(Review originally written at 2 August 2008)

As weird and as unexpected as it might sound, I really liked this movie for what it was and it's no way as bad as everything tries to make you believe it is.

I thought that this was just a great children movie. Or well, maybe it's just because this would be the type of movie that I would had liked to have seen when I was young(er). People just often seem to forget or ignore their inner child. 

While watching this movie you just have to think and feel like a child again, since this is also the target group the movie got aimed towards. When you do so, you'll see that this movie is simply good at what it tries to achieve. It brings some good clean and safe horror entertainment for children. Young ones often seem to like reading horror stories (at least in my days this was the case) so they are likely to get a blast out of watching this movie. Some sequences however might be a bit too disturbing for really young children though, so be aware of that.

Of course when you start watching this movie as an adult you'll notice the movie its weak and quite formulaic story. Nothing is ever really surprising about it. The movie nevertheless has a great sense of adventure though in which a group of people gets trapped in an haunted house, with a new adventure in every room.

The movie is great looking, with also especially its special effects. Normally horror and special effects are never a good or effective combination but in this case of an horror movie for children, it isn't really a complainant. The special effects mostly serve to give the movie its feeling of adventure and it provides the movie with some of its entertaining moments as well. The movie also features some or the recently deceased Rick Baker make-up effects, which is always something great to look at.

Not sure if the movie is really as effective as a comedy than as an adventure movie though. Oh well, perhaps children will still find the movie funny in parts, though some of the jokes are obviously aimed toward adults. Something Disney movies often do so, especially lately.

I also can't say if I'm too sure about Eddie Murphy casting as the main lead. Now I have nothing against Eddie Murphy really but he just isn't suitable for all types of comedies. I think this is one of those movies that would had been better off without him. Besides the well known Eddie Murphy, the movie also features well known and respected actors such as Terence Stamp, Nathaniel Parker and Jennifer Tilly. Especially Stamp and Parker were great. On top of that the movie also features the wonderful Deep Roy, in a really small role though.

The movie its musical score by Mark Mancina also really deserves recognition. It was surprisingly great and effective. It can be described as a great and effective horror score as well as an entertaining one.

Great children entertainment!


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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