Children’s Horror: R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour: Don’t Think About It (2007, dir. Alex Zamm)


Then the mask turns a little more to reveal the subtitle “Don’t Think About It”. It’s hard not to think about the fact that Emily Osment is one of the Disney Channel stars who sings when you have her do it over the ending credits.

I watched the three other R.L. Stine movies for October. Not sure why I wound up going in reverse chronological order, but I did. This one really should be called R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour: How Many Other Movies Can We Reference?


The movie opens up with this kid in his room scared that something is in his closet. But really, this kid should be more frightened by the fact that his pillow changes between cuts. It was like this before he got up.


Then as he moves closer to the closet, it changes back. As for the supposed monster in the closet, Major Payne (1995) taught us what to do about that.

Of course that can’t happen here because his sister Cassie played by Emily Osment is in there. That would make for a really short movie. But while shenanigans are going on inside, this guy is outside kindly posing to reference the poster for The Exorcist (1973), and maybe trying to look like El Topo from El Topo (1971)


Now we go to The Knoxville Jr. High School and get a good look at Cassie.


Yes, Cassie is every 90s Goth girl rolled into one except she’s missing the Nine Inch Nails T-Shirt.


And that’s Priscilla (Brittany Curran) in the middle and a friend of her’s on the right who apparently could go as actress Stacey Farber for Halloween. I’m not exactly sure what she’s looking up at, but I’m guessing it’s what shows up from the top of the screen a little later.


After we find out that Cassie has no idea how to deal with Priscilla, She-Devil of Knoxville Junior High to get the attention of blondie boy toy Sean (Cody Linley), we meet the stranger from the street. Cassie finds him in a Halloween Store tucked away in a tiny alleyway. He’s played by Tobin Bell who proves once more that once you’re captured by the Hallmark/Lifetime/Disney/ABC/Nickelodeon net, you never escape. And he appears to be selling a copy of the Necronomicon.


It’s been awhile since I saw Army Of Darkness (1992) or Evil Dead II (1987), but I’m sure there’s a scene where Ash sells it to this guy. Of course Cassie buys it, opens it, and reads from it even though it says “Do Not Read Aloud”. This of course brings about evil things immediately such as the boom mic popping in from over this kid’s head.


Funny, considering this came out the same year as Twitches Too where the boom mic also popped down into the frame. Hmmm… the kid is black and there’s the boom mic. This must be young Dolemite. Well, Cassie should have no problem with monsters now. Just make friends with this kid. If he’s Dolemite, then he doesn’t even have to touch you to hurt you.


It also leads to the parents playing a really stupid game involving squirrels and popcorn with XBOX 360 controllers.


Now the movie just becomes a series of references to other movies.


Priscilla gets the Carrie treatment with roaches.


I’m guessing this kid is Captain Jack Sparrow if he were a vampire and had the Rocky Horror lips.


One of several times this movie will reference Jurassic Park (1993). This is when the monster Cassie unleashed takes away a Papa Johns pizza delivery boy. They really do have the tastiest delivery boys. Dominos has the tastiest delivery girls. Actually, it will turn out that the monster is taking people in order to create a scene that references the Alien movies.


This isn’t a reference, but kudos this movie for reminding me of how kids like to pad out writing assignments.

There’s also a scene here with ectoplasm. After that Scared Topless movie, I can never enjoy a movie with ectoplasm again. Thanks a lot, Dave Zani!!!


While Cassie’s younger brother is attacked by more Jurassic Park references in his room we get what appears to be a reference to the creepy monkey from Close Encounters Of The Third Kind (1977).

All of this leads up to a scene where Cassie and blondie need to go and save delivery boy, her younger brother, and apparently also Priscilla. This scene references Alien and what I’m assuming must be Shivers (1975) and/or Slugs: The Movie (1988) after monster babies break out of eggs and slither across the floor. Of course we all knew this reference was coming.


Yep, the scene from Say Anything… (1989) where John Cusack held up a boom box to lure the monster out of the house in order to kill it. It’s probably been about 15 years since I saw that movie, but my memory never fails!

After they vanquish the monster and the pizza boy hits on Priscilla, the movie takes the opportunity to reference The Lord Of The Rings when they go to burn The Evil Thing. The book is saved from destruction and ends up in the hands of the parents who proceed to read from the book. Then Emily Osment starts singing over the credits. Can’t say I knew that Dave Mustaine was her producer.


