Goosebumps inspired the hell out me as a kid. The show enthralled me and the books made me want to read; R.L Stine was one of my first idols. You’d think a big screen adaptation of his work would make my heart a flutter with cosmic levels of joy? Hell no friend! I was nervous as shit. But why? And better question, was my fear justified? Well as R.L would put it, “Readers beware, you’re in for a scare.”
We begin as with a new kid moving into a quiet suburb with his mom and the crush he inevitably forms with the pretty neighbor girl next door. Classic story, including her grouchy dad who just so happens to be the legendary writer R.L Stine ( well, Jack Black playing R.L Stine). Zach, our main character finds himself at ends with his neighbor but falling for his daughter. After discovering his identity as the famous writer, he discovers the collections of his manuscripts and all hell breaks loose when the monsters of ghouls of Stine’s books are unleashed on the town led by the most sinister of them all, Slappy the living Dummy. Can Stine and the group of teens save the town in there own story?
I have a lot of mixed feelings about the movie, but overall I can’t say I’m a fan of it. The plot is interesting and it was a cool trip down memory lane at times. The characters are pretty cliche, though Black is entertaining as Stine while not being so great as Slappy. A big problem I had was some of the creature/ monster designs were way too cartoony for me; I was hoping for some of the darker imaginings from the show. For example, The Werewolf of Fever Swamp looks pretty damn eerie and viscous in the show, where as in the movie he’s wearing basketball shorts and tattered sneakers. Slappy in the show always unnerved me where I wasn’t remotely spooked by him in the movie. The movie is predictable with a decent twist that’s hurt because I wasn’t invested by any of the characters but Stine. A lot of the humor didn’t stick with me but may with a younger audience. In the end, many will enjoy this movie and young or old, there is enjoyment to be had; the truth is I wanted something different from it but I don’t think it’s by any means terrible. It’s worth checking out, if just to form your own opinion. May the gaming gods bring you glory.