Those who were in school in the 90s undoubtedly have read at least one Goosebumps book or watched the TV series. Fast forward a couple of decades and now we finally have a movie.
The film stars Jack Black as the mysterious recluse man called Mr Shivers, whose lively and kind 16 year old daughter, Hanna (Odeya Rush), befriends their new neighbour. Living next door is recently widowed Gale Cooper (Amy Ryan), and her teenage son, Zach (Dylan Minnette). Curious, Zach tries to get to know Hanna more, only to find her father warning him to stay away. One night Zach sees what he thinks is Mr Shivers abusing Hannah, worried for her safety he decided to head over to their house with a friend.
Finding nothing but peace and quiet inside, they come across bookshelves filled with locked books. Soon the boys realise these are the original stories written by R.L Stine, intrigued, they search for a key to open some of them.
As they unlock “The Abominable Snowman of Pasadena”, Hanna appears horrified at what they have done. Just as quickly the Snowman comes out of the book, wreaking havoc before escaping and knocking all the books off the shelves. The three teens run after him, trying and failing to re-capture him by sucking him back into the book.
Goosebumps is not based on one particular book, instead it creates a new story where all the beloved monsters make an appearance with only a few getting significant attention.
It’s hard not to think of Casper and Jumanji while watching Goosebumps because it has the same sense of magic, humour, scares and perhaps even sadness. The story is not completely original and there are times when the writers could have made it more powerful and less silly, but overall it is executed well. The script is quite witty and charming, you’ll certainly find yourself laughing out loud at times
As one might suspect, this movie is heavy on the special effects but with the mixture of CGI and real actors portraying monsters, the characters look so realistic that audience members will hardly notice the difference between the two. Excluding the killer Gnomes of course.
All of the characters are well cast, even Jack Black, who I didn’t think could pull off such a role. Just like the books themselves, the cast and story hit the perfect spot for “frightening” fun.
The complex characters, the humour and dangerous adventures, all contribute to a film that will appeal to young teens and adults. Hopefully this movie will also spark lots of interest in the books for those that have never read or heard of them. I would not recommend Goosebumps for young children.
I rate it 6 out of 10 stars.
Goosebumps is in cinemas now.