Parents' Guide to

R.L. Stine's Monsterville: Cabinet of Souls

By Renee Longstreet, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Silly, scary ghoulfest has lots of peril, frights.

Movie PG 2015 85 minutes
R.L. Stine's Monsterville: Cabinet of Souls Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 10+

Simple, Campy Fun

This movie isn't great by any metric, but it has a certain charm. The main characters have annoying qualities (bad jokes, charicaturized teen vanity, and for-the-love-of-god-just-tell-her-that-you-like-her-itis), but those qualities end up being turned into the very thing that causes the heroes' downfall, which was good, but it didn't feel like it was thought out as well as it should've been. It switches between two protagonists without really developing why it's doing so in a way that's awkward and more than a little jarring, and the ending (which I won't spoil) isn't particularly satisfying. That all said, the actors do a good job with what they have, and the villains are actually quite decent, with a motive that makes sense and interesting personalities that foil the heroes very well. It has some fun sequences, and featuring a Marianas Trench song is always a plus in my book. Overall, it's not unlike higher-budget Goosebumps (fitting, given that it's based on an R.L. Stine novel and executive produced by the author himself). I'd recommend it if you have a 10-12 year old that's starting to have a budding appreciation for horror, or if you just want something fun that you can play in the background while doing something else.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
age 10+

Amazing movie with great story line.

This movie is great for kids who are ready for a little scare. Yes, there is not humor (there wasn't supposed to be) and you don't get a lot of backround on the characters (other then Kellan) but, this is a great movie and I still watch it in my teenage years.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (6 ):

The scare scenes go by fast, so there's no time to focus on the nonsensical plot and cheesy effects; still the game actors play it for real, so tweens may find it creepy-funny enough. Adults on-screen briefly are appropriately stupid so the kids have no one to reply upon but themselves, and as they do the consequences of their risk-all behavior just get bigger and bigger. By the time one of the teen victims is obviously possessed by a witch and no one in school but the heroine seems to notice, there's no pretense of logic left. The glorious array of monster masks and makeup can't hide the fact that under those costumes and headpieces, actors are trying to carry off freaky behavior by slouching, stomping, roaring, and trying to make art out of walking like a zombie. The filmmakers try to balance the frights with a sweet but predictable romance, and it does help to keep the heroes likable and relatable; from the start, they're easy to root for. As Halloween movies go, it's not much, but for the right audiences it will entertain.

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