The lady at the Cinémathèque summed it up nicely when introducing the film last Sunday : It is a blend of producer Steven Spielberg's wholesome family fun and director Joe Dante's gore noir. Writer Chris Columbus's teen-movie touch is also clearly detectable.
My 9-year-olds were thrilled and terrified, but several younger kids were way more terrified than anything else and had to leave the theatre.
(Frankly, Cinémathèque française, "cycle jeunesse"? Really?)
I personally found it predictable and booooring.