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Hi, everyone! Welcome to Oh God Why?! Nostalgia Reviews! I’m your snarky recapper/reviewer, JC. I grew up on all things horror, thriller, chiller, suspense, and all combinations thereof – a healthy dose of 1990’s teen thriller novels and all manner of scary movies, but now I’m wondering: Are they as good as I remember them being? (Spoiler alert – no. No, they are not.) So join me as I recap and review the teen chillers and horror movies of my youth, and laugh along with me as I lament what bad taste 12-year-old me had.

The handy helpful Master Recap List  is posted here, containing current and future recaps.

Thanks for visiting, and if you enjoy these recaps, tell a friend, like, share, and comment.

Announcement:

In November 2020, I participated in NaNoWriMo! I posted my send-up of Point Horror/Fear Street-type stories on this site, chapter by chapter, just for something fun and a little different. So, if you’re so inclined, check out Fowl Intentions aka Not Another Teen Thriller!

Start here: Fowl Intentions aka Not Another Teen Thriller Chapter 1

Upcoming Recaps:

The Woman in the Window (2021) review

Prom Dress by Lael Littke

Good Moon Rising by Nancy Garden

R.L. Stine’s Ghosts of Fear Street #30: I Was a Sixth-Grade Zombie

The Woman in the Window (2021) (Spoiler-free Review)

womaninthewindow

Title: The Woman in the Window

Released: May 14, 2021 (Netflix)

Director: Joe Wright

Writer: Tracy Letts (based on A.J. Finn’s 2018 novel)

Starring: Amy Adams, Julianne Moore, Gary Oldman, Anthony Mackie, Wyatt Russell, Brian Tyree Henry, Jennifer Jason Leigh

Synopsis: An agoraphobic woman living alone in New York begins spying on her new neighbors, only to witness a disturbing act of violence. (From IMDb)

Agoraphobic Dr. Anna Fox witnesses something she shouldn’t while keeping tabs on the Russell family, the seemingly picture perfect clan that lives across the way. (From Google)

Introduction/Spoiler-Free Summary


The Woman in the Window is another in a long line of “Rear Window but with this small difference” stories. The small difference in this case being “agoraphobic woman.” Dr. Anna Fox (Amy Adams), child psychologist, hasn’t left her home in ten months for reasons we’re left in the dark about throughout most of the movie’s run time. She spends her time drinking while taking medication she shouldn’t be mixing with alcohol, watching classic movies, and spying on the neighbors. All the neighbors, although of particular interest to her are the new additions to the neighborhood, the Russells. Anna meets their teenage son, Ethan, when he stops by to drop off a sort of reverse welcome-to-the-neighborhood gift he says his mother sent him over with, and thus begins a probably rather inadvisable adult woman-teen boy friendship. She loans him movies, he complains about his dad. On Halloween, while trying to shoo away some kids egging her house, Anna gets a little too far away from the safe zone of her front hall and has a severe panic attack. She’s rescued by a woman she presumes is Jane Russell (Julianne Moore), mother of Ethan and wife of Alistair (Gary Oldman). Later, she sees Jane get stabbed while she’s spying on the Russell home. Or . . . does she? Although she doesn’t see the perpetrator, she assumes it’s Alistair (maybe she’s a My Favorite Murder fan – it’s always the husband!) and wastes no time telling the police this. But wait, the cops bring Alistair into her home (these are apparently the most unprofessional police in the history of ever) with a woman (Jennifer Jason Leigh) he claims is his wife, Jane!

Believe it or not, none of this is spoilers. Everything I’ve written so far is in the trailer.

So now we have to ask the question – Did Anna really see a murder, or was she hallucinating? And if she’s not hallucinating, who is this imposter claiming to be Jane?

Continue reading “The Woman in the Window (2021) (Spoiler-free Review)”

Recap #82 – Scavenger Hunt by Christopher Pike

scavengerhunt

Title: Scavenger Hunt

Author: Christopher Pike

Published: July 1989

Tagline: Pray they don’t find what they’re looking for . . . .

Description: The hunt was on.

School was almost over. A secretive club on campus had organized a scavenger hunt for the entire senior class. In small groups, and with the help of cleverly planted clues, the kids are led throughout the city, and then deep into the nighttime desert. The sponsoring club has promised a wonderful prize for the first group to reach the goal of the hunt.

