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Goosebumps is a fun, family friendly movie. It captures the nostalgia
from back when I was a kid, and I thoroughly enjoyed the movie
The essential storyline is, monsters are released from R.L. Stine's manuscripts and cause mayhem through the town. We follow as the main leads attempt to put an end to the madness.
The actors do a decent job throughout, and Jack Black really excels as R.L. Stine. Aside from him, the main cast is made up of relative unknowns, however they do an adequate job.
The special effects are very well done, and the monsters look real.
Overall, I don't feel this movie is going to win any awards, but if you just want to have a good time at the movies, then go check it out.
I remember when I was young the Goosebumps TV show, but I was never got
into it, or the books they are based on past the the point of just
knowing who R.L. Stine is.
It's a perfect treat for Halloween as a group of children accidentally unleash the monsters from Stine's mind, by unlocking the books they were written into.
It's a fantastic adventure as Stine and this group of kids attempt to put his monsters back into the books.
It's a fun story even if you are not aware of Goosebumps, but I'm sure if you are a huge fan, you'll get a real kick out of seeing some of the monsters from your favorite book make an appearance on the big screen.
It's not just a fun film as some of the monsters were real creepy. Like the Gnome army, the giant prey mantis and especially a ventriloquist "puppet" voiced by Jack Black (who also plays a fictional version of Stine).
It's a great time at the movies.
The Goosebumps book series where a big sellers in the 90's, so was the
T.V. series, which was The Twilight Zone for preteens. R.L. Stine
proves he had a creative mind with such bizarre tales and some insane
plot twist. So having some of the Goosebumps characters come alive in
the real world, is quite a tribute to R.L. Stine's work.
Jack Black is quite enjoyable, seems to having the most fun has Stine, at times he is a little over the top, but in a good way. Odeya Rush is good has Hannah. But it's Dylan Minnette and Ryan Lee who play Zach and Champ, really bring the comedy here, those two have such comedic chemistry they are like a comedy team. The effects are incredible, an amusing CGI fest. The movie never takes itself seriously, if you like The Monster Squad(1987), so I'll bet you'll get an good ride out of Goosebumps.
I grew up reading Goosebumps and could not wait for this film. There were no expectations going into this, knowing it was not an adaptation of one singular novel. It was a fantastic surprise! I'm in my late 20s so I was thrilled to see my favorite monsters on the screen. But even young children would burst out in laughter. Jack Black is one of the greatest character actors of this generation and does not disappoint as Stine. Dylan Minette proved his talent and range as the teenaged protagonist. The film had great flow while offering character development. It's not an Oscar contender by any means, but if you want to see a great family friendly film that makes you laugh or feel you with nostalgia, I recommend Goosebumps!
I've never really been quiet when it comes to the lack of live-action
family films these days. Growing up in the '90s there were a plethora
of them. Over the past decade or so there has been a steep decline in
this sub genre with studios opting to make animated films instead. It's
somewhat understandable since they're more reliable when it comes to
making a profit, as seen by the success that Pixar and Dreamworks have
had. But there's just something to be said about watching actual people
on screen deal with their problems. Especially as children, it kindles
our imaginations because if we see it happening to them, it could
happen to us too, right? And when done correctly they can really be
While this film is only partially animated, it takes place in the real world with live-action humans. In Goosebumps, the motion picture based on R.L. Stine's enormously successful children's book series of the same name, Zach (Dylan Minnette) and his mother move to the suburban town of Madison, Delaware. Zach gripes a lot about there being nothing to do in his new city until the mysterious homeschooled neighbor girl (Odeya Rush) befriends him and he develops an interest in her. One night he's led to believe that she may be imprisoned by her own father, a fictionalized version of R.L. Stine himself (Jack Black), and sneaks into her house. He discovers a bookshelf full of Goosebumps manuscripts which he decides to explore. Opening the first story releases a 10-foot tall abominable snowman who starts wreaking havoc throughout the town. Eventually, one by one, each story gets opened up with the books' respective monsters coming to life trying to kill their creator, Stine.
