Goosebumps Movie Review: Family Friendly Scary Fun


The term goosebumps refers to those little pimples that one often receives from a chill. Or a scare.

It’s safe to say that the Goosebumps movie based on the book series by R.L. Stine will give movie goers a minimum amount of actual goosebumps.  The movie has some scares but in a fun way.

I was familiar with Goosebumps from babysitting a young boy who was a huge fan. So, when I heard about the movie, I was curious how the book series would be transferred to the big screen.

In the film, a teenager Zach (Dylan Minnette) moves from New York to Delaware when his mother Gale gets a position as the vice principal at a high school there. The only thing that keeps the move from being a total loss for Zach is the cute neighbor girl, Hannah (Odeya Rush).  But Hannah’s father (Jack Black) doesn’t allow her to do anything and basically keeps her inside, causing Zach to wonder what he’s hiding. Turns out Hannah’s father is R.L. Stine author of  Goosebumps.

The movie actually begins to get interesting once the characters from the books are released into the real world and it’s up to Zach, Hannah, Champ and Stine to find a way to return them to the page before they wreak havoc on the world.

It’s a monster mash with wolfman, aliens and a guy with a Jack O’ Lantern head. And what scary movie wouldn’t be complete without the evil clown (he’s there too).

But perhaps the most famous character of all from the Goosebumps universe is Slappy, the ventriloquist dummy from the “Night of the Living Dummy” books.  In the film, Slappy has a beef with Stine for locking him away in the novels and wants revenge. Jack Black provides the voice of Slappy, giving the character an interesting dimension.

The special effects make up for whatever the script lacks.

Goosebumps is a thank you to the loyal fans of the book series. For the novice or adult viewer, some of the many references that color the film may be lost. As today’s children are more sophisticated than they were twenty years ago due to advance technology, Goosebumps may seem more funny than scary. But it provides a nice trip down memory lane and offers an enjoyable time at the movies.

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