But for Carl Timmons, a troubled young man who has recently lost his best friend, the hunt will become a nightmare. Led astray by his love for a strangely beautiful girl, he will wander far from the other, and back into a haunted past, where the line between the living and the dead is blurred and broken.

Nostalgia Time!


This is one of my all-time favorite Pike books. It was published when I was almost eight years old, so I obviously didn’t read it that early. I don’t remember when I did read it, but I reread it many, many times. I really do love this book.

The description and cover are a bit misleading, though. Although there is a church in the middle of nowhere featured, there really isn’t a scene in a graveyard. And I’m not sure who the people on the cover are supposed to be. Tracie, Carl, and Davey, maybe? Because the girl certainly isn’t Cessy or Paula, and the second boy can’t be Rick, and doesn’t look the way Tom is described. But neither boy really looks the way Davey is described, either, so . . . who knows. And the back-of-book description, while accurate enough, gives you no idea of what this book is really like.

So what’s this book really like? Weird. It’s not peak Pike weirdness, but it’s up there.

Continue reading “Recap #82 – Scavenger Hunt by Christopher Pike”

Recap #81 – Sweet Valley Twins #28: April Fool!

svtaprilfool

Title: April Fool!

Series: Sweet Valley Twins

Author: Francine Pascal/Jamie Suzanne

Published: April 1989

Tagline: Is Elizabeth pretending to be Jessica – or is Elizabeth really Elizabeth?

Description: Seeing double . . .

It’s April Fools’ Day, and the Wakefield twins are about to play their biggest and best trick ever. Usually Elizabeth and Jessica pretend to be each other. But this year they won’t switch identities – everybody will just think they did.

When April 1 comes, the twins’ trick works perfectly – too perfectly for Elizabeth. Everyone believes she is Jessica pretending to be Elizabeth. And being Jessica always means getting into trouble. By the end of the day, Elizabeth is beginning to wonder whether she is the biggest April Fool of all for agreeing to be part of this charade.

Nostalgia Time!


So, I used to read a lot of Sweet Valley Twins and SV High back in the day. Rarely in order, and I’m sure I didn’t hit every single book. I’m not sure, for instance, if I ever read this one before. I definitely read the first nine or ten, then I got very hit and miss with everything after that. I probably read more SVH, and probably most of them before they were age-appropriate for me. I haven’t recapped too many Sweet Valley Anythings (nor do I really plan to), mostly because a phenomenal Sweet Valley recap site already exists. Plus I would never get anything else done if I sat around recapping all of Sweet Valley.

So, my Sweet Valley recaps will mainly be holiday and personal favorite themed. This is the former. Happy April Fools’ Day! (I think the fool here is me.)

Also, my God, that cover. So pink. So eye-gougingly pink. Why is everything so egregiously pink? (I realize this photo of the cover looks a bit purplish, but trust me, the copy I own is Pepto-Bismol Pink.)

Continue reading “Recap #81 – Sweet Valley Twins #28: April Fool!”

Recap #80 – The Crush by Jo Gibson (Scream #8)

crush

Title: The Crush

Series: Scream

Author: Jo Gibson

Published: 1994

Tagline: If she can’t have him, no one else can!

Description: Michael Barton is smart, sweet, gorgeous – the total package. Which is why some of the girls have decided to have a little contest. Whoever hooks up with Michael first will be the winner. There’s just one problem. One of the girls has been harboring a secret crush on Michael for years. She’ll do anything to be his girlfriend. She’ll play the game. She’ll win his heart. She’ll beat the competition . . . to death.

Nostalgia Time!


Okay, looking at that description, I just have to ask who the fuck Michael Barton is. The character’s name in the book is Michael Warden. And the copy I took the description from is a 2014 rerelease 2-in-1 edition (with the sequel god help us all there’s a sequel), so it’s not like they pasted the description in and then Jo changed the name of the character before release . . . anyway, this bodes well, don’t you think? Also, that tagline? Makes it seem like the killer wants to kill Michael. Nope. She’s running around killing all the girls competing to date him. The whole thing is . . . very Jo.

I think this is the penultimate Jo Gibson YA thriller I have left to recap. As far as I can tell, I’ve only got this and its sequel, unless there’s one hiding somewhere that my searches haven’t turned up. She does have some adult “thrillers” (I read one before I realized Joanne Fluke is Jo Gibson. It was meh.), but that’s not really what we do here. So it seems we’re coming to the end of all the joy and blinding rage Jo has provided us. I’m kind of sad. I hope her teen characters who are clearly from another planet have successfully assimilated to Earth culture by The Crush II.

