Directed by Rob Letterman (Monsters vs. Aliens), Goosebumps is a live action adaptation of the children’s book series of the same name. Upset about moving from a big city to a small town, teenager Zach Cooper (Dylan Minnette) finds a silver lining when he meets, Hannah (Odeya Rush), living right next door. However, every silver lining has a cloud, and Zach 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. It is exposed that he is a prisoner of his own imagination and the monsters that his books made famous are real. To protect his readers, Stine keeps his monstrous creations 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, and Hannah to get all of them back where they belong.
As a child of the 90s, Goosebumps was one of those book series that really helped develop my passion for reading. Stories like Monster Blood, The Haunted Mask, The Werewolf of Fever Swamp and Night of the Living Dummy not only acted as the perfect gateway to more mature fantasy, science-fiction and horror novels, but they also played a significant role in establishing an entire generation of young readers. In 1994, Goosebumps received its own anthology television series, in which many of Stine’s novellas were adapted. Though lasting only four seasons, the show has maintained a cult-following, with many passionate fans, both young and old, eagerly anticipating a reboot of the series or a feature film.
It’s interesting reading the various reactions to the Goosebumps trailer, with fans and viewers questioning why there seems to be so much focus on comedy instead of horror. Personally, I think this is a fun and unique way to adapt Stine’s work. It not only brings together dozens of popular monsters throughout the Goosebumps series, but it also makes Stine (though significantly exaggerated) a character in the film as well. Having Stine interact with and comment on his own creations is probably the best form of fan service that fans could possibly ask for. Perhaps nostalgia is clouding my judgement, but I can’t help but smile seeing Slappy’s cold, lifeless eyes stare back at me. You’ll always haunt seven-year-old Chris’ dreams, old friend.
Goosebumps will be released in theatres October 16, 2015.
What do you think reader? Like what you see in the trailer? Spot any famous Goosebumps monsters? Let us know in the comments below!