Some may consider it a bad thing, but this movie does a great job of not holding back any scares. Adults shouldn't have too hard of a time--although certain monsters may tap into your own personal phobias--but it will definitely haunt many children. But that's what makes Goosebumps so appealing. It keeps the visuals acceptable, but never tones itself down. When I was little we had the anthology television show Are You Afraid of the Dark? which still creeps me out as an adult. Goosebumps is frightening, but it's a harmless scare. It provides us with the same macabre tone of the novels--probably much to the dismay of some of the parents.
It gets most of the character background out of the way early on in the first third of the film, which gives itself room to run free for the last hour or so. However, it lets most of that information sit idle for the rest of the film--some of which never really gets revisited.
The movie hits its stride about 20 minutes in when we start witnessing Stine's creepiness first hand and the books start coming to life. We are dying to know why it's happening and how to stop it, and that information may be given away a bit too easily. But not to worry because, in true R.L. Stine fashion, we still get our fill of twists throughout.
What this film does really well, albeit stylistically inconsistent at times, is make us laugh. The humor works well on both adult and kid levels. It's really a funny movie and it does so without becoming too irreverent. We still feel like something's at stake, but the jokes help to lighten to the tone on the scarier elements of the film. I think one reason why live-action family films have failed in recent years is because filmmakers have lost touch with what makes kids laugh. They know kids want to see something really outrageous that they would only be able to see in animation, but I think this film may be on to something by aiming the jokes back up to the grownups and not dumbing them down. It doesn't fall back on cheap slapstick or fart jokes to get laughs--it's gets them with some pretty solid comedic timing and by finding cleaner versions of the humor that's popular in recent R-rated comedies.
Goosebumps may not be a Best Picture nominee, but it's extremely enjoyable and acts as a great tribute to R.L. Stine's famed franchise. It elicits our imagination and does so through the medium of literature. And there is also a nod to Steve McQueen's The Blob, which is one of my favorites.
Although I would have liked to have seen just a handful of stories explored in depth rather than all the stories being briefly touched upon with highlights on maybe 3 or 4, I'm sure the future sequels will do a better job focusing in on one or two stories. Despite the slightly rocky pacing and the minor, yet sloppy, plot holes, Goosebumps will please fans of the book series and will bring adults back to the days when their imaginations weren't so jaded. Hopefully the success of this film will help set the trend for a return of live-action family films.
Twizard Rating: 87 **Review can also be found at TheTwizard.com**
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Stephen King is no slouch," commented a member of the Movie Fan
Facebook Page staff. The man has published 60 books, which have sold
over 350 million copies. "Wait a minute," you say. "Why start a review
of a movie based on R.L. Stine's books by talking about Stephen King?"
Fair question. Well, Stine has been called "the Stephen King of
children's literature." Beyond that, you may be surprised to learn that
Stine has bested the famously prolific King by publishing hundreds of
books, which have sold over 400 million copies! Think about that. It's
give you goose bumps. That, of course, is the name of
Stine's most popular series of books, brought to the big screen in the
film "Goosebumps" (PG, 1:43).
Fans of the series may wonder which of the books is the basis for the movie. The answer is none of them and all of them. Rather than adapting any one of Stine's books, which are, admittedly, relatively short (as Stephen King exclaims, "Ah-HAH! See?"), this film imagines a world in which Stine's monsters come to life and terrorize a small town, while R.L. Stein himself, along with a few local teenagers, attempt to recapture the creatures and save the town. I won't spoil the movie, except to say that, in the end, we Movie Fans get a film that is as exciting and delightful as any of the books that inspired this story.
The film has Jack Black portraying Stine as an unfriendly recluse in the tiny (fictional) town of Madison, Delaware. Showing Stine as a movie character which we get to know as a man, but is only a fictionalized version of the real person recalls movies like Charlie Kaufman's 1999 fantasy comedy-drama "Being John Malkovich" or Matthew LeBlanc (starting in 2011) playing himself as an adorable jerk in the Showtime comedy series "Episodes". Black's Stine calls himself Mr. Shivers. He's a widower who lives in a big house with his kind, but mischievous 16-year-old daughter, Hannah (Odeya Rush), whom he homeschools.
