So I’m sitting in this theater and I’m waiting for the trailers to begin and I look around and I see families sitting around, ordering food (this was a Fork and Screen theater) and being generally noisy. No biggie… the movie hasn’t started yet. But then I notice the age of the children that are there. True, this was rated PG and not PG-13, but I still thought some of the kids in there were just too young. I mean around 5-7 years old kind of young. Oh well, their parents will have to deal with it if the kiddos wake up from bad dreams.
So as I’m watching this movie (which, by the way, I give 3 Icees to) and I hear one little girl saying she doesn’t like it because its too scary. I hear another little child (a boy I believe) crying and having to be taken out by his mom. Now, I don’t think the movie was all that scary, but I’m not 5 years old either. Yes, the movie has some scary scenes in it, after all this is supposed to be a pre-teen “horror/comedy” movie after all. I guess I would say if your kid is a real pre-teen (maybe 9-12 years old) then they can do just fine with this movie. Too much younger than that, you’re on your own!
So on to the review. The movie is actually decent for its target audience. It’s not as good as Goosebumps was (also with Jack Black in it) but it is ok. The acting is a bit hokey at times, but again… this is a pre-teen’s movie and not one really designed for adults. The story starts off a bit slow but then picks up the pace well. Jack Black carries his role off well, as does Cate Blanchett. Owen Vaccaro is ok as a nerdy kid, but sometimes he is too stiff with his acting. Something that will hopefully pass with time. The worse performance for me was that of Sunny Suljic as Tarby. First of all… Tarby?? Really?? Well, anyway I didn’t care for his performance at all and hopefully he uses the money from this movie for some acting lessons.
Ok, I just realized that I started the first 3 paragraphs with “so”, and therefore I will try to avoid that word for the rest of this review. There is enough scariness to make the movie worthwhile if you want to try your pre-teen out on “horror” to see how they will do before they try something more terrifying, but not enough to send them into therapy (unless they’re 5 years old… I mean.. c’mon.. who takes a 5 year old to see a horror movie, even if it is PG?).
There is a “scene” during the credits and after the movie, but nothing worth sticking around for.