The fifth volume in author R.L. Stine’s spine tingling series, The Haunting Hour is another spine tingling compilation that is just as much scary fun for kids as it is for adults. Right from the outset of each episode, parents will be smiling thanks to a small but important addition. That addition is a disclaimer about just how scary each episode can potentially be depending on a viewer’s age. From there, kids and parents will enjoy watching all four episodes included in this compilation (one of the episodes is split into two parts) because of how scary they are. As an added bonus, parents will appreciate the episodes because of the lessons that are taught in such subtle fashion. All said and done, The Haunting Hour Volume Five is one more wonderful and wonderfully scary addition to any young horror fan’s collection.
Ever since its inception years ago, the ratings system used for television shows has come under a lot of fire. It has come under fire because of its inconsistencies and ambiguous nature. So the inclusion of a disclaimer at the beginning of each episode is an important addition to the compilation. The disclaimer spells out in no uncertain terms that some of the included episodes may be too scary for some younger viewers. And rather than just using the standard “parents discretion is advised” line, the people behind the show took another road in telling parents and children that they should watch the show together. Believe it or not, this is HUGE. It’s saying without saying that parents need to be more involved with their children and be parents. It’s saying that parents need to see what their kids are watching so that they can make a responsible decision on what they think their children should or shouldn’t watch. All parties involved in making this happen are to be highly commended for this subtle yet at the same time blatant statement.
Having been told that they should watch the show with their children, parents and children will both appreciate the scares and chills offered in each episode. Even parents will have to admit that even in Volume Five, there are some scary stories, starting with the two-part episode, “Scary Mary.” This episode sees young Hanna (Eva Allen) and her friends learning the dangers of peer pressure. It all starts when she and her friends decide to play what they think is a harmless paranormal based game called “Scary Mary.” It just so happens that the game is just like a certain paranormal game that some people try to play in real life, which is just as dangerous and should not be attempted. It also plays on a very real belief about the paranormal linked to mirrors and spirits. Anyone with any understanding of the paranormal will appreciate that inclusion. The set’s second episode, “Swarmin’ Norman” teaches another valuable lesson to young viewers. It teaches the lesson that revenge is a dish best served cold. On top of that it teaches about the dangers of getting power hungry. It offers both through the story of a young boy named Norman (Bobby Coleman) who learns that he can control insects after being bullied one time too many. He had great power. But he didn’t use it responsibly. The result was quite deadly to say the least. These episodes are just a couple of examples of why parents will love to use The Haunting Hour Volume Five this Halloween for their children’s Halloween parties. Of course, there is still another reason that this set is such a scary joy. That reason is the guest spots.
The people behind The Haunting Hour have made a tradition of including young well-known guest stars to help drive the show’s popularity. The episodes culled for Volume Five are no different. This time out, Frankie Jonas (Jonas L.A.), Liam James (The Killing), Dakota Goyo (Real Steel), and Jean-Luc Bilodeau (Kyle XY) make appearances. Goyo stars as a young boy named Josh on a flight sharing a seat with a ghost that only he can see. The problem is that the ghost in question is trying to get away from the Grim Reaper, who is also on board the flight. Liam James and Frankie Jonas share the screen in the set’s closing episode, “Pumpkinhead.” And Jean-Luc Biloddeau guests in the set’s opening episode. This continued inclusion of younger stars will definitely help to bring in younger viewers. And together with the aforementioned factors, the total presentation that is The Haunting Hour Volume Five turns out to be another welcome addition to any young horror lover’s home collection. It is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered direct online from Shout! Factory’s online store at http://www.shoutfactory.com/node/217796. More information on this and other releases from Shout! Factory and Hub Network is available online at http:/www.shoutfactory.com, http://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial, and http://www.hubworld.com. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.