All jokes aside, this movie and The Cabinet Of Souls are the best of the four R.L. Stine movies I’ve watched so far. I recommend The Cabinet Of Souls first, then this one.

My 2012 Emmy Nominations

So, for the past few days, I’ve been happily hopping around my section of the Shattered Lens Bunker and do you know why? 

Because it’s awards season, that’s why!  With the conclusion of the 2011-2012 TV season, Emmy ballots have been mailed and votes are being cast and, come July, we’ll know which shows and performers have been nominated for the 2012 Emmys. 

Before that happens, however, I would like to play a little game called “What if Lisa Was Solely Responsible For Picking the Nominees.”  Here’s how it works — I looked over and studied the complete list of the shows and performances that have been submitted this year for Emmy consideration.  And then, from that list, I picked my personal nominees.

(A complete list of every show and performer that’s been submitted for Emmy consideration can be found here.)

Below are my personal nominations in the major Emmy categories.  Again, note that these are not necessarily the shows and performers that I believe will be nominated.  Instead, these are the shows and performers that I would nominate if I was solely responsible for picking the nominees.

A complete list of my nominations in every single Emmy category can be found here.  (And yes, there’s a lot of Lifetime on the list.  There’s also a lot of Community.)

Best Comedy Series

Bored to Death (HBO)

Community (NBC)

Girls (HBO)

It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia (FX)

Parks and Recreation (NBC)

Raising Hope (Fox)

Veep (HBO)

Best Drama Series

Boardwalk Empire (HBO)

Breaking Bad (AMC)

The Client List (Lifetime)

Downton Abbey (PBS)

Game of Thrones (HBO)

Homeland (Showtime)

Pan Am (ABC)

Ringer (The CW)

True Blood (HBO)

The Walking Dead (AMC)

Outstanding Miniseries or Movie

Blue-Eyed Butcher (Lifetime)

Cyberbully (ABC Family)

Drew Peterson: Untouchable (Lifetime)

Five (Lifetime)

Girl Fight (Lifetime)

Hatfields & McCoys (History Channel)

The Hour (BBC America)

Of Two Minds (Lifetime)

Outstanding Variety Series

Conan (TBS)

Fashion Police (E)

Key and Peele (Comedy Central)

The Soup (E)

Tosh .O (Comedy Central)

Outstanding Variety Special

Betty White’s 90th Birthday Party (NBC)

Celtic Women: Believe (PBS)

The Comedy Central Roast of Charlie Sheen (Comedy Central)

TV Land Awards (TV Land)

Wendy Liebman: Taller on TV (Showtime)

Outstanding Nonfiction Special

Bobby Fischer Against The World (HBO)

Catholicism: Amazed and Afraid (PBS)

Crime After Crime (OWN)

God Is The Bigger Elvis (HBO)

6 Days To Air: The Making of South Park (Comedy Central)

Outstanding Nonfiction Series

America in Primetime (PBS)

American Masters (PBS)

America’s Most Wanted (Lifetime)

Beyond Scared Straight (A&E)

Inside Story (Biography)

Outstanding Reality Program

Antiques Roadshow (PBS)

Dance Moms (Lifetime)

Kitchen Nightmares (Fox)

Scouted (E)

Storage Wars (A&E)

Outstanding Reality-Competition Program

The Amazing Race (CBS)

The Bachelor (ABC)

Big Brother (CBS)

The Celebrity Apprentice (NBC)

Hell’s Kitchen (Fox)

Project Runway (Lifetime)

So You Think You Can Dance (Fox)

Survivor (CBS)

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Comedy Series

Larry David in Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO)

Johnny Galecki in The Big Bang Theory (CBS)

Danny McBride in Eastbound and Down (HBO)

Joel McHale in Community (NBC)

Lucas Neff in Raising Hope (Fox)

Jason Schwartzman in Bored To Death (HBO)

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama

Steve Buscemi in Boardwalk Empire (HBO)

Bryan Cranston in Breaking Bad (AMC)

Jeffrey Donavon in Burn Notice (USA)

Damian Lewis in Homeland (Showtime)

Andrew Lincoln in The Walking Dead (AMC)

Timothy Olyphant in Justified (FX)

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Miniseries or Movie

Idris Elba in Luther (BBC America)

Rob Lowe in Drew Peterson: Untouchable (Lifetime)

