Inspired by the writings of R.L. Stine, “Just Beyond” is an eight-episode anthology series that tells astonishing and thought-provoking stories of a reality just beyond the one we know. Each episode introduces viewers to a new cast of characters who must go on a surprising journey of self-discovery in a supernatural world of witches, aliens, ghosts and parallel universes. Stine, prolific author of young-adult horror fiction, including the “Goosebumps” and “Fear Street” series, has been scaring readers worldwide for over 35 years. The show’s creators referenced his popular page-turners while developing their new series of hair-raising stories. Episodes acknowledge teenage struggles, such as bullying, peer pressure and anxiety, through supernatural storylines that will keep viewers on the edge of their seats. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Katherine S. comments, “Just Beyond is so thrilling! It has the just right amount of scary, unusual and supernatural. All of the storylines are so different and keep you wanting more.” See her full review below.
By Katherine S, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Just Beyond is so thrilling! It has the just right amount of scary, unusual and supernatural. All of the storylines are so different and keep you wanting more.
Just Beyond has eight episodes running about 30 minutes, each with a unique storyline. Episodes include “Parents Are From Mars, Kids Are From Venus,” “Which Witch,” “My Monster,” “We’ve Got Spirits, Yes We Do,” “Standing Up for Yourself” and “The Treehouse.”
This live action anthology series is loosely based on the graphic novel series by R.L. Stine, also titled “Just Beyond,” so fans of the series, or any R.L. Stine story should love the show. The costume design, especially for “Which Witch” and “My Monster” are incredible; Luna’s outfits are perfect for her character and the monster looks super realistic. And sometimes, the costumes even give references to past R.L. Stine work. The music is very fitting as it is eerie and gives you the chills as you listen. The cinematography really adds to the storyline, as there are so many unique angles and points of view. This show has some very talented young actors, such as McKenna Grace, who plays Veronica, Lexi Underwood as Ella, Cedric Joe plays Sam, Gabriel Bateman as Jack and Megan Scott who plays Olivia. I loved all the episodes, but my favorite is “Leave Them Kids Alone,” because it just could happen.
The messages vary from episode to episode, but what stands out are: embracing uniqueness, not letting fear get the better of you and it matters more about what’s inside than outside. Some of the episodes contain scary parts that young kids might find frightening.
I give Just Beyond 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18, plus adults. This show begins streaming on Disney+ October 13, 2021.
Key words: Henry Thomas, Seth Grahame-Smith, David Katzenberg, Stephen Christy, Ross Richie, McKenna Grace, Leann Ross, Nasim Pedrad, lauren Lindsey Donzis, Gabriel Batemen, Arjun Athalye, Tim Heidecker, Riki Lindhome, Parvesh Cheena, Henry Thomas, Rjani Nair, Rachel Marsh, Jy Prishkulnik, Megan Stott, Sally Pressman, Elisha Henig, Marcelle leBlanc, Camryn Jade, Max Bickelhaup, Charlene Amoia, Malcolm Barrett, Sally Pressman, Disney plus, scared, ghost