October 27, 2015 Goosebumps (Movie Review)
“Viewer, beware… you’re in for a scare,” left goosebumps on audiences throughout the ‘90s and into the new millennium. People of all ages fell in love with R.L. Stines’s Goosebumps via books, television, and film. The TV series’ iconic intro is one no Goosebumps fan will ever forget – Stine himself appears, his briefcase blowing open and sending a handful of papers into the wind. One of these papers turns into the familiar Goosebumps G, as it travels through an unsuspecting, sleepy town, causing mysterious things to happen. Most remember the dog, which turns into a yellow-eyed monster, all to the sounds of Jack Lenz’s eerie opening music.
Fans of Goosebumps no longer have to reminisce in old episodes and books, because Goosebumps feature film has finally hit the big screen as of October 16, 2015! This time, though, the music was composed by the legendary former Oingo Boingo frontman, Danny Elfman (The Simpsons TV series, Tales From the Crypt TV series). Distributed by Columbia Pictures and directed by Rob Letterman (Shark Tale 2004, Monsters vs Aliens 2009, Gulliver’s Travels 2010), Goosebumps brings together fan favorite characters of the series all the while delivering an exciting, climatic, family fun film…with a twist that is sure to please! Although the movie is based on the books by Stine, Darren Lemke (Jack the Giant Slayer 2013, Turbo 2013) wrote the screenplay for the film, which was produced by original series Goosebumps producer Deborah Forte (The Golden Compass 2007) and Neal H. Moritz (I Am Legend 2007, 21 Jump Street 2012). Goosebumps was filmed in Georgia with an estimated budget of fifty-eight million dollars. The film opened October 16th and stars Jack Black (School of Rock 2003, King Kong 2005) in the lead role of R. L. Stine. Dylan Minnette (Let Me In 2010, Prisoners 2013), Odeya Rush (We Are What We Are 2013, The Giver 2014) and Ryan Lee (This Is 40 2012, Super 8 2011), as well as Amy Ryan (Gone Baby Gone 2007, Birdman 2014) and Jillian Bell (Bridesmaids 2011, 22 Jump Street 2014) also star.
Goosebumps starts out with Zach (Minnette) and his mother Gale (Ryan) moving to a new town in the fictional town of Madison, Delaware to be close to Gale’s sister, Lorraine (Bell), after losing her husband/his father. Zach thinks Madison is just an average, boring town, that is until he meets and becomes quickly enamored by his beautiful neighbor, Hannah (Rush). Zach wants to know more about this mystery girl, but her father, Mr. Shivers (Black), refuses to let her outside, let alone become friends with the boy next door.
Zach then meets the socially awkward Champ (Lee), who is more than eager to become best friends. Later, when Zach decides to break into Hannah’s house to figure out what is going on, he tricks Champ into helping. When they break in, they discover more than they ever dreamed possible. They find a shelf full of Goosebumps manuscripts locked up, and out of curiosity they pull The Abominable Snowman of Pasadena out to look at it, and before Hannah can warn them of the dangers, the book is opened and its magic is unlocked. Suddenly, the actual abominable snowman from the book appears in front of them. The boys eventually figure out that Hanna’s father is the creator of the books – the infamous R.L Stine. In the chaos, another book, Night of the Living Dummy, had been opened and the evil main character, Slappy, has been released. Slappy wants revenge on Stine for keeping him locked away for so many years and seeks to destroy both him and the town by releasing all the monsters from the Goosebumps books. Stine and the kids ban together to fight against the monsters and regain control, but it will not be easy because Slappy has burned all the books!
On its opening weekend, the film grossed over twenty-three million dollars, and finished first at the box office despite the film’s popular competition. Several factors played a part in the huge success of Goosebumps, including the main cast who were funny and charismatic; charming audiences as they fought against Stine’s monsters. Not only does Goosebumps give audiences one huge, epic story that is fun for the whole family, there are also several familiar stories within, along with an unexpected twist, which is sure to please. CrypticRock gives Goosebumps 5 out of 5 stars.