Goosebumps finally hits the UK several months after its main release in the states, but would it be worth the long wait?The film version of Goosebumps is an entertaining reminder never to judge a book by its cover or a movie by its genre.
The child friendly horror comedy displays dialogue that doesn’t pander to its younger audience and at the same time doesn’t insult parents, finding middle ground for all to find this enjoyable (Lets Just gloss over the mild pedophile joke in a kids film).
The story centers on likable teenager Zach (Dylan Minnette), who reluctantly moves with his recently widowed mom (Amy Ryan) from New York City to small-town Madison.
Zach befriends the mysterious homeschooled girl next door, Hannah (Odeya Rush), whose foreboding father (Jack Black) warns the new guy to stay away from his daughter and his house. Believing Hannah is in trouble, Zach and his nerdy new pal Champ break into her rambling home and find a set of Goosebumps manuscripts, each sealed with a tiny lock.
When they foolishly unlock one and unleash “The Abominable Snowman of Pasadena,” they realize Hannah’s father is actually enigmatic Goosebumps author R.L. Stine, who is more than just a prolific writer but also boasts an imagination so potent that he brought his storybook monsters to life, trapping them inside the locked manuscripts to protect the world.
But the yeti’s rampage damages several of the books, sending a pack of malevolent garden gnomes, a giant praying mantis and a sinister, scheming ventriloquist’s dummy named Slappy (voiced by Black) tearing through the town.
The effects are smooth and polished and at the same time cartoonish enough not to frighten children too much. We have a blend of the usual CGI and practical effects (most notably Slappy the dummy) that come together in a nice way.
Its amazing how menacing Slappy actually comes off, not only is he the main protagonist but a worthy one at that. Slappy leading a army of monsters is very well done as he looks for revenge against Stine for trapping him within a book for several years.
This is definitely in the same mindset of Jumanji and whilst not a direct copy the similarities are there. Jumanji may be the superior of these two films but that doesn’t take away from Goosebumps in any way (We even get a Gullivers Travels reference to boot).
Overall going into this i was very critical of what i would see, but i have to admit Goosebumps won me and my children over, in fact as soon as the film finished they asked if they could watch it again so no doubt it has their approval.
With a production budget of 58 million dollars, as of writing this Goosebumps has taken 140 million worldwide and already as a sequel planned making this a huge success for everyone involved.
So out of a possible five stars, Goosebumps gains:
Its rare for a comedy horror to appeal for both adults and children and this one just works on both levels. My kids have now discovered the Goosebumps series on netfilx and thats just fine by me
Thank you for reading