“Five More Eerie Tales of The Haunting Hour!”

The Haunting Hour: Volume 6 brings together five episodes from Season 2 of the series.

“Creature Feature, Parts 1 and 2”
Young teen cinephile John (Joel Courtney, Super 8) finds his dream coming true when he’s sucked into a movie. Too bad it’s a horror film.

“Brush with Madness”
When Corey (Dylan Minnette, Saving Grace) gets ahold of his idol’s brushes, he can’t resist the urge to paint with them. But when the panels he paints start coming true, he must find a way to sever their power.

“Sick”
Home alone for the day, Alex (Garrett Ryan, The Young and The Restless) forgoes his mother’s instructions to rest while he recuperates and he eats junk food and watches TV to his heart’s content. But he’s not alone in the house after all.

“Mascot”
Buddies Willie (Riley Griffiths, Super 8) and Drake (Nick Purcha, Spooksville) are sick of their school’s rundown mascot, Yellow. But when they petition to have him removed, they learn his horrible secret.

There’s a warning before every episode that kids under 7 are likely to get scared and thus it’s advised that the family watch together. I definitely agree any single-digit-aged watchers will likely be terrified. Once you approach the tweens, though, the likelihood of more than an errant jump here or there diminishes. The compelling aspect of this set is the lack of happy endings and stronger than usual stories. Being unafraid to show bad things happening will be what scares the kids the most, paired with situations the target audience can identify with. “Creature Feature” and “Sick” are the two episodes with the most likely amount of resonance for kids.

The video transfer is a 1.78:1 aspect ratio and it suffers from the same too-black tendency of the other offerings of the series. However it’s obviously a purposeful design element to further heighten the possible scares the show can generate and not a lazy color timing choice. Audio is a disappointing Dolby 2.0. If you’re going to try and scare kids, then a well-rounded soundscape is crucial and this track falls a bit flat.

There are no special features.

Of all The Haunting Hour sets released so far, this is the one I’d recommend. It offers fairly strong stories, and the gross factor is increased over previous volumes.

THE VERDICT

Not guilty, barely.

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