Saturday, October 17, 2015
Movie Review: Goosebumps
As a fan of the books as a child, there was much to look forward to in this amalgamation of R. L. Stine's horror series. The movie was marketed towards a younger generation of kids but since it was about writing and this was my favorite series, I went to see it.
Jack Black played R. L. Stine with his usual charisma, and I thought his performance to be one of the most entertaining parts. He portrayed the horror writer with panache and was the source for most of the writer jokes. I liked how he was angered at the comparison to Stephen King claiming he had sold more copies of books. I guess even famous authors have doubts, but this was fiction. The cameo of the real R. L. Stine was quickly snuck in.
The entire meta premise of the books crossing over into the real world was interesting and didn't really need an explanation that was never supplied. I was willing to go along with it and I assume most kids would too.
The teenage cast members did a manageable job and nothing was too terrible to take away from the film. The romantic subplot between Odeya Rush as Hannah and Zach, played by Dylan Minnette, helped the story along and the comedic asides from Ryan Lee's Champ didn't fall flat. Zach's aunt, