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 28 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.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byhope1111111111111 August 16, 2018

it’s literally fine, stop overprotecting your child

the movie isn’t award-winning, but it’s interesting enough to entertain you and your kids. whether you’re watching this to make fun of it, or you genuinely like... Continue reading
Adult Written by[email protected] June 30, 2018

My favorite childhood movie

I was about 10/11 when it came out in 2007 and I loved it I’ve watched it about 10 times and most recently I bought it and watched it two days ago and still ver... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byPridefulDork March 25, 2020

Totally would watch it now

My mom told me to turn the movie off if I got scared, I didn’t I was five or six around the time, scared me quite a bit to the point where I didn’t want to slee... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bymatiaspoop October 29, 2019

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

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