As a kid, I loved going to visiting the library to read books. I still do, because to me, there is nothing better than the feeling of paper pages between my fingers. I especially loved reading Goosebumps, which I’m pretty sure fostered my fear of horror films to this day…lol So, when I heard Goosebumps was being made into a feature film I was overwhelmingly excited!
For those of you not familiar, R.L Stine created a series of children’s thriller books called Goosebumps, which is one of the biggest book franchises of all time with over 400 million copies in print worldwide. This Scholastic book series has inspired games, blogs, chat rooms and forums making it still very relevant for a whole new generation. With nearly 200 Goosebumps books to choose from, which book would be adapted for the silver screen? The filmmakers decided to put dozens of Stine’s most famous creations into one film – with Stine himself at the center of the madness.
Zach Cooper (Dylan Minnette), who has just moved from NYC to the small town of Greendale, Maryland is coping with the death of his Dad. His spirits get lifted when meets his gorgeous next door neighbor Hannah (Odeya Rush). However, Zach notices something is just a little off with her and her Dad, who just happens to be Goosebumps author R. L. Stine (Jack Black). Making a quick friend in Champ (Ryan Lee), together they stumble upon a library of locked Goosebumps manuscripts.
When the books are accidentally unlocked, the kids discover quickly that the locks are there to protect Stine’s secret. The night suddenly takes an unexpected turn for Zach, Hannah, Champ and Stine as they team up to chase and capture all these creatures from Stine’s imagination back into the books to save their town from complete destruction.
Jack Black is working overtime in this this flick not only portraying R.L. Stine, but voicing some Goosebumps characters – The Invisible Boy and Slappy The Dummy (who was my personal favorite). “I watched alot of Orson Welles films” Black revealed while making sure his characterization of R.L. Stine was as different from himself as possible.
There is one scene comically reminiscent of the “Here’s Johnny” moment from Stephen King’s “The Shining” that gives you hint of the shenanigans about to commence and many other King references touched upon lightly and in jest.
Love is at the center of all the madness – love of ones’s creative work, love of family/friends and the pink-cloud euphoria of falling in love for the first time.
Playing smitten teenagers Zach and Hannah, Odeya Rush and Dylan Minnette are perfectly cast, as are scene stealers Ryan Lee as Champ and Jillian Bell as Zach’s Aunt Lorraine.
All of Stine’s creatures get an extra on-screen kick by being animated into 3D. I actually had an opportunity to take a little virtual ride re-creation in a scene with Jack Black. Take a look and don’t judge a sista’ for still being a wuss…lol
Goosebumps is alot of fun and arrives in theaters on October 16th, just in time for Halloween.