|Brush with Madness|
|Season 2, Episode 6|
|Air date||November 5, 2011|
|Written by||Erik Patterson |
|Directed by||Neill Fearnley|
Brush with Madness is the sixth episode of the second season of the TV show R.L. Stine's The Haunting Hour: The Series.
Corey meets his favorite graphic novelist, Alan Miller, at a comic book convention, but when Miller gets mad over Corey's obsessive questions, Corey steals the brushes Miller left behind, and sets out to create his own graphic novel. But the brushes hold a power that may be bringing a dangerous figure to life.
The episode starts at a local comic book convention where comic book geeks, Corey and Emma, are exploring the convention to find Corey's favorite comic book illustrator Allen Miller. It turns out that Allen Miller has been in hiding for 9 years due to being stalked by a crazy fan. Eventually the duo meets Allen Miller at his booth where Corey, being star struck, asks a series of obnoxious questions to the nervous artist. When Corey clams the he "follows" Miller and that he is his "Number One Fan", Miller freaks out and screams for Corey to stay away and attempts to leave the convention. In his rush, he leaves his paintbrushes behind him, leading Corey to follow him to return them. Miller again screams at Corey, and Corey being angry decides to steal the paintbrushes.
When Corey and Emma return to Corey's house, Emma scolds Corey for stealing the paintbrushes. Corey promises Emma that he will mail the brushes back to Miller the following day. When Emma leaves, Corey decides to start using the brushes. Lost in thought, Corey realizes that the paintbrushes have some sort of power, and he begins to paint multiple comic book panels in a psychotic fashion. At school, Corey shows Emma his panels, in which his new character "The Mad Artist" was featured, based off of Allen Miller. He also tells Emma that he hasn't returned the brushes yet, much to her annoyance. Later that evening, Emma stops by and watches Corey painting comic book panels on his bedroom walls in a trance. Emma becomes concerned for Corey, but he lashes at her that it is inspiration and art. Emma leaves angrily, while Corey completes a panel with the Mad Artist in it. He doesn't realize however that outside his house, a stranger who looks exactly like the Mad Artist is standing out side his drive way, watching him paint through his window, exactly like on of the panels he had previously painted on the wall.
The next morning, Corey wakes up in horror as he realizes that he covered his entire bedroom wall in comic book paintings. Going downstairs in his house, Corey hears someone outside his front door. Looking outside, he realizes that someone painted a black "X" on his door. Racing upstairs, he realizes that he painted panels that are predicting events, where the Mad Artist states that "An X marks whose next". He also realizes that the "Mad Artist" has an extremely close resemblance to Allen Miller. Scared, he calls Emma to tell her that Allen Miller is stalking him. Corey then realizes that he painted panels with Emma as well, in which he can accurately predict that she is on a specific street with a black car stalking her. Realizing Corey is telling the truth, she runs away from the car, avoiding getting caught by the Mad Artist, thanks to Corey scaring him off.
The duo decide to have Corey paint more comic book panels with the brushes to see how to stop the Mad Artist. Unfortunately for Emma, all Corey accomplished was painting more panels of her, in which the Mad Artist is seen stalking her. Upset, Emma runs off and disappears, with Corey chasing after her when he realizes that the Mad Artist is waiting for her in her house. Corey decides to go to Emma's house to save her, but he sees red splatters on the walls. It turns out to be paint, so he attempts to find Emma in the house. He enters her bedroom and realizes that the Mad Artist captured her, with the word's "She's Mine" painted in red on her walls. Corey discovers where the Mad Artist's hide out is, and breaks in to rescue Emma. He soon hears Emma screaming, and finds her strapped down to a table. He attempts to break her free, while Emma doesn't understand how Corey could be coming to save her. The Mad Artist soon captures Corey during his attempt to free Emma and he too becomes trapped.
With both Emma and Corey trapped, the Mad Artist makes his appearance, informing Corey that he made him up. Corey argues that he drew that Mad Artist, where he realizes that the Mad Artist has a slight resemblance to himself. The Mad Artist ignores this, and pulls down a machine saw, pushing it towards Emma and Corey, screaming desperately for help to no avail.
The scene then transforms back to a comic book panel at Alan Miller's desk, as he's finishing his latest graphic novel. It's revealed that the entire episode is just a comic book story Alan Miller did in response to his encounter with Corey. After a brief exchange with his security guard, Miller replies that he's not publishing his work and puts his artwork through a shredder. As the papers get shredded, Corey and Emma scream loudly and the scene does a transition effect, hinting they were erased from existence.
- Dylan Minnette as Corey, The Mad Artist
- Chanelle Peloso as Emma
- Mackenzie Gray as Allan Miller
- Sean Wei Mah as Bodyguard
- This story is similar to two Goosebumps books: Attack of the Mutant (the episode has a comic book character come to life) and The Blob That Ate Everyone (a monster is brought to life after a character uses an allegedly magic device [a typewriter in the former story, a set of artist's brushes in the latter story] and the revelation that the main story is actually the product of someone else's imagination [in the former story, the book version ended with two blob monsters discussing the story and one of them suggests that the human kids get eaten instead of kill the blob monster; in the latter story, Allan Miller is revealed to have drawn the entire episode -- or at least the part after he yells at Corey -- and is putting it through a shredder, implying that Corey and Emma are real and trapped in his unfinished work]).
- Coincidentally, The name Alan Miller is used in the Goosebumps book The Ghost Next Door.
- It could possibly be a combination of the names Frank Miller and Alan Moore, notable comic creators who have distinctive art styles.
- Dylan Minnette would later star in the first "Goosebumps" film adaptation.
- While this episode is not a direct adaptation of anything, it has several plot elements from the short story Can You Draw Me? which appeared in The Haunting Hour anthology. One of those elements are the brushes that seem to paint on their own. Curiously enough, the main character's name in the story is Dylan, while the actor who eventually plays the main character in this episode is Dylan Minnette, although his name is Corey in the episode.
- Mackenzie Gray was nominated for a Leo Award for his role as Allan Miller in this episode. Additionally, director Neil Fearnly was nominated for both a Director's Guild of Canada award and Canadian Screen Award and won a Leo Awward. And finally, cinematographer Micheal Balfry was nominated for a American Society of Cinematographers award.
- Erik Patterson has said this is his favorite episode that he wrote.
- According to Erik Patterson, the early inspirations for the episode was the phrase “I follow you on twitter,”, saying
"how innocuous that is on the surface but it can have really dark undertones. The idea of someone watching someone, following them, knowing so much about them, you don’t know how much they know, etc. And what if a creator turned that around on a fan and started following THEM. In a dark, sinister scary way. It’s not quite as fun for the fan."