Moving in right next door is Madison High School's new assistant principal, recently widowed Gale Cooper (Amy Ryan), and her teenage son, Zach (Dylan Minnette), still grieving the loss of his father. Gale's sweetly clueless sister, Loraine (Jillian Bell) greets them with open arms, but Zach and Gale simply have a lot of adjusting to do and new people to meet. Gale is almost immediately hit on by shy fellow educator, Coach Carr (Ken Marino), while an awkward nerd ironically named Champ (Ryan Lee) traps the new guy into a friendship. It's a good thing for Zach that Hannah is such a pleasure to be around.
One night when Zach looks towards his new neighbor's house and thinks he sees Mr. Shivers abusing Hannah, he calls Champ and they steal into the house. Zach and Champ see that Hannah's okay, but not before they find a key and open a locked "Goosebumps" manuscript among many on a shelf in Mr. Shivers' study. The book is "The Abominable Snowman of Pasadena" and unlocking the manuscript allows a large, furry creature to literally jump off the page. The three teens run after him, Hannah telling them that the monster can only be re-captured by sucking him back into the book from whence he came. The Abominable Snowman wreaks havoc on the town until Mr. Shivers shows up to save the day.
In the destruction that the creature caused in the study, all the manuscripts fell to the floor and one of them popped open one releasing the evil Slappy the Dummy. Slappy unleashes complete mayhem in Madison on the night of a big high school dance nonetheless. The police (a hilarious Timothy Simons and Amanda Lund) are no help, but few people would be. That ventriloquist dummy serves as the ringleader of a gang of dangerous and destructive creations including a wolfman, a maniacal clown, a herd of garden gnomes and a gargantuan praying mantis. They all want revenge on their creator for keeping them locked up so long. And Stein is the only one who even has a chance of stopping them.
When Stine's creations come to life, besides clear memories of Robin Williams' 1995 hit "Jumanji", this situation reminds us of Emma Thompson's author writing Will Ferrell's character into existence in 2006's "Stranger Than Fiction", or the underseen 1979 thriller "Time After Time" in which the character of H.G. Wells (author of the sci-fi classic "The Time Machine") uses profits from his writing to build a working time machine which one of his friends uses to escape the police and continue a killing spree when it is discovered that he's Jack the Ripper. "Goosebumps" deserves a place among these other great films.
This film's story may not be completely original, but it feels fresh and it is fantastically well executed. All of the actors are perfectly cast (even Jack Black, who, in our opinion, seems to have had more misses than hits in his career). With the help of a story by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, a script by Darren Lemke and the direction of Rob Letterman, this cast and this story hit the perfect balance between frightening and fun just like the "Goosebumps" books themselves. The script is very funny and the dialog and character interactions are charming from the very beginning to the very end of the movie. The interesting characters, the story's danger and adventure, along with the excitement and humor all seamlessly contribute to a simply wonderful family film that will appeal to kids of all ages, even if they don't know their goose bumps from their speed bumps or their Kings from their Stines. "A+"
If I was 10 years younger and perhaps 10 IQ points dumber I would loved
loved this movie. This takes me back to those Nickoledian days,
particularly their famous show "Are you afraid of the dark" where a
group of kids would come together before midnight to tell scary stories
to each other and stories of monsters coming out of books were among
the most popular; so this entire movie could have fit like an extended
episode in the series.
Intellectually and emotionally this is at the level of high school with the classic high school tropes: young kid moves to a new school, falls in love with a weird girl, geeky virgin wants to get laid so desperately tries to be his friend, oh and there is high school prom. Of course with the major difference that a universe of monsters from the Goosebumps series have been accidentally unleashed on the town, and are going to crash that prom night.
