Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Fear, Itself

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Fear, Itself

Nighttime scenes of campus Halloween revelry: people in costumes toilet-papering trees and shooting Silly String. Willow is on the phone in the world's largest dorm room, fiddling with the armor she is wearing and talking (to Oz, I assume) about how they have to make sure Buffy has fun at the party. Willow walks down the dorm hall, where she encounters a tall guy in drag (another black guy!), a skeleton talking on his cell phone and a lobster having a argument with a Christmas present. Those are their costumes, I mean.

At the Alpha Dork house the party is in full swing, with revelers inside and out. Up in the Goat Room FratJerk, dressed in fake Rasta dreads, is encouraging a blonde girl to shove her hand in the grape "eyeballs." She pulls off her blindfold and the grapes have turned into real eyeballs! Scream! Buffy is standing somewhere outside, her hair in braids and holding a wicker picnic basket. Buffy's Little Red Riding Hood costume qualifies as scary also, because it's made out of both gingham-checked and polka-dotted material. Xander approaches from behind and leers, "What you got in the basket, little girl?" "Weapons," Buffy glumly replies. She then compliments him on his tuxedo, and he tells her he's James Bond and is prepared in case they get turned into their costumes like year before last. He's ready to be "cool secret agent guy." "I hate to break it to you, but you'll probably end up cool headwaiter guy," cracks Buffy. "As long as I'm cool and wield some kind of power," says Xander. Willow (in her knight costume) and Oz (in his regular clothes) approach, arm in arm. Xander is as confused by Willow's costume as I am and Willow explains that she's Joan of Arc. She figures they have a lot in common since Willow was almost burned at the stake, and also she had that close relationship with God. Buffy and Xander look confused and turn towards Oz, who flips back his outer shirt to reveal a "Hi My Name Is" sticker with GOD written on it. Hee hee, that made me snort out loud. The four of them walk along and encounter two spooky masked commando guys with guns who don't say anything and slip away quickly. Xander mentioned he invited Anya, but that she will be showing up later after she finds a costume. The next exchange had me laughing and thinking of Sars; Buffy moans that now she'll be the third wheel and Xander says "technically speaking, you're a fifth wheel." ["Bless you, Xander." -- Sars]

Back at Alpha Dork, the party is chaos. In the Goat Room, lights flash and screaming students run in all directions. All the doors out of the room slam shut as the partygoers approach. A screaming girl in a hula-dancer costume runs by and we draw in for a close-up of a girl dressed as a princess, prone on a couch, blood dribbling from her mouth. Downstairs, our intrepid four approach the front door. Upstairs, Chaz, the guy with the cute dreads, runs frantically down a hallway, and we get crazy camera shots of screaming students and general chaos. FratJerk runs through the halls screaming, "Help me!" and falls down the stairs to the ground floor. He appears to have broken his neck. Too bad, so sad. As he lies sprawled on the ground, a spooky deep voice commands, "Release me!" The gang enters the house, which seems deserted. The only noise is a haunted-house sound-effects tape, repeating crazy laughter and wolf howls over and over. Buffy looks over the decorations, including a severed head in a bowl, and says, "Terrifying. If I were Abbott and Costello this would be fairly traumatic." Oz and Xander walk down a hall, followed by Buffy and Willow. Willow walks into a large spider's web and gets spooked. "Frat boys aren't too obsessive with their cleaning. Might not be decoration, per se," jokes Oz. Oz notices that a real tarantula is crawling on Willow and flicks it off. They continue on, and Buffy finds a puddle of real blood on the carpet. The girls hear a squeaking noise and the gang is attacked by a flock of bats which sweep down and fly over them. Pretty cheesy computer graphics here. Oz notices that a bat has fallen to the floor, but it's now rubber. As Xander tries to explain away the strange happenings, the scary voice again shouts, "RELEASE ME!"

Outside, we see Little Bunny Foo-Foo hopping through the forest. No, wait! It's Anya in a big...bunny costume. I thought Xander told her to dress up as something scary? ["Unless she's supposed to be Bunnicula the Vampire Bunny, who drains the blood of vegetables." -- Sep] She approaches the frat house, but the door the Scooby Gang entered through is gone. Anya knocks and then clomps around the front of the house. Looking up, she sees a terrified girl at a second-story window. As the girl screams for help, the bricks of the house suddenly slide together to cover the window. I'm ashamed to admit that I saw a lot of horror movies in my day, and that effect had a very good Nightmare on Elm Street vibe. "Xander!" exclaims Anya and begins to run.

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer

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