Continue reading “Recap #80 – The Crush by Jo Gibson (Scream #8)”

Recap #79 – The Covenant (2006)

thecovenant

Title: The Covenant

Director: Renny Harlin

Released: Sept. 8, 2006 (USA)

Taglines: Only the power of hell can help them.

or:

To save the future, they must battle their past.

Description: Four young men who belong to a New England supernatural legacy are forced to battle a fifth power long thought to have died out. Meanwhile, jealousy and suspicion threaten to tear them apart.

Nostalgia Time!


This was one of those movies that I was never quite sure if I’d seen or not. Even after listening to the How Did This Get Made podcast’s episode on it (which I would love to link here, because they’re hilarious, but unfortunately the older episodes are behind a paywall . . . which I signed up for a free trial for so I could re-listen to the episode, because that’s just how obsessive I get about things), I still couldn’t have told you if I’d seen it or not. Everything about it is familiar, standard mid-2000s aesthetic – title is “The” followed by a noun? Check. Blue filter over everything? Check. Bunch of pretty people in their 20s playing teenagers? Check. Rob Zombie on the soundtrack? Check! Some sort of supernatural shenanigans? Check! Menacing hot boy? Check! Brooding hero? Got that, too!

Basically, even if you haven’t seen this specific movie, you’ve seen this movie.

I had not seen this specific movie, it turned out, until recently. I’d been rewatching a lot of Marvel movies, and got curious about what else Sebastian Stan had been in, and that led me to this movie. It didn’t hurt that Chace Crawford from The Boys was in it as well, although I had a lot of trouble recognizing him at first. I kept staring at him and mentally trying to add 15ish years onto him, because yeah, I didn’t start watching Gossip Girl until recently, either.

Basically, I could not tell any of these boys apart at first, and was mainly referring to them in my head as Main Guy, The Deep, Longhair, Blonde Guy, and Sebastian Stan. Then it turned out Longhair (Taylor Kitsch) was actually Gambit from X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and he was the same guy I’d been saying for literal years was an amazing Gambit and should be cast for the stand-alone movie. I watched him for an hour and a half in this movie the first time around without a single shred of recognition. I dunno, is it possible to spontaneously develop face blindness in your late thirties?

Anyway, this movie is not good. But it hits the right level of bad that makes me love it. I love screaming BUT WHAT ARE THE RULES?! at my screen as I watch. I love the terrible dialogue, and the fact that they gave Sebastian Stan some of the cringiest lines I’ve ever heard.

I love the fact that I’m bringing Dove (who has never seen this) and bat (who has watched this multiple times) [bat: “for fun”, I love shitty films like this, what can I say.] along for the ride. I’m going to be screaming about the rules, bat is going to scream about how magic works [bat: HOW DOES MAGIC WORK??!?!], Dove will (maybe?) have some lolzy fun, and it’s going to be a great time all around! [Dove: I’m here because JC and I almost always live-text our reactions to each other’s movie recommendations. I’m using “recommendation” very loosely there.]

Continue reading “Recap #79 – The Covenant (2006)”

Recap #78 – Graveyard School #27: Here Comes Santa Claws by Tom B. Stone

graveyardschoolsantaclaws

Title: Here Comes Santa Claws

Series: Graveyard School

Author: Tom B. Stone (aka Nola Thacker/D.E. Athkins)

Published: Nov. 1998

Description: This year, Santa doesn’t care if you’ve been naughty or nice!

If Kyle knows what’s good for him, he’ll block up the chimney and lock all the doors. He’ll close all the windows and turn on all the lights. He won’t go to sleep and enjoy happy dreams. And he won’t hang up his stocking. Because this year . . .

Santa Claws is coming to town.

Nostalgia Time!


So, I’d never read any of the Graveyard School books before, although I was aware of them from my buddy Jude Deluca’s recaps of them over at the Devil’s Elbow site. For Christmas this year, Jude sent me this one, and I knew immediately I was going to recap it.

This might not be the best place to start reading this series, as it’s actually the penultimate book in the series, and since it takes place over Christmas vacation, we don’t get to meet the other kids who go to Graveyard School (Grove Hill School) with Kyle, except for his friend Park Addams. But hey, it’s Christmas, and I think even bottle episodes of Graveyard School are lots of fun!

