Your kids not ready to make the leap to "Hostel II" or "Saw III"? They can make do this Halloween season with "R.L. Stine's Haunting Hour: Don't Think About It," a feature-length, family-friendly fright flick premiering on DVD.
"Hannah Montana" co-star Emily Osment headlines the movie as Cassie, who visits a Halloween store and finds a real treasure in the form of a book titled "The Evil Thing." Her little brother (newcomer Alex Winzenread) wants her to read it to him, so she does. However, both ignore the book's warning not to think about it, and " wouldn't you know it? " this somehow summons a monster to appear.
The slimy creature looks not unlike those in the "Alien" franchise, sports two heads when it gets angry and births tiny babies out of a hole in its back. According to my 2-year-old, this was the scary part.
Kids already in grade school, however, will enjoy its subtle creepiness without worrying about nightmares later. It's recommended for those children already hooked on R.L. Stine's "Goosebumps" books; it's very much in that inoffensive, good-times spirit, and although his name is in the title, he didn't write it.
Stine is featured in a bonus documentary on his career (he types with one bent finger). Young viewers will enjoy Osment's music video; adults in the room will get a kick out of seeing "Saw" villain Tobin Bell in a role not requiring him to torture people.