Director: Josh Schwartz
Starring: Victoria Justice, Chelsea Handler, Thomas Mann, Jackson Nicoll
A tween Halloween gross-out comedy that’s safely pitched as family entertainment, this directorial debut from television’s Schwartz (better known for creating The OC and Gossip Girl) veers wildly in tone and taste before arriving at an inoffensive conclusion.
Ostensibly, it’s about the nerdy head-turner Wren (Justice), whose widowed mum Joy (a suitably restrained Handler) charges her with looking after her 8-year-old brother Albert (Nicoll) while she zips off with a twentysomething date.
All too swiftly, attention is steered towards Wren’s fawning admirer Roosevelt (Mann), as they seek to find the errant Albert who’s dressed as Spider-Man. A so-called party of the year also proves both a distraction and a rude awakening for Joy.
It’s pure Nickelodeon stuff: bubblegum high jinks that’s short on guffaws but also, mercifully, shy on offending, too. Johnny Knoxville puts in a forgettable cameo.