Moving from New York to a small town in Madison, Delaware, Zach Cooper (Dylan Minnette) is beginning to dread the impending change in his life. That is, until he meets his beautiful neighbor Hannah (Odeya Rush) and her mysterious father, who turns out to be the famous (real life) author, R.L Stine (Jack Black).
Zach and his friend Champ (Ryan Lee) somehow stumbles unto Stine’s writing room. Seeing the bookcase of locked manuscripts, the boys pick one up, accidentally unleashing a monster from its pages.
Before they know it, more and more monsters start to appear and it’s up to Stine, Hannah, Zach and Champ to return the creatures to the books where they belong.
First of all, fans of the Goosebumps books will surely love this film. They not only bring the popular monsters to life, but they do the characters justice with amazing visuals. I’m not a fan of the books, but seeing the characters take shape before my eyes just gave me another reason to catch up on the series.
I mean, Slappy the dummy gave me chills just looking at him – and he didn’t even need to talk! Now I know why the Night of the Living Dummy was such a popular title.
Of course, the natural reaction to seeing a film like Goosebumps is to go, ‘Oh, it’s another one of those movies trying to cash in on the popularity of a popular book’, but it’s not what you would expect. The real R. L Stine even pops up in an awesome cameo.
My initial assumption was that the kids were going to put the monsters back into the books using the knowledge they gained through mimicking what was done in the stories. But the plot took a completely different turn from what I had expected, and the plot twists lead the characters to writing the end of the story (literally).
It was almost similar to reading a book – the beginning, the middle and the twist. If I had to pick a favorite twist, it would definitely have to be the scene in the cemetery when Zach discovers that Hannah is in fact, no ordinary girl. I’m not one for romance in a film like this, but the budding relationship between these two characters had me rooting for them.
When they eventually get somewhat separated towards the end, I could feel a few tears roll down my cheeks. I also liked how they included the Stephen King and R.L. Stine comparison, since Stine is known to be the ‘Stephen King of children’s literature’.
Despite it being a movie about monsters, there were definitely a lot of laughs to be had. The major comedians, in my opinion, were actually the minor characters played by Jillian Bell (Zach’s aunt), whom you’ll recognize from Workaholics and 22 Jump Street, as well as Ryan Lee – yes, that boy from Super 8 and Sia’s Titanium music video. The two of them were the ones delivering the comedy with their funny, relatable lines and extreme comedic reactions.
Because of this, Dylan’s character gets a little overshadowed and he becomes the typical boy character that saves the day. Meanwhile, Jack Black’s character kinda gets reduced to that quirky and sometimes funny dad character. And I had hoped he would be delivering the punch lines!
But I guess his lack of comedic performance could also be due to the fact that he was voicing two other monster characters, namely Slappy the dummy and the Invisible Boy, which were a little difficult to transition from.
You don’t have to be a 12-year old or a mature Goosebumps fan to appreciate R.L Stine’s monsters. All you need is a little imagination, be afraid of things that go bump in the night and you’re all set to enjoy the world of Goosebumps.
Goosebumps opens in Singapore today. Tell us what you think of the movie!