Monsters and magic and mind control, oh my! Kids will love the chance to venture Just Beyond on Disney+ this Halloween season.
The new anthology series draws inspiration from R.L. Stine’s ongoing graphic novels, published by Boom! Studios. If you haven’t had the pleasure of reading them, expect Just Beyond to feel a lot like Goosebumps meets The Twilight Zone.
If you’re not sure what tone/level of scares to expect from a new R.L. Stine adaptation (following Netflix’s R-rated Fear Street slashers), rest assured – Just Beyond is meant for kids.
This is very much a “gateway horror” series. It’s often more about the supernatural, the magical, and the bizarre than it is about setting up scares. (Although there are some more intense moments, particularly in the episode “My Monster.”)
As with any anthology series, some episodes are stronger than others. But Just Beyond also has a good mix of ghosts, monsters, aliens, and classic sci-fi plots. Some lean more into scares while others lean more into humor. But this combination really means the show has something for everyone. And since all eight episodes drop on Disney+ at once, you can always skip around and check out the ones that pique your interest first.
Overall, the stories in Just Beyond are fun, creatively playing into their supernatural tropes. It’s the type of kids show that manages to squeeze in some life lessons (about being yourself, managing your emotions, that kind of stuff) without ever feeling too preachy about it. The episodes generally take a pretty nuanced and thoughtful approach to what it means to be a modern pre-teen. (Or at least, that’s my impression as a non-14-year-old.)
Personally, Just Beyond gives me a nostalgic feeling that reminds me of watching spooky stuff as a kid with my siblings. The individual episodes might not be flawless, but I have no doubt they’ll capture the attention of their intended audience. So pop some popcorn and call the kids. It’s time to get spooky.
Just Beyond premieres exclusively on Disney+ October 13.