Continue reading “Recap #78 – Graveyard School #27: Here Comes Santa Claws by Tom B. Stone”

Fowl Intentions aka Not Another Teen Thriller Epilogue (NaNoWriMo Project)

fowlintentionscoverdove
Cover by Dove (SweetValley.Online)

Note: Welcome to my first ever attempt at a NaNoWriMo project! I’m going to post this here, one chapter at a time as I write it, with minimal editing (yikes!), for maximal amusement. Me being me, and this site being what it is, this story is going to be a parody/satire/send-up of the types of books I recap here. Please enjoy the ridiculousness.

Description: Sarah Craig just moved to the town of Shady Point, where things are a little different than she’s used to. More school dances than you can shake a stick at; strange “accidents,” threatening poetry, and a stalker who likes to wear a turkey costume. This Thanksgiving, the teens of Shady Point are going to be scared . . . out of their gourds!

Final Count: 54,308/50,000 words

Chapter 12345678910111213141516171819202122232425, 26

Additional Note: Yep, we ran into December, but it’s finally done!

Continue reading “Fowl Intentions aka Not Another Teen Thriller Epilogue (NaNoWriMo Project)”

Fowl Intentions aka Not Another Teen Thriller Chapter 27 (NaNoWriMo Project)

fowlintentionscoverdove
Cover by Dove (SweetValley.Online)

Note: Welcome to my first ever attempt at a NaNoWriMo project! I’m going to post this here, one chapter at a time as I write it, with minimal editing (yikes!), for maximal amusement. Me being me, and this site being what it is, this story is going to be a parody/satire/send-up of the types of books I recap here. Please enjoy the ridiculousness.

Description: Sarah Craig just moved to the town of Shady Point, where things are a little different than she’s used to. More school dances than you can shake a stick at; strange “accidents,” threatening poetry, and a stalker who likes to wear a turkey costume. This Thanksgiving, the teens of Shady Point are going to be scared . . . out of their gourds!

Progress: 53,985/50,000 words

Chapter 12345678910111213141516171819202122232425, 26

Additional Note: Yes, it’s now December. I hit 50k words in November to fulfill NaNo, and now we’re into additional word count!

Continue reading “Fowl Intentions aka Not Another Teen Thriller Chapter 27 (NaNoWriMo Project)”

Fowl Intentions aka Not Another Teen Thriller Chapter 26 (NaNoWriMo Project)

fowlintentionscoverdove
Cover by Dove (SweetValley.Online)

Note: Welcome to my first ever attempt at a NaNoWriMo project! I’m going to post this here, one chapter at a time as I write it, with minimal editing (yikes!), for maximal amusement. Me being me, and this site being what it is, this story is going to be a parody/satire/send-up of the types of books I recap here. Please enjoy the ridiculousness.

Description: Sarah Craig just moved to the town of Shady Point, where things are a little different than she’s used to. More school dances than you can shake a stick at; strange “accidents,” threatening poetry, and a stalker who likes to wear a turkey costume. This Thanksgiving, the teens of Shady Point are going to be scared . . . out of their gourds!

Progress: 51,252/50,000 words

Chapter 123456789101112131415161718192021222324, 25

Additional Note: Yes, it’s now December. I hit 50k words in November to fulfill NaNo, and now we’re into additional word count!

Continue reading “Fowl Intentions aka Not Another Teen Thriller Chapter 26 (NaNoWriMo Project)”

Fowl Intentions aka Not Another Teen Thriller Chapter 25 (NaNoWriMo Project)

fowlintentionscover

Note: Welcome to my first ever attempt at a NaNoWriMo project! I’m going to post this here, one chapter at a time as I write it, with minimal editing (yikes!), for maximal amusement. Me being me, and this site being what it is, this story is going to be a parody/satire/send-up of the types of books I recap here. Please enjoy the ridiculousness.

Description: Sarah Craig just moved to the town of Shady Point, where things are a little different than she’s used to. More school dances than you can shake a stick at; strange “accidents,” threatening poetry, and a stalker who likes to wear a turkey costume. This Thanksgiving, the teens of Shady Point are going to be scared . . . out of their gourds!

Progress: 48,870/50,000 words

Chapter 1234567891011121314151617181920212223, 24

Additional Note: Yes, it’s now December. The writing got done in November, but I got behind on the posting.

Continue reading “Fowl Intentions aka Not Another Teen Thriller Chapter 25 (NaNoWriMo Project)”