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A teenager teams up with the daughter of young adult horror author R. L. Stine after the writer's imaginary demons are set free on the town of Madison, Delaware.


Upset about moving from a big city to a small town, teenager Zach Cooper (Dylan Minnette) finds a silver lining when he meets the beautiful girl, Hannah (Odeya Rush), living right next door. But every silver lining has a cloud, and Zach's comes when he learns that Hannah has a mysterious dad who is revealed to be R. L. Stine (Jack Black), the author of the bestselling Goosebumps series. It turns out that there is a reason why Stine is so strange... he is a prisoner of his own imagination - the monsters that his books made famous are real, and Stine protects his readers by keeping them locked up in their books. When Zach unintentionally unleashes the monsters from their manuscripts and they begin to terrorize the town, it's suddenly up to Stine, Zach, Hannah, and Zach's friend Champ (Ryan Lee) to get all of them back in the books where they belong.

User Reviews


Goosebumps seems like it would be best handled by an expert of family/horror films such as Joe Dante. Instead, they got the one who helmed Gulliver's Travels, but for some reason, this movie pleasantly offers beyond than just another nostalgic cash grab. Maybe to those who wants to linger more on the monsters from their favorite Goosebumps books may get disappointed since most of them are shoehorned as another monstrous villain to run away from. However, the film manages to tell a story of its own from its characters. Yes, their arcs can be by-the-numbers, or more specific, nothing original whatsoever, but it manages to find its own heart and sense of fun to its own story, which makes it quite entertaining and surprisingly heartwarming.

The first act is the strongest of the entirety. Though the main protagonist, Zach, doesn't have any special arc to focus on, but it gets better when he meets his new neighbor, Hannah, and their small innocent moments manages to bring easy charm with these characters. The rest of the characters are just downright kooky as they provide exaggeratedly delivered punchlines. Though, this is the kind of world this movie establishes, almost everyone is basically a cartoon. Some moments work, while some is just admittedly corny, but we accept it in this sort of context anyway. Nothing is particularly scary, either. The plot is just hunting down these monsters; set piece after set piece, punchline after punchline, then some emotional twists and somewhat. It doesn't quite have an exact narrative structure, but these scenes are still quite fun and engaging when it counts. It may still be a letdown to the fans about the fact that the monsters are treated nothing more than grand spectacles.

The special effects are pretty fake looking, but still they don't look too bad. It's just not spooky or scary, purposely of course. It would be more interesting if they are a little bit in a campy horror way rather than overly kid friendly. I mean this is a family movie, but the books were intended for kids and they are horror stories, so why avoid creeping them out here or, nevermind. If their intention is to embrace the silliness, then that's a better argument. I'll just assume that's the case rather than toning the general audience down. Slappy looks cool, though. The acting is nice: Jack Black is just priceless, nothing more, nothing less. However I wish the teens would react more whenever they try to catch a monster. Maybe it's just me, but I suggest more expressions, perhaps. Though they perform better at the less louder scenes; Dylan Minnette is alright as the lead, though the best among the three is Odeya Rush, who has done enough job as the heart of the picture. The other kid is basically just another comic relief in this realm of comic reliefs.

Goosebumps is a little messy, but overall it's still all out fun. Yeah, the monsters aren't quite interacted that properly and it was just kind of shoehorned, but it provides some admirable choices to its story. It makes the typical character arcs resolve with sincerity or just genuine charm. There's a lot of inspired moments, despite most of the monsters look pretty cuddly. The totally cartoon approach might be the film's way of saying that they're pretty aware that the source material has always been ridiculous, and they just broadens it. They still gave some heart to the novellas, by surface and Slappy. It's crazy, amusing and eventually endearing. I believe that the movie is actually worth the nostalgia, in spite of its more candy looking.


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