Goosebumps (2016) is a teen-aimed Horror Fantasy starring Jack Black as R. L. Stine, the author of the worldwide phenomenon that is the Goosebumps books.
After leaving the big city and moving to a small town, Zach (Dylan Minnette) soon changes his mind as he meets his beautiful neighbour Hannah (Odeya Rush). One night after hearing a mysterious scream from next door, Zach along with his best friend Champ (yes, that is his real name) venture to ‘rescue’ Hannah. Whilst doing so, Zach accidentally unleashes the monsters from their tales and it falls to Zach, Champ, Hannah and her father R. L. Stine to capture these monsters and ghouls and return them to where they once came and save the town from certain destruction.
As a fan of the Goosebumps growing up, I was secretly excited to see of the wonderful, weird and creepy creations of R. L. Stine’s twisted mind come to life. But after viewing the trailers, deep down I had suspicion that this film would be too “PG” to envoke any sort of nostalgia or terror that I was hoping for. However, I was pleasantly surprised as this was actually a rather fun, ingenious comedy with light horror elements. It was great to see some of the classic Goosebumps monsters take center stage on the big screen including Slappy the Living Dummy, The Invisible Boy and the Abominable Snowman of Pasodina.
We have to hand it to the writers that putting the world famous creator R. L. Stine in the limelight and have all of his creations come to life rather than focusing on one particular story was a brave but sensible move. It allowed fans of all ages to connect with at least some of the characters shown rather than alienating the Goosebumps fanbase.
The real surprise though was that it was a lot funnier than expected. The dialogue between characters was sharp, quick witted and puns a plenty but where really brought to the foreground with a splendid performance from the ever energetic and on-form Jack Black.
The set-pieces and plotline where definitely suited to the platform and audience that it was aimed at and I can honestly say that all ages will find several moments to enjoy and connect too. However, as with any film based on a series of books, there are some famous characters that you ultimately want to see more from and with the sheer volume of monsters that Stine created, that is the case with this film.
If you are a fan of Goosebumps or have children that are, its definitely worth a watch on a rainy Sunday afternoon and will allow the 1hr40min runtime to fly by with a monster-filled nostalgic ride.
See if you can spot the cameo by the real R. L. Stine!