Steven Weber in Duke (Hallmark Movie Channel)

Dominic West in The Hour (BBC America)

Ben Whishaw in The Hour (BBC America)

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy

Zooey Deschanel in New Girl (Fox)

Lena Dunham in Girls (HBO)

Tina Fey in 30 Rock  (NBC)

Julia Louis Dreyfuss in Veep (HBO)

Mary-Louis Parker in Weeds (Showtime)

Martha Plimpton in Raising Hope (Fox)

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama

Claire Danes in Homeland (Showtime)

Sarah Michelle Gellar in Ringer (The CW)

Jennifer Love Hewitt in The Client List (Lifetime)

Julianna Margulies in The Good Wife (CBS)

Elizabeth McGovern in Downton Abbey (PBS)

Anna Paquin in True Blood (HBO)

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Miniseries or Movie

Kristin Davis in Of Two Minds (Lifetime)

Anne Heche in Girl Fight (Lifetime)

Rose McGowan in The Pastor’s Wife (Lifetime)

Emily Osment in Cyberbully (ABC Family)

Sara Paxton in Blue Eyed Butcher (Lifetime)

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series

Charlie Day in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (FX)

Danny DeVito in It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia (FX)

Donald Glover in Community (NBC)

Nick Offerman in Parks and Recreation (NBC)

Danny Pudi in Community (NBC)

Matt Walsh in Veep (HBO)

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama

Bruce Campbell in Burn Notice (USA)

Peter Dinklage in Game of Thrones (HBO)

Giancarlo Espositto in Breaking Bad (AMC)

Michael Pitt in Boardwalk Empire (HBO)

Michael Shannon in Boardwalk Empire (HBO)

Alexander Skarsgard in True Blood (HBO)

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Miniseries or Movie

Powers Boothe in Hatfields and McCoys (History Channel)

Justin Bruening in Blue-Eyed Butcher (Lifetime)

Mark-Paul Gosselaar in Hide (TNT)

Sir Roger Moore in A Princess For Christmas (Hallmark Movie Channel)

Tony Shalhoub in Five (Lifetime)

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy

Alison Brie in Community (NBC)

Kristen Chenoweth in GCB (ABC)

Anna Chlumsky in Veep (HBO)

Gillian Jacobs in Community (NBC)

Cloris Leachman in Raising Hope (Fox)

Aubrey Plaza in Parks and Recreation (NBC)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in Drama

Christine Baranski in The Good Wife (CBS)

Kristen Bauer Von Straten in True Blood (HBO)

Kelly MacDonald in Boardwalk Empire (HBO)

Christina Ricci in Pan Am (ABC)

Sophia Turner in Game of Thrones (HBO)

Deborah Ann Woll in True Blood (HBO)

Supporting Actress In A Miniseries or Movie

Tammy Blanchard in Of Two Minds (Lifetime)

Kaley Cuoco in Drew Peterson: Untouchable (Lifetime)

Lisa Edelstein in Blue-Eyed Butcher (Lifetime)

Jessica Lange in American Horror Story (FX)

Jena Malone in Hatfields and McCoy (History Channel)

What Lisa Marie Watched Last Night: Cyberbully (directed by Charles Biname)

It’s been a while since I posted a What Lisa Marie Watched Last Night, which is unfortunate because these are some of my favorite posts to write.  If nothing else, they give me an excuse to use this site to extol the virtues of a good Lifetime movie.  Well, last night, I watched a made-for-TV movie that belonged on Lifetime, despite the fact that it actually premiered on ABC Family.  The name of this film is Cyberbully and it doesn’t have much in common with Larry Clark’s Bully.

Why Was I Watching It?

After you see the same commercial about fifty times, you really don’t have much choice but to watch.  That’s why commercials work.  However, I am happy to say that I did stand up to the forces of relentless advertising by DVRing the movie and watching it on my own time.  So there.

What Was It About?

So, there’s this teenage girl (played by Emily Osment) who gets a laptop for her birthday and her mother (Kelly Rowan) foolishly allows Osment to spend hours surfing the web unsupervised.  So, Osment joins this social site called Clickster which is supposed to be like Facebook but, from what they showed onscreen, really looked a lot more like MySpace.  And I mean the MySpace of today and not the cool MySpace that we all used to brag about being on.

