Saturday, 27 August 2016

Popcorn & Coffee: R.L. Stine's Mostly Ghostly: One Night In Doom House

PG; 89 minutes: $19.98; Amazon
Each and every year a slew of made-to-DVD horror titles are released around September and October to tie-in with Halloween. This happens to be the case with Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, who has been releasing a new R.L. Stine movie each year for the past three years.

On September 6th, R.L. Stine's Mostly Ghostly: One Night In Doom House will arrive on DVD. Directed by Emmy-nominated Ron Oliver (Prom Night II), the film stars Corey Fogelmanis (Girl Meets World), Sophie Reynolds (Gamers Guide to Pretty Much Everything), and Jamie Kennedy (Scream 1-3), along with cameos by Morgan Fairchild (Falcon Crest) and Danny Trejo (Spy Kids franchise).

Based on Mostly Ghostly series by R.L. Stine,  the first film, Mostly Ghost: Who Let The Ghouls Out?, centered on the protagonist Max Doyle, an aspiring magician who had moved into a new house with his parents and brother, Colin,. He quickly learned that he has a sixth sense when starts seeing two ghosts in his home - Nicky and Tara Roland, who had been turned into ghosts, along with their ghost-catching parents, by an evil ghost named Phears.

The 2014 sequel Mostly Ghostly: Have You Met My Ghoulfriend? was set around Halloween with the Phears trying to steal a magical ring that Max had stumbled upon, so he can use it to destroy the Roland ghost children.

The third installment, Mostly Ghostly: One Night In Doom House,  picks up shortly after the events of the second movie, where the young protagonist Max Doyle (played by Corey Fogelmanis) is still trying to help his best friends Nicky and Tara (played by Blake Michael and Olivia Ryan Stern) find their parents. He now has a girlfriend, Cammie (played by Sophie Reynolds), but things are a little bit rocky due to his commitment to his ghost friends.

With the popular ghost hunting television host, Simon (played by Jamie Kennedy), arrives in town to film an episode of his hit series at the haunted Doom House, Max seeks his help to locate Nick and Tara's parents in the ghost-world, but sadly things don't go as planned!

Pears (played by Adam Tsekhman) has once again escaped from his ghost prison, thanks from the help of his boss Mr. Morgo (played by Danny Trejo). He finds a clever way to return our world to unleash another evil plan to trap the Nicky & Tara and release a bunch of evil ghosts upon the world.

Final Thoughts: Anyone who reads this blog knows that I grew up reading R.L. Stine's Goosebumps and Fear Street novels, and that I still read the author's newest titles. However, I had never heard of the Mostly Ghostly book series (8 books total) until the first film was released to DVD in 2008. Unlike Mr. Stine's other series, the Mostly Ghostly stories are mainly comedies with a horror-themed plot.

Similar to the first two moves, Mostly Ghostly: One Night In Doom House has a brand-new cast, though Madison Pettis did appear in the other films, the actress is replaced by Olivia Ryan Stern as Tara in this one. This is somewhat of a continuity issue as the new actress is too old for part; same thing goes for Blake Michael as Nicky.

As for the rest of the cast, everyone fits the right look and feel for the characters. Corey Fogelmanis easily steps into the role of the main character, Max. Adam Tsekhman gives a comedic approach to playing Phears, the villain who receives better makeup effects this time around. Peter DeLuise and his real-life wife, Anne Marie DeLuise, plays Max's parents. Coincidentally, Peter's younger brother, David DeLuise, played the same role in the first film. (Note: Peter also directed last year's R.L. Stine's Monsterville: The Cabinet of Souls.)

The plot here is nothing new as Phears is once again trying to catch the Roland children and create chaos all over the small town. Of course, Max takes it upon himself to try to stop Phears, while at the same time he has to deal with the possibility of his family moving, and he must try to find a way to win back Cammie's heart.

If you can adjust to the casting changes (again) and the obvious low-budget, the film is actually enjoyable. The best part is the goofy performance by Jamie Kennedy, who plays a Ghost Hunters-type character.

The picture-quality on DVD is excellent. The only bonus feature is a gag reel.

Overall, R.L. Stine's Mostly Ghostly: One Night In Doom House is a cute family-friendly horror-comedy that would be prefect to watch around Halloween.

*I received complimentary copy in exchange for my unbiased review. All opinions are my own.

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