For an introduction to the concept of 61 Days of Halloween, as well as a list of previously featured titles, please go here.
R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour – Don’t Think About It (2007)
As I’ve reference a few times, in my youth I had an aversion to horror. I didn’t relish being scared back then. As someone who gravitated to the genre later in life, I take no umbrage with the idea of juvenile horror such as the likes that R.L. Stine creates. Yes, many kids (much younger than I when I was started to read Desperation), cut their teeth on Stephen King. However, not all kids are the same (which is a small part of why I avoid giving parental guidance advice). However, I can remember instances where a certain frightening tale did intrigue me; Poe would be an example. Had I at a young age know of Stine I may have gravitated to the genre earlier.
This year, having had a number of his books come to me secondhand, I’ve read quite a few before donating them to the local library; and as evidenced by the TV shows that bear his name, they are twisted tales that don’t always work out so great for the protagonist, which can really scare kids. (I hope to be able to prepare a post [or series of them] about The Haunting Hour, the series, before Halloween).
As for this film, it took me a while to get around to screening this one because the last film I’d seen based on one of his works was quite a bad miss. This one, however, thankfully, mostly works.
A lot of that has to do with the practical effects work by Gregory Nicotero, one of the best in the game right now, who created an awesome creature for this film.
The film works itself into its story slowly. It does follow its protagonist (Emily Osment) and builds her character, and motivations for all the characters involved, but it does so a bit languidly. When things do get going though they’re rather freaky and things resolve themselves nicely, with the characters growing and a well-earned horror-film end.
As this film felt a bit stretched, it will be interesting to see if the planned Goosebumps film, comes to fruition if the anthology-styling suits it better, which it should.