Directed by: Rob Letterman
Starring: Jack Black, Odeya Rush, Dylan Minnette
The Abominable Snowman of Pasadena, Night of the Living Dummy, Revenge of the lawn gnomes, The Haunted Car, Stay out of the Basement, Invasion of the Body Squeezers, My Best friend is invisible, The Shocker on Shock Street, The Ghost Next Door, The Blob!!!!
Of course you remember these childhood tales of scares. R.L. Stine gave me my elementary and junior middle school thrills. All these stories, elements of ghosts, ghouls, dummies, killer plants, werewolves, jack o lanterns, mummies, even flying shoes! And who could forget being turned into a chicken. Seriously the guy had all the fears down in sweet perfection.
All these stories, fantastic chills, it was so much fun to read. How could one possibly make a movie about almost all of the books and have enough room to bring as many tyrannous terrors of evil onto the big screen, with a hope of it being successful? Or at least get something going? With the Goosebumps Film, it does that and shockingly becomes one of the biggest surprises of 2015.
The story starts with Zach (Minnette) and his mother who have moved from New York to Delaware for a new assistant principal position. Zach, not fond of the idea, meets the girl next door, Hannah (Rush) and her father Mr. Shivers (Black) as ominous as he is immediately hates Zach. Oh joy.
The First day of school, Zach meets an awkward lad named Champ (Ryan Lee), a school dance happens that night, Zach's mom chaperons, leaving Zach home by himself with his aunt, while seeing across Mr. Shivers house some strange business happening. After a fake phone call, Champ and Zach sneak around to his house, and find the mother load of treasures; Original manuscripts of Goosebumps Books! All locked. Odd, but as teenagers as curious as they all are, need to open a book to revisit these stories! As soon as the find the key, all nightmares break loose. Of course the book they opened is the Abominable Snowman.
There's nothing new about this storyline. Boy falls in love with neighbor, finds some mysteries that need to be solved, turns out they're childhood hell, needs to save the day, oh and then there's the actual author helping you to save the world! Ok, there are some twists with it, but with R.L. Stine books, you expect the twist, and it is so juicy!
This film worked extremely well. The pros of this film was that it did not try hard at all to capture the attention of the audience with obnoxious effects, and cheesy writing but by doing this movie right and taking itself serious. It could have easily started the movie by assaulting the screen with every single goosebumps character. But it stuck with the main baddie and that was Slappy; the conniving ventriloquist doll that unleashes most of the tales to wreak havoc unto R.L. Stine and crew. It eases us into our characters as well as the characters we've waited to see come to life for so long! The story felt really, as if maybe this could happen, not in another dimension there was a wormhole that opened up and these entire alien monsters come from nowhere. Maybe that could happen but that is silly, so this idea was great! It just had to take some of our fears that we had when were little, and revisit them in such a fun smooth roller coaster! Seeing these foes again, were exceptionally a treat, I will say that 2015 was the year of nostalgia. A simple story, but spot on effects, executed dangers, and it was a nice touch for Jack Black to be a likable character! The tools that made this film so pleasant to watch were the imagination and the stories. The acting of Jack Black stands out incredibly as he portrays a man with a lot of past history that scarred him for a lifetime, but brings out a sinister, top notch lovable character I cannot get over yet! He was actually quite perfect for the role and to be honest hearing word of a Goosebumps movie, with him as the main character. Yikes! I had no intentions of going near a movie as such! But you can never judge a book by its cover, and I'm glad I saw this! I mean as soon as seeing the Abominable Snowman jump off the book and come to life, I was feeling a sensation I had not felt in a movie in quite some time; feeling like a kid again. Once the snowman jumps out, I just felt so giddy. The effect of the book opening and the ink melting up into this monster was absolutely brilliant. The book was coming to life! That's something that has not been accomplished literally in a movie visually. That was a plus. Sensing a Double Entendre vibe here; Pick up a book once in a while, because the imagination run perfectly wild as this film, but at the same time never open a book with certain look for more than 50 books. Basically a yes/no situation here. Regardless, it was a blast, with lovable moments leaping at you, pastime figures chasing us to the death in a crazy enormous ball of fun!
The cons of this movie. Well as much as overall it was just a good ol fun time, not to spoil anything big, but a good proportion was a cliched love story, but leave it up to the director and Stine to put some seen from miles away twists, and that was not a bad touch at all. Characters as the almost happening Mother of Zach and some random teacher try to hook up never happened, nor was it important other than the fact that her being a principal had minimal damage to the movie. Not everything could be perfect, for a family film as this, obviously being a family movie there is some awkward attempts at laughs, and some characters I wanted to see being used to their full potential did not happen and that was quite sad. Another thing is the scene that was shown in the ads on television, when Stine and Zach are running away from the Werewolf in the market. That was something they should have kept for when viewing the whole thing as this was a pretty funny utilized stunt. Not to say this was a bad thing necessarily because when seeing the scenario play out again it was even more hilarious. The ending leaves a question as to how it sets it up, while with how the plan to destroy all the goosebumps was effective, if you see this it questions to how it can happen. It can not be all perfect, but other than the nitpicking pinches of this rating you should still see this film no doubt.
It sets up a sequel; I cannot wait for what other tales they blend into this universe of Goosebumps, I definitely can and will watch this again. Not a revolutionary game changer in the horror family genre section, but it sets itself apart as being one of the best books to movie tricky adaptions and some.