R.L. Stine's Haunting Hour: Don't Think About It

Movie review by
Heather Boerner, Common Sense Media
R.L. Stine's Haunting Hour: Don't Think About It Movie Poster Image
Tween-friendly, ad-happy Halloween fright fest.
  • PG
  • 2007
  • 87 minutes

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 12 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 26 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Lots of jealousy and conniving among girls, including Priscilla threatening Sean and Cassie filling a piñata with roaches, which rain down on Priscilla. Cassie also intentionally terrorizes her brother with scary stories and pranks.

Violence & Scariness

Lots of creepy violence, including a slimy monster with babies encased in eggs on its back. The pizza delivery guy, Max, and Priscilla get captured by The Evil Thing and wrapped up in a cocoon. The babies almost eat Max. Max throws blood on The Evil Thing and it kills itself by biting itself to death.

Sexy Stuff

Flirting between Sean and Priscilla and Cassie and Sean, but no kissing.

Language

One use of "dang."

Consumerism

With a coupon in the DVD box for a free Papa John Pizza and a Papa John delivery guy figuring prominently into the plot, they only forgot the scratch-and-sniff pizza stickers. You'll also find an Aquapod, an iPod, and the Berenstein Bears. There's also a video at the end for a song by star Emily Osment.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that while this movie is from the same people who created the creepy, crawly series Goosebumps, it's more of an ad for products like Papa John's Pizza than anything else. Parents should also know that Cassie does some pretty antisocial things, like terrorizing her little brother with ghost stories, hiding in his closet to scare him, and filling a pinata with roaches so Priscilla will be covered in them -- all because she's angry that she had to move and Priscilla humiliated her. Parents should also know that the movie gets pretty scary at different points, especially when the kids attempt to kill The Evil Thing.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 10 year old Written byYOUTUBEYAY July 29, 2009

YAY FOR EVERYONE 10+

AAABBB3 SHUT UP NO GORE CHECK OUT MY BLOODY VALENTINE IF U WANT GORE.
Parent of a 14 year old Written byjacob0929 April 19, 2009
Kid, 12 years old February 7, 2014

Pretty good tv spinoff/ horror throwback

This film is actually pretty good, predictable but entertaining enough with some funny lines and a cool creature. not too scary, but the monster is killed prett... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old June 24, 2014

CSM Insight - The Haunting Hour (DVD)

What other families should know about this is that it has moderate scary scenes. The movie is not for any child under 9 especially, even though it is mythical.... Continue reading

What's the story?

Cassie (Hannah Montana's Emily Osment) is new to town and fascinated by the occult; Halloween is her favorite holiday. At a mysterious Halloween store, a stranger (Saw's Tobin Bell) insists on selling her an old book called The Evil Thing. Stuck babysitting brother Max (Alex Winzenread) on Halloween night, she reads the book to him just before bed, despite the book's warnings not to read it out loud or think about its monster. Now she must save her brother and defeat this other-worldly creature before Mom and Dad get back from their Halloween party.

Is it any good?

This campfire-style horror story is predictable to adults, but kids who've never seen any of those other movies may enjoy this and be on the edge of their seats for most of it. All good scary movies depend on the active imagination of the viewer. Just consider the power of suggestion in The Blair Witch Project to terrorize people. R.L. STINE'S HAUNTING HOUR: DON'T THINK ABOUT IT makes good use of this technique. The whole story is based around one simple and irresistible order: If you don't want the boogeyman to get you, don't think about him.

What's great about Don't Think About It is that it's straightforward. The bickering between Cassie and Max is totally relatable to anyone with siblings, which makes the plot seem plausible and that much more scary. It's a more kid-friendly version of It, combined with a less evil version of The Craft.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why scaring siblings is fun and how to better express their feelings. How does Cassie get punished for terrorizing her brother? Do you think her punishment is fair?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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