Technically, a well polished movie with good monster effects work, but which is becoming run of the mill stuff now in your typical Hollywoood teenie pic.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Teenager Zach Cooper (Dylan Minnette) and his mother Gale (Amy Ryan)
move from New York to the small fictional town of Madison, Delaware.
His new neighbors are a girl named Hannah (Odeya Rush) and her
mysterious author father "Mr. Shivers" (Jack Black), who tells him to
stay away from his daughter. At his new high school where Gale becomes
the new vice-principal, Zach meets and befriends Champ (Ryan Lee), a
socially awkward student who is often bullied. One night, Zach hears
Shivers and Hannah arguing from his window, followed by Hannah
screaming. When he calls the police to investigate, Shivers assures
Officer Stevens (Timothy Simons) and Officer Brooks (Amanda Lund) that
the scream was from a movie. The officers lecture Zach about wasting
the police's time and leave as Gale reprimands Zach.
Suspicious of Shivers and fearing Hannah is in danger, Zach anonymously calls Shivers and pretends to be a police officer and tells him to come to the police station for further questioning. Once he is gone, Zach and Champ break into Shivers' house in search of Hannah. They find several manuscripts from the Goosebumps book series, all of which are locked. They unlock The Abominable Snowman of Pasadena, but are confronted by Hannah who assumes they are burglarizing the house. Zach clears up the misunderstanding. But when he accidentally opens the unlocked book, the Abominable Snowman emerges from it and breaks out of the house. In the ensuing chaos, the Night of the Living Dummy manuscript is accidentally unlocked as well. Zach, Champ, and Hannah pursue the Abominable Snowman to a local ice rink where it attacks them, but Shivers appears and sucks it back into the book.
On the way home, it is revealed that "Mr. Shivers" is actually R.L. Stine, the author of the Goosebumps books. He explains to the three kids that he created the books' monsters when he was a child to cope with severe bullying. However, the monsters became real and he had to lock them in their manuscripts. Returning to the house, Stine and the kids are confronted by Slappy the Dummy (voiced by Jack Black), the villain of Night of the Living Dummy who is angry about being imprisoned. Before Stine can capture him, Slappy burns his own manuscript and flees with the other manuscripts in The Haunted Car. The Lawn Gnomes from Revenge of the Lawn Gnomes are also freed. Zach, Hannah and Champ help Stine smash them into pieces, but each gnome reforms itself making them realize that they cannot be destroyed.
Slappy frees the other Goosebumps monsters, destroys their manuscripts, and leads them on a destructive rampage across Madison where the Body Squeezer from Invasion of the Body Squeezers Pt. 1 and 2 freeze the entire police department. Zach suggests to Stine to write a new book that will trap every monster, but he can only do it on a special typewriter which is at the high school. He and the kids are attacked by various Goosebumps monsters on their way to the school including Brent Green the invisible boy (also voiced by Jack Black) from My Best Friend is Invisible and a giant mantis from A Shocker On Shock Street. Will Blake's werewolf form from The Werewolf of Fever Swamp pursues them in an abandoned supermarket. They escape and Zach's aunt Lorraine (Jillian Bell) hits the werewolf with her car. As Stine and the kids continue toward the high school through the cemetery, Zach notices that Hannah glows a ghostly blue in the moonlight. Before he can ask her about it, a zombie bursts out of the ground. After they escape the zombies from Welcome To Dead House and the Graveyard Ghouls from Attack of the Graveyard Ghouls in the cemetery, he privately questions Stine about Hannah's existence. Stine reveals that she is not real, but a Goosebumps character he created after his wife died, though Hannah is unaware of this.
At the school, they find the typewriter and Stine starts working on the new book. However, Slappy confronts Stine and breaks his fingers before it can be finished. The monsters attack the school during a fall dance where the giant mantis grabs a person and the swarms of bees from Why I'm Afraid of Bees and the mutant plants from Stay Out of the Basement get into the school. Champ rescues Taylor (Halston Sage) from Will Blake's werewolf form by biting him with his silver teeth fillings and they kiss. The students have to barricade themselves inside to keep the other monsters out.
