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Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Monster > Zombie > Wax Figures > Comedy > Young Adult > R.L. Stine's Monsterville: Cabinet Of Souls (2015/Universal DVD)

R.L. Stine's Monsterville: Cabinet Of Souls (2015/Universal DVD)

Picture: B- Sound: B- Extras: D Film: C

In the wake of the new Goosebumps from Sony about to land in theaters, Universal brings us the direct to video feature length film Monsterville: Cabinet of Souls (2015). Created for a young audience, the film delivers as such but fails at really being more than a Disney Channel-esque preteen adventure, which I fear could happen with the big budget Goosebumps as well with a cookie cutter script, and pretty teens that can't act their way out of a box.

There was something about the original Goosebumps show from the '90s that was more effective (or was I just younger?) that I feel is lost now in these more modern R.L. Stine movies, especially the episode The Haunted Mask, which I found to be quite creepy and cool. I'm actually surprised that the original series hasn't been released on Blu-ray yet as I would be interested in revisiting them again but only time will tell.

The film stars Dove Cameron (Descendants), Katherine McNamara (Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials), Ryan McCarten (Liv and Maddie), and Tiffany Espensen (Kirby Buckets) who are all up and coming teenie boppers.

When a traveling Hall of Horrors show arrives in the town of Danville, the high school friends can't wait to get spooked. The monsters, zombies, and ghouls are completely lifelike; and the villainous showman, Dr. Hysteria, and his enchanting assistant, Lilith, really know how to turn up the scares. But when Beth discovers a haunted cabinet backstage that traps the souls of lost teens, it's up to the gang to stop the mayhem before they are trapped forever.

The film was directed by Peter Deluise, who also directed the other R.L. Stine film, The Haunting Hour a few years ago which if you liked that then you probably will like this as well. As far as makeup and production design go, this as I said feels more like a TV movie geared towards a young audience. It could be worse but could also be better.

Presented in standard definition with an anamorphic widescreen presentation of 1.78:1 and a lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 track, the film looks fine on DVD but like anything else could benefit from a Blu-ray upgrade.

No extras and a rather simple menu are all we get here.

- James Harland Lockhart V



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