We all remember the jumps and scares we experienced as children when we read R.L Stine’s Goosebumps series. Or if you were similar to me, you were much too afraid to even come near a book with the daunting title Goosebumps on the cover.
Today in this dawn and age, the film industry has created an official Goosebumps movie, starring Jack Black as a recluse man living in the suburbs of Madison, Delaware. This man is non-other then R.L Stine.
In the movie Stine has a daughter, Hannah (Odeye Rush), whom he keeps locked away in their suburban home and never lets her out of his sight. There’s a reason for this. Inside of their home is every single manuscript of Stine’s books which if ever opened would unleash a unholy monster that would destroy everything in sight and cause complete and utter chaos. As if that won’t happen in the movie.
“Actually this was a clever way of using these magical books to stuff 25 out of 100 of Stine’s monsters into one movie.”, says Rollingstone magazine from their own article (written by Peter Travers) and review on this new crazy-scary-funny film.
The action begins when Zach (Dylan Minnette) and his widowed mother moves in next door to Stine. Zach has an instant attraction to Hannah and soon there’s nothing Stine can do to break that attraction between the two. Except for one secret Stine is hiding from Zach that will cause an impediment in their love. Cheesy, I know, but what kind of teenage love isn’t?
What exactly is this profound secret? I’ll never tell! It’s enough to say Zach and his comical new friend, Champ (Ryan Lee), sneak into Stine’s library and crack open a book causing the Abominable Snowman of Pasadena to come popping off the pages. Quite literally. Nonstop mayhem follows afterwards in a stampede of Stine’s most villainous characters.
There are many mixed reviews on this new film. Many adore it, others have mixed feelings on it. Cautious parents have never liked the idea of their child reading any of the Goosebumps books, in fact many have wanted some of the books to be put on the banned books list. Parents had the same problem with the movie, the supernatural mischief and mayhem were believed in their eyes to not be appropriate or could be too frightening for their children.
A Plugged In article (written by Adam R. Holz) about these critical reviews of the Goosebumps movie says, “But it’s only fair to say that Goosebumps resides not in an occult-minded plane, but rather in a darkish fairy-tale land, albeit with a kitschy 1950s-style horror shtick. We’re in Jumanji and Once Upon a Time territory here. It’s not The Little Mermaid, but it’s certainly close to Sleeping Beauty.” Well said Plugged In, well said.
Jack Black also had some input on how scary the movie is for small children in a roundtable interview that Plugged In attended, “R.L. Stine’s recommendation was that we stay mindful of the audience. It’s OK to scare, but not to traumatize. So there’s no blood, for instance. And I have kids, a 7- and a 9-year-old, and they loved it.”
In the end, Goosebumps is funny, icky, and just a bit menacing. Assuaging fear and provoking humor for the audience. So, the real question is, will you be seeing Goosebumps soon?