Stine and the kids board a bus and lead the monsters away from the school to an abandoned carnival on the outskirts of town. Slappy catches up with them in the Funhouse and unleashes the giant blob from The Blob That Ate Everyone. While Stine distracts the monsters, Zach finishes the story, but is reluctant to open the book because Hannah will be trapped inside it as well. Hannah reveals that she knew she was not real all along and opens the book. Slappy and the monsters are all sucked into it, and while Zach tries to hold on to her, Hannah accepts her fate and is sucked in as well after they kiss.
Some time later, Stine has started working at the high school as an English teacher. After class, Zach asks him if he misses Hannah, but Hannah suddenly reappears. Stine reveals that he wrote her back into existence with another book. She and Zach kiss and leave school together while Stine burns Hannah's manuscript and tosses it in the garbage. As Stine prepares to leave the school, he sees the typewriter typing "The Invisible Boy's Revenge" by itself revealing that Brent Green had somehow evaded capture. Stine screams as his hand prints appear on the cabinet's glass.
This movie is absolutely excellent for all ages.
Anyone who was a kid or had a kid over the past twenty years knows what
Goosebumps are, and R.L. Stine finally gets an upgrade from the small
screen to a major motion picture by Sony Pictures, and we're satisfied.
A teenage boy Zach and his mom move to Delaware, where Zach promptly runs into his next door neighbor Hannah and her odd father. When Zach thinks Hannah is in danger, he springs to be savior, but things aren't quite what they appear. Her dad is hiding a secret, and when Zach and his new friend Champ disregard the father's warnings, amazingly scary things come to life.
Goosebumps the film is made for the kids, this isn't the type of film that is trying to bridge the age gap at being universally beloved. Lucky for the film, its makers know their market and the children in my theater loved it, and for this kid at heart, we liked it too.
One of the smartest decisions the filmmakers made in making an R.L. Stine film adaptation of the beloved book series Goosebumps was casting Jack Black as the token 'adult' in the film. While we know Black has aged in real life, he is one of the few men in Hollywood who hasn't lost his wonder, and that transcends the big screen. He may put on a funny accent for the role of R.L. Stine but he has the right sentiment and that is obvious to audience members.
The rest of the cast is equally wholesome and approachable, with each of the three teens (Dylan Minnette, Odeya Rush and Ryan Lee) being equally effective in their roles. The characters they portray aren't anything extraordinary or new, but they are archetypes we know and enjoy. The stand out among the three would be Odeya Rush and scenes where the kids are interacting with one another.
Goosebumps does one thing that we wish would've been a bit bolder, and that is stray away from the horror and air more on the side of family adventure comedy. It's like Jumanji with zombies instead of a stampede of African wildlife. And that is also where it loses points for originality, as adult film goers will see the same plot line in a different skin, which is a tad disappointing for something as creative as the Goosebumps book series.
There are scares, especially for those ages 12 and under, almost all 'jump scares' of the fun variety. And that is the type of tone Goosebumps is aiming for, fun and entertaining. Of course, being a fan of the series when I was a kid, I hoped for the creatures from the pages of the books to be a bit more eerie, but alas.
Anyone who says this film is a complete disappointment must have lost their inner child ages ago. They are probably the type that says Santa Clause doesn't exist either or that monsters under the bed aren't real and we all know those things are true. Goosebumps gets our seal of approval for popcorn, feet up, enjoyment.
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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I saw this movie in the Destiny USA Mall in 3D. I thought the 3D made the Movie 10x better. I love the part when the R.L. Stine wrote one more book just so he could bring Hannah back. I think the ending was so funny because when Invisible Boy came back was going to get revenge on R.L. Stine. I am going to buy this movie when it come out onto DVD. 10 thumbs up. My favorite part was in the car going to the school when Invisible Boy slapped Champ. I have a piece of advice for Champ, don't tell a girl you didn't brush you're teeth. LOL. I hope they make another movie but this time about when he was younger. The best person to play it Jack Black's son. Father like Son...
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