Wednesday, 14 October 2015

DVD Review - R.L. Stine's Monsterville: Cabinet of Souls

Goosebumps is getting the big screen treatment in this Friday's release of the family comedy-horror starring Jack Black, but some of you might not know about the recently released direct-to-DVD film called R.L. Stine's Monsterville: Cabinet of Souls. Unlike the other direct-to-DVD R.L. Stine releases, this one isn't based on any of his books, though it’s most likely loosely inspired by the Goosebumps Hall of Horrors series.

Written by Billy Brown & Dan Angel and directed by Peter DeLuise (21 Jump Street), the film centers on four high school friends - Kellen (played by Braeden Lemasters), Beth (played by Dove Cameron), Luke (played by Casey Dubois) and Nicole (played by Tiffany Espensen), whom all attend a Hall of Horrors that is traveling through their town.

Considering that Halloween is just around the corner, the group is excited about the Hall of Horrors and all of it's freaky attractions. There are zombies, monsters and ghouls running around the place, which all of them are wearing realistic looking masks. The Hall of Horrors is owned by a strange man in a top hat, Dr. Hysteria (played by Andrew Kavadas).

Kellen has had a crush on his friend Beth for years and just when he is about to tell her how he feels about her, a mysterious teenager named Hunter (played by Ryan McCarten) catches Beth's attention. He doesn't have much time to get over his heartache as the Gothic-dressing Lilith (played by Katherine McNamara) pops into his life.

This is a horror film, so the Hall Of Horrors isn't exactly what it seems to be and, unfortunately, Kellen & Beth quickly realizes this when they discover that their friends have been exposed to Dr. Hysteria's madness. They must race against time to stop Dr. Hysteria, save their friends and unravel the mystery that is hidden in the Cabinet of Souls.

As my loyal blog readers already know, I've been a R.L. Stine fan since I was a young kid. I didn't know what to expect from this film when I purchased the DVD earlier this month, though part of me thought it would be similar to the Mostly Ghostly movies, but I was way wrong. As it turns out, it has a decent plot, which somewhat reminds me of Something Wicked This Way Comes. The acting is above average for this type of film. Don't be fooled by the PG rating as there are a few good scares here and there. Overall, R.L. Stine's Monsterville: Cabinet of Souls is surprisingly well-made, low-budget, family-friendly horror film that would be perfect to watch near Halloween.

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