Wednesday, August 2, 2017

R.L. Stine’s Mostly Ghostly: One Night in Doom House (2016)

Number Rolled: 56
Movie Name/Year: R.L. Stine’s Mostly Ghostly: One Night in Doom House (2016)
Tagline: None
Genre: Family, Fantasy, Horror
Length: 88 minutes
Rating: PG
Production Companies: Universal 1440 Entertainment, Commotion Pictures, Lookout Entertainment, Mostly Ghostly 3 Productions
Producer: Yvonne M. Bernard, Arthur Cohen, Harvey Kahn, Blake Michael, Ryan M. Murphy, Steven Stabler, Jane Stein, R.L. Stine, Joan Waricha
Director: Ron Oliver
Writer: Ron Oliver, R.L. Stine
Actors: Corey Fogelmanis, Sophie Reynolds, Blake Michael, Olivia Ryan Stern, Vivian Full, Andrew Herr, Jedidiah Goodacre, Jamie Kennedy, Danny Trejo, Wyatt Bernard, Juliette Cohen, Anne Marie DeLuise, Peter DeLuise, Ali Eagle, Morgan Fairchild, Karen Holness, Zak Santiago, Adam Tsekhman, Darryl Van Dyke, Nelson Wong, Casey Young
Stunt Doubles: Kent Thomson

Blurb from Netflix: As Max tries to help ghost pals Nicky and Tara find their parents, he stumbles on an enchanted crystal -- and an evil new plot by the phantom Phears.

Selina’s Point of View:
When I was young, R.L. Stine (Eye Candy, When Good Ghouls Go Bad, Eureeka’s Castle) was one of my all-time favorite authors. During my pre-teen and young teen years, I LOVED the Goosebumps (1992-) series. I read it alongside works by Cherie Bennett (Broken Bridges, Searching for David’s Heart, Port Charles) and Judy Blume (Tiger Eyes, Fudge, Forever). It was my primary source of creative horror.

I still love Stine. I even have a bound, advanced, uncorrected manuscript of one of his novels. It’s a book that I hold dear to my heart. (Yeah, yeah. I know. Pics or it didn’t happen.)

When we watched Goosebumps a couple of months ago, I was absolutely blown away by the quality of it. Some of R.L. Stine’s stuff can feel a little juvenile (not a bad thing since it’s geared toward kids), but Goosebumps (2015) was elevated to something adults could enjoy, too. This film was definitely something more for the kids to watch while parents are making dinner.

It felt like I was watching a basic Disney Channel movie instead of something Universal put out. I saw the aspects that reminded me of my childhood books, but there was a significant amount of corn in it.

I wasn’t super surprised, though. In fact, I expected it. If you’ve ever watched the Goosebumps (1995-1998) TV series, it’s got the same feel.

I have an issue with how Netflix lists this film. As noted above, it’s labeled as R.L. Stine’s Mostly Ghostly: One Night in Doom House. That’s not actually the correct title and you won’t find that film on IMDb. Not only that, but it’s a sequel – third in a series; Netflix makes no attempt to tell their viewers that. If you want to locate this movie on other platforms, it’s called Mostly Ghostly 3: One Night in Doom House.

It seems like a small difference, but it’s an important one.

Despite everything, I did enjoy this film. It’s not going to be one of my favorites, but I’d recommend it to younger teens easily.

Cat’s Point of View:
I must admit that while I’ve long been a fan of R.L. Stine’s (The Nightmare Room, The Haunted Lighthouse, R.L. Stine's The Haunting Hour) books, I haven’t read all of them – specifically the ones in the Mostly Ghostly series. However, I did watch a bit of the old Goosebumps (1995-1998) TV show; and the classic Nickelodeon show Are You Afraid of the Dark? (1990-2000) is very dear to my heart.

I may not have been familiar with the plot or the characters, but I had a certain level of expectation going into this movie. I’d have to say, I certainly wasn’t let down.

So, let’s be honest. This is essentially a staple recipe for kid-centric networks these days. It didn’t throw me any real curve balls and the level of effects, production quality, and talent were right in that zone.

I wasn’t surprised to find Ron Oliver (Harriet the Spy: Blog Wars, Beethoven's Treasure Tail, Bigger Fatter Liar) at the helm here. He also directed quite a few of those youth-oriented spooky shows of the mid to late 90s. Stine’s story was in good hands.

Don’t get me wrong, though – even though this film didn’t offer up anything shocking, that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t worthwhile or that I didn’t like it. It won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s definitely solid and entertaining.

I wouldn’t say that this is my favorite youth-oriented movie of the genre, but I wouldn’t mind watching it again. In fact, I’m pretty sure I will be since my daughter wasn’t able to watch it with me on this go-round, and Corey Fogelmanis (House of Lies, Partners, I Didn't Do It) is the lead. She adored Girl Meets World (2014-2017) and he played Farkle in it.

This might be a cute movie for the kids when beginning to gear up for Halloween if you’re not in the mood for the in-your-face holiday themes with pumpkins and the lot.

Speech Available: English
Subtitles Available: English

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – None
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 31%
Metascore - None
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score – 4.9/10

Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating3/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating3/5

Movie Trailer:

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