Movie review: Goosebumps

Amber Gilliland, Senior Reporter

Goosebumps follows the story of high school student, Zach Cooper, who moves to a small town a year after his father’s death. As he’s moving in, his new neighbor Hannah catches his eye, but her overprotective father, actor Jack Black, warns Cooper to stay away from his family.

One night after hearing yelling coming from Hannah’s house, Cooper sneaks in to check on her with the help of his classmate, Champ. Upon entering the house, the pair discover a bookshelf loaded with Goosebumps novels, but their covers are locked.

Finding this odd, the boys grab a key on a nearby table and open the book. At this point Hannah finds the two in her home, but not before it’s too late. The Abominable Snowman from the Goosebumps novel The Abominable Snowman of Pasadena springs out of the book and escapes from the house. The trio of teenagers chase the snowman into a local ice rink where they’re saved by Hannah’s father.

It turns out that her father is actually Goosebumps’ author R.L. Stine. When he wrote his manuscripts, the characters came to life. The monsters stay trapped inside the books as long as they’re kept shut. The only way to stop them once they’re released is to suck them back into their novel.

Upon returning home from the ice rink, the group finds that one more book fell open in the chaos of the snowman fiasco. Slappy from Stine’s book Night of the Living Dummy has been released. In a fit of rage, he steals all of Stine’s manuscripts and a car, and opens the novels to release all of the monsters into the town. Afterward, he immediately burns the manuscripts so there’s no way to return the monsters back to where they belong.

The movie continues with the group running for their lives from Slappy’s revenge, while also trying to save the town from further destruction. They discover the only way to do this is for Stine to write one last book that will suck all the monsters back up for good.

This movie was surprisingly impressive. It had the potential to be very tacky but it wasn’t. The animation was well done and blended into the movie nicely. The abominable snowman resembled the one on Stine’s cover almost perfectly.

Many of Stine’s characters made appearances in the movie including a giant praying mantis from A Shocker on Shock Street, ghouls, flying bugs, gnomes and many other monsters that hide in the night. It was a treat for anyone who grew up reading the Goosebumps tales, but knowing the stories wasn’t necessary for enjoying the film.

Goosebumps was a fantastic mix of action and comedy. Black brought his usual sense of humor to the movie and there were just enough one-liners to break up the action. There were a few sappy scenes but that’s to be expected in a family film. It held my attention throughout the entire duration and didn’t feel too long or too short.

The slight plot twist, which won’t be spoiled in this review, was unexpected and doesn’t seem to be extremely significant until it gets closer to the end of the movie, when unfortunately gives an enormous hint to how it will end.

Overall, the movie was a perfect family film and a fun way to celebrate Halloween. The children in the theater were laughing as hard as the adults and teenagers who’d grown up with the books. This reporter predicts that Goosebumps will become a new staple in families’ Halloween movies collection.

I give it: 4/5

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Movie review: Goosebumps

by Amber Gilliland time to read: 2 min