The movie begins and we see a girl walking down the street on Halloween. She smashes a pumpkin and Billy Corgan takes revenge on her because her eyes turn creepy. She runs into the forest and becomes a monster. Then the movie reminds me that if I don’t like it, it’s not director Peter DeLuise’s fault cause it’s called R.L. Stine’s Monsterville: Cabinet Of Souls. The missing “the” had to be donated to the band The The who lost one of their the’s in a tragic accident.
Now it’s one year later and the kids are putting on a high school production of Something Wicked This Way Comes. We are introduced to two guys and two girls. Seeing as I got over my Disney Channel addiction a few years ago, I only recognize Dove Cameron seen here in Liv makeup…unfortunately.
This is a horror movie that wastes no time in killing off people.
He is never heard from again after being killed by that candy apple. Just kidding.
Anyways, we now cut to Nora’s Dance & Ballet Academy Halloween Spooky Dance Contest. Cue the Suspiria (1977) footage!
It’s bad enough the High School Musical movies made Disney think we want dancing and singing kids again, but then Nora says this.
No! Don’t do it kids! That’s how we ended up with the movie Nudist Colony Of The Dead (1991)!
Then these two show up. That’s Dr. Hysteria (Andrew Kavadas) and Lilith (Katherine McNamara). Dr. Hysteria then invites the children to visit his Hall of Horrors which is a journey “into the wretched black heart of pure evil itself.” He’s exaggerating though since it’s just a haunted house. He’s not holding screenings of God’s Not Dead (2014), Let’s Be Cops (2014), and Frenemies (2012).
All jokes aside, both of those actors do good jobs in this movie. They manage to actually be creepy and evil right up till the end. He even kills a kid. No joke.
Because the local news station actually had a story with enough information for the first time in days, they air that the girl from the beginning of the movie is still missing. Now we meet a guy who is probably interchangeable with an actor from Prom Night III: The Last Kiss (1990). I’ll find out when I get to it.
He goes on to brag that he once surfed in a monsoon and outran an avalanche with a broken snowboard so he doesn’t scare easily. I sat through the god awful Extreme Ops (2002) knowing that a guy actually died scouting locations for that studio cash-grab on the extreme sports craze, so this guy didn’t scare me.
Oh, and this movie has kids rapping, so if you are a child, you might not want to show this to your parents because they will probably want you dead. But let’s get to the haunted house.
And I put this screenshot here just so everyone knows that it’s okay to start submitting to IMDb that an alternate title of this movie is Troll 4.
There are scary things in this haunted house such as what Calculus II would have looked like in the sequel to Freshman Father called Sophomore Father: Revenge of the Derivative! There is also a guy making inappropriate references to penises by pretending to sell “brains on a stick”. But nothing is as scary as that ginormous pink scarf they have Cameron wear in these scenes. Seriously, why? She looks like someone is going to throw a saddle on her and start riding her. Also, I played The Walking Dead and know that you don’t want something a zombie can easily grab on to. Of course she stumbles into a backroom during this sequence to to find that maybe some of these monsters are real.
After Cameron figures out that the missing girl has something to do with the Hall of Horrors from a site with a malformed URL that it shows a close up of for no good reason. We see Lilith insist on having this guy wrap his arms around her as they ride her bike before she whispers in his ear that her favorite movie is Joe D’Amato’s Porno Holocaust (1981). The kid is naturally scared by this seeing as his favorite movie with Mark Shannon is Italian Batman (1982).
Now the really creepy stuff starts happening. Dr. Hysteria takes kids in to the backroom and shows them their dreams through a portal he opens up in front of them. Their eyes flash and the kids are now his. We don’t know what that means exactly at this point, but we soon find out.
Inside The Cabinet Of Souls are kids standing around while a fog machine fills the room. It’s a little unclear, but I believe these are the kids souls while their bodies exist in the real world as monsters. It’s all a little unclear. We see some of the monsters walk into the kids bodies. And we see Dr. Hysteria feed off their souls. He does this to one kid who apparently only had one more shot to give cause she dies. I like children’s movies that don’t soft pedal the danger. Harry Potter may have been a bit much, but you get my point. Oh, and before I jump to the end. Just in case the kids aren’t already afraid of clowns.
I love the way this kid acts too. It’s like they gave him a copy of Beetlejuice, told him to watch it, and just do that. Oh, and here’s the kid dying.
He says she’s almost empty, then sucks that last bit of lifeforce from her body. She dissolves to the ground and he says “you were a good worker.” Again, kudos to the actors and the people involved with this production for making this movie genuinely creepy even while making it geared toward a younger audience.
The creepy stuff keeps getting more and more frequent until it finally comes down to whether Cameron is going to join the family or not. Notice two members of the family are rocking the Jason Voorhees from Friday the 13th, Part 2 look. Of course Cameron fights back and saves the kids, leaving Lilith, extreme sports guy, and Dr. Hysteria to go into a red oblivion.
I enjoyed this movie. Yeah, I’m sucker for kids movies cause I basically missed out on my childhood by being sick and at home through middle school and high school, but this was well made. I recommend it. Serious points to Andrew Kavadas for the character of Dr. Hysteria.