Movie starts, develops and twists: Goosebumps
Based off of the critically acclaimed series of kid’s horror books Goosebumps by R.L. Stine, (which happens to be one of the best-selling book series in the world,) the Goosebumps major motion picture hit the big screen on October 16th this year, and it lives up to the legacy of its book series. If you missed this one while it was in theaters, I encourage you to take a leap of faith and give this film a shot on DVD.
Chances are, even if you’ve never read one of the original 62 frightful books as a kid, you’ve probably heard of it. If you haven’t, let me give you a quick run-down. The series revolves around kids encountering dangerous monsters in the real world, trying to survive their attacks, and they usually end with something you wouldn’t expect.
So how do you incorporate all of the monsters from a series with over 200 books? Director Rob Letterman does this in a masterful way that I won’t spoil for you, but just know this: It’s complete mayhem, and it’s a blast.
Don’t run away at the sight of CG characters and the PG rating (of which this movie tests the boundaries of.) The film is legitimately hilarious, and often takes a break from the main plot to develop a character or crack a few jokes that are designed to make the whole family laugh. The experience isn’t shallow, and by the end credits each character is fully fledged and has undergone some personal growth.
I think the question we’re all wondering is this: “Is a movie based off of a kid’s book series really scary?” Most people would assume that it’s not. Their assumption would be correct. I might not take a 10 year old or younger child to go see this, but aside from a few light jump scares, this movie is not going to keep you awake at night, as you probably would’ve guessed. The truth of the matter
is it doesn’t need to be, as there are truly suspenseful, funny, and heartfelt moments all throughout the film that keep everyone entertained, not just the little brother.
The basic plot follows teenager Zach Cooper (Dylan Minnete) who moves to a new town only to find his new neighbor is the prolific author R.L. Stine (Jack Black). He also meets up with Hannah (Odeya Rush), the love interest, who is also Stine’s daughter, as well as Champ (Ryan Lee), the goofy best friend that every film needs. This group goes on to discover the power inside the Goosebumps books, and fights off a legion of monsters led by Slappy (Voiced by Jack Black), a possessed dummy who doubles as the main antagonist.
Jack Black’s role helps to make this movie as great as it is, and you’ll come out of it caring for the characters and sharing in their success. Everything flows smoothly, with the movie coming full circle at the end of its 103 minutes and everything in it being masterfully executed. If I’m being honest, this is one of the funniest movies I’ve seen all year, and it achieved that without being childish or crass, it’s a nice in-between.
Jack Black, while portraying R.L. Stine says, “Every good story has three parts: A beginning, a middle, and a twist.” In fact, this singular movie quote sums up the film perfectly, as there is a very clever twist at the very end that you don’t want to miss. Not to mention that, indeed, this is a very good story.
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