While there’s little chance this solidly engaging teen-spooker will go down in horror-movie history, it hits all its marks, it’s visually arresting, the kids are not annoying, and if it falls short of genuine dread, it does provide a few effective boo-scares.

It works mainly thanks to young Zoe Colletti, who plays girl-geek protagonist Stella, the brains in her small group of friends who are predictably doomed when they discover in the local haunted house a self-writing book full of stories that detail their own gruesome ends (at least within its PG-13 rating, which it admittedly pushes). It honors the disappearing art of storytelling, but after sitting through several episodic vignettes I did find the denouement a tad disappointing.

So, call it better-than-average teenage Halloween fare. Training-wheels horror.

(108 min)