Genre : Adventure/Family
Country : USA/Australia
Dylan Minnette : Zach
Odeya Rush : Hannah
Jack Black : R.L. Stine
Director : Rob Letterman
“It’s like stop trying to be Stephen King, man.
Let me tell you something about Steve King.
Steve King wishes he could write like me, and I’ve sold way more books than him,
but nobody ever talks about that!”
Lets organize a pleasant afternoon and watch a soft horror movie with the whole family. Why wouldn’t we use the oeuvre of R.L. Stine? This writer wrote a whole series of books known as the famous Goosebumps. And to circumvent the obstacle of choosing a book, they just used all of them in the same film. What you get to see is a horde of horror figures, planning to destroy the human world. From small, annoying gnomes to a giant grasshopper. There are some less successful creations and there are also some highly amusing creations like Slappy, the Yeti and the werewolf with basketball shoes. The end result is a Jumanji-like kids-movie in which the main actors must do their utmost best to straighten out this crooked situation.
I wasn’t really impressed though. Probably because I’m not part of the target group. The bland romantic part and the attempt to make it adventurous, obviously wasn’t meant for me. It might be a bit too scary for the youngest among us (although it wasn’t overly creepy). Pubers however might think it’s a bit too soft. I appreciated the rare moments when the humor became tremendously sharp and shrewd, like the opening scene and the Stephen King remark for example. Even the humorous interactions of the scrawny little fellow Champ (Ryan Lee) who tries to fix everything along with Zach (Dylan Minnette) and Hannah (Odeya “The Giver” Rush), was acceptable. The only thing that started to get on my nerves after a while, was him using that effeminate scream for the umpteenth time.
“Goosebumps” guarantees an entertaining afternoon at the local cinema for young people. Even adults who accompany them, could have some fun with it. There are some memorable parts such as the werewolf fragment in the supermarket. Long time since I’ve seen such a perfectly choreographed scene where real actors and animated characters interact with each other. Blood-curdling exciting and flashy. Yep it gave me goosebumps. Unfortunately in the end it turned into a real mess. It was a bit too much of everything. A flood of Stine’s literary creations. And Jack Black, who plays the grumpy hermit Stine, stuck to his routine of not being funny. It’s probably me, but if you want me to be depressed, just let me watch “School of Rock”. Success guaranteed.
“Goosbumps” won’t be such a huge success as a fantasy and horror film. It seemed to me that the idea to cram Stine’s creations into the same movie, wasn’t exactly the most brilliant idea. The best is the enemy of the good. Fortunately, they didn’t use this idea for the Harry Potter books. Perhaps the creators biggest intention was to promote reading a book again. Maybe they partially succeeded in that. Unfortunately this self-promotion also worked disadvantageous when you look at the special effects and the story structure. All in all it’s a must see for ten year olds. Maybe I re-watch it with my son in five years. He can have his uninhibited opinion about my humble opinion!