Out just in time for Halloween, this teen movie is as clichéd as the genre gets – but it wins over with a little charm and a very impressive cast.

Directed by Josh Schwartz, the brains behind such diverse American TV shows as The OC and Chuck, it's the first movie in what could be a lucrative sideways move to celluloid.

Oh, and let’s get one thing straight: some people don’t like child actors and I’m one of them. For every Erik Per Sullivan (Dewey in Malcolm in the Middle) there’s a dozen Shirley Temples. Unless they’re very good, they’re very annoying.

But little Jackson Nicoll – who resembles an eight-year-old John Goodman –stays just the right side of cute as the silent Albert at the centre of this routine Nickelodeon escapade.

Victoria Justice stars as teenager Wren, whose Halloween plans to hang out with the boy of her dreams at a party in his house turn into a nightmare when widowed mother (well-played by E! chat show host Chelsea Handler) tells her to mind young bro, Albert (Nicoll).

When Albert goes AWOL while they’re trick-or-treating with Wren’s BFF April (played by the always impressive Jane Levy, from Suburgatory), the fun really begins. With the help of two nerds at her side (another is sort-of minding Albert), Wren needs to find her brother before the ma finds out he's missing.

Look out for former Jackass star Johnny Knoxville, who pops up as a local jerk who despicably steals Albert’s stash of Halloween goodies.

Another familiar redhead for fans of Suburgatory will be Ana Gasteyer, who here plays the mother of Chelsea Handler's toy boy, in a subplot that shows that being a dumb teenager is not exclusive to under-18s.

Sure, it’s not Citizen Kane – but Fun Size doesn’t pretend to be anything other than what it is: a fun film aimed at 11-to-14-year-olds. Oh, and anyone older who leaves their cynicism at the cinema door.

John Byrne