In the grand tradition of The Twilight Zone, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Goosebumps, and Eerie, Indiana, comes R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour which reminds us that you don’t have to sacrifice writing for production values and recognizable faces. If you do it right, you can have it all, and for the first season, The Haunting Hour managed to do just that. Even if the stories aren’t all that original and reuse twists fans of the horror genre have likely seen before, for their intended adolescent audience they’ll likely feel fresh and even a little creepy when the right episode comes along. To help sweeten the deal, each episode has an appearance from a young up-and-coming star from another series like Modern Family’s Ariel Winter or Nolan Gould, The Twilight Saga’s Booboo Stewart, Diary of a Wimpy Kid’s Robert Capron, Night at the Museum’s Jake Cherry, and many others.
Each DVD set includes five episodes and volumes 3 and 4 round out the first season save for its two-part finale which is oddly not included for whatever reason. The acting is usually fairly good considering the target demographic and what the show needs to accomplish to work. Sometimes the performances are a bit hammier from one episode to the next, but that decision tends to fit the overall feel of the individual story and whether or not it’s going for actual scares or just for a clever, spooky distraction.
DVD Bonus Features
Production featurettes are the only extras on both sets.
"R.L. Stine's The Haunting Hour: Volumes 3 & 4" is on sale February 5, 2013 and is not rated. Children & Family, Horror. Directed by Neill Fearnley, Peter DeLuise. Written by Billy Brown, Dan Angel. Starring Ariel Winter, Nolan Gould, Robert Capron, Booboo Stewart, Jake Cherry.