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

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

Tween-friendly, ad-happy Halloween fright fest.
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Horror
  • Release Year: 2007
  • Running Time: 87 minutes

What parents need to know

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
Not applicable

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.

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?

QUALITY

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.

Families can talk 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

Theatrical release date:September 4, 2007
DVD/Streaming release date:September 4, 2007
Cast:Brittany Curran, Cody Linley, Emily Osment
Director:Alex Zamm
Studio:Universal Pictures
Genre:Horror
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Adventures, Book characters, Holidays, Monsters, ghosts, and vampires
Run time:87 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:scary content and thematic elements.

This review of R.L. Stine's Haunting Hour: Don't Think About It was written by

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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 pretty grossly (it attacks, and kills, itself, this is mostly off-screen, and the monster babies are squashed, resulting in lots of green goo.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Kid, 8 years old July 8, 2009

commonsense is no help!

this is a little kids movie. I saw it when I was 4 sure it has violence but believe me 6+ is even overrated
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Educational value
Great role models
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. A girl goes into a Halloween shop and you see some disturbing things in there. A little boy is forced to fight the monster, and its head splits in two. SPOILER: The monstrous creature is defeated and it melts with bright light and then explodes in a beam of light, and you see icky goo (blood) splatter everywhere. Overall Insight: Moderate scary scenes, threat, mild fantasy violence, gory moments.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Too much consumerism