All good things must come to an end and so must all bad things. The original Fear Street series concluded with Trapped, an enjoyably macabre and kind of grotesque take on The Breakfast Club.
You know how these things go. You’ve got five students and they’re all stuck in detention. Elaine is the smart girl who failed to turn in her homework. (They give you detention for that?) The principal hopes that the other detainees won’t be a bad influence on her. (Then don’t give her detention in the first place, you jerk!) Darlene is the girl who doesn’t take any crap from anyone. Jerry is the Brain, who was sent to detention because he refused to dissect a frog. (I remember an entire episode of Saved By The Bell that dealt with the same issue.) Max is a spray paint artist who uses the school as his canvas. And Bo? Well, Bo’s a good-looking rebel who likes to burn stuff.
Anyway, detention is kind of boring and, since no one wants to have a therapy session like they did n the Degrassi episode that was based on The Breakfast Club, the students decide to explore the tunnels that are underneath Shadyside High. It’s rumored that some kids died down there in the 60s! Stupid hippies! Though some are initially hesitant, all five of the students end up in the tunnels. And that’s where they get trapped!
And, listen, I can understand how this happens. I get lost in mazes too. I once spent hours lost in a hedge maze and it was not fun. (I later got revenge by building a similar hedge maze in the Sims and then setting it on fire. The resulting inferno killed all of my Sims but, fortunately, their ghosts stuck around to haunt the house.) But it’s not just the maze aspect that makes the tunnels difficult to escape. There’s also this red mist that, when it envelopes you, snaps your bones and folds you into a tiny cube and basically kills you in the worst, most painful way possible.
Seriously, that mist is so viscous and the deaths are so drawn out and the book ends on such a downbeat note, I had to remind myself that I was reading a book by R.L. Stine and not Christopher Pike. There’s not much humor to be found in Trapped. Unlike other Fear Street novels, it doesn’t end on a note of hope. Instead, there’s just death, violence, and pain. It makes sense, I guess. This was the final Fear Street book so Stine wasn’t obligated to try to get people to come back for the next one. He could be as morbid as he wanted to be and the end result is actually pretty good. That red mist is actually pretty scary!
I enjoyed Trapped. I’m glad I never explored any of the underground tunnels under my school. Who knows what might have been down there! Hmmm …. now, I’m tempted to find out….