Anyway, somebody hacks Osment’s Clickster Account which leads to Osment getting a reputation for being a slut and soon all the rich girls in high school are giving her a hard time and then somebody sets up a fake account as some boy from another school and eventually, Osment tries to commit suicide and her mom ends up blaming it all on a lack of governmental regulation.

What Worked?

It’s difficult to really criticize this film, despite the fact that — like a lot of films about cyberbullying — it was obviously made by people who don’t really understand how the Internet works or how teenagers view the world.  The people who made the film obviously had their hearts in the right place and the film’s ultimate message was a pure and sincere one.  It was obvious that a lot of the film’s plot was inspired by the true life of case of Megan Meier, a 13 year-old girl who committed suicide after being cyberbullied in much the same way as the character played by Emily Osment in this film.  The case of Meier was so tragic that I can still not write about it without getting tears in my eyes. 

The film was actually pretty well-acted, especially by Osment and Kay Panabaker, who plays Osment’s best friend.

Most importantly, the film didn’t allow its good intentions to keep it from going totally and completely over the top in a few key moments.  Perhaps the moment that most made me forget about the film’s good intentions and just enjoy it on a camp level was when Osment, struggling to open up a child-proof bottle of pills, screams, “I CAN’T GET THE TOP OFF!”

What Didn’t Work?

Okay, maybe this wasn’t a big moment but it’s something I noticed and it really gnawed at me.  When Osment first finds herself being bullied, she responds by calling one of the bullies a “bitch” online and then her mom finds out and goes, “No, you cannot be mean just because other people are being mean,” and as the film goes on, it becomes apparent that we’re meant to agree with her.  But seriously, some day, I’m going to have a daughter and if she ever gets in trouble for calling a bully ” a bitch,” you better believe I’m going to stand behind my daughter 100%.  Actually, I’ll probably call the bully a bitch first.

When I saw that scene, I immediately flashed back to what my mom once told me when I came home from school crying because of some mean girls.  She sat me down, explained to me the importance of keeping my thumb on the outside whenever I made a fist, and then said, “Lisa Marie, if those putas de mierda try to make you cry, you break their nose.” 

Now, I have to be honest — despite the fact that I now knew how to make a fist, I still had no idea how to use that fist to break someone’s nose.  I doubt I have the upper body strength to pull that off anyway.  But, regardless of whether it was good advice, it was what I needed to hear at that time because, at the very least, it let me know that I had someone in my corner and, even more importantly, it assured me that I was the victim and not to blame.

Anyway, back to Cyberbully, the main problem with this film is that after one hour or so, the movie’s storyline becomes far too much of a PSA for its own good.  Unfortunately, the PSA isn’t for bullies to reconsider their actions or for the victims of bullies to know that “it gets better.”  Instead, the PSA tries to convince us that we can wipe out bullying by passing legislation, getting the government involved, and doing the whole activist thing, as if 1) bullying is an activity that can be regulated as opposed to just a really ugly expression of human nature and 2) we can actually trust the government to make life better for anyone. 

This is one of those films where, at the end of the film, the entire school stands up to the bully and basically bullies her into being a nicer person.  Honestly, it seems like it would be a lot more helpful for all these anti-bullying films to just say that being a teenager sucks, it’s going to suck for a long time, but if you get through it, you’ll have the pleasure of seeing everyone who bullied you get fat and miserable.  Instead, we get these false visions of humanity in which the entire world will have your back just because you’re in the right.  That’s all very uplifting but what are you going to do once you realize that the world, for the most part, doesn’t even know you exist?

“Oh my God!  Just like me!” Moments

Well, the entire film was about silly girls acting over dramatic so there were … ahem … there were a few just like me moments.  Well, more than a few. 

Perhaps the biggest just like me moment was due to the fact that I had my e-mail, Facebook and MySpace accounts hacked by an ex-boyfriend once and he changed all of my statuses to something slutty (well, more slutty and definitely lacking my trademark sense of postmodern humor) and sent out a mass e-mail under my name that read, “I want to fuck you madly.”  (If nothing else, that made me the most popular girl in the Art History study group for a week or two.)  Anyway, I ended up deleting every account I had, getting a restraining order on the guy, and spending the next two years being very paranoid and untrusting.  So, in other words, don’t be a cyberbully because it seriously fucks people up.

Lessons Learned:

Be kind and remember that there’s a human being reacting to everything you say.  Also, some pill bottles are more difficult to open than others.  But mostly the be kind part.