feet taller and 600 pounds heavier.

The group gathers together and decides that they need a plan. Red shows them pictures of a couple that he found hidden in the house and they realize that the couple are the real owners of the house, meaning that Lou and Eva are imposters, or something. Red manages to get the Jeep fixed and they all sneak out when Lou goes to sleep.

They hear a noise in the barn, see a guy standing there and Doug shoots him with Lou’s gun. Lou comes running out and says that the guy is Eva’s brother Jake. They also recognize him from the pictures, which means Jake is the actual owner of the house and the couple were just visiting. Lou freaks out and you kind of have to feel for him. He invites these kids into his house and they steal his car and his gun, then shoot his brother in law. It’s all very odd.

Ariel leaves a group discussion to see the body and discovers that he’s frozen solid, which means he was already dead when they shot him. Red interrupts her and she demands that they leave as soon as possible because Lou is obviously a murderer. The whole group runs outside, but Red stops because he can’t let them get away. He setup a big scam with Lou, which makes absolutely no sense.

Apparently Jake stole an inheritance that belonged to Red and Eva, who is his sister. He and Lou somehow set it up that they’d kill Jake and pin his murder on someone else. He met them at the ski lodge and then got them there. I guess we’ll just say that it was convenient. Of course Eva pops up and tells them that she called the cops because she couldn’t handle what they did.

Ariel knocks the gun away from Lou with a snowball and then jumps on a conveniently placed snowmobile and flies off. She falls off the snowmobile and Red grabs her, which turns into a chase across a frozen lake. The cops show up, Ariel and Red fight and Red falls into a crack in the ice. The cops get their car from the ravine and it works (what?) so they leave. Now they can get back to Shadyside where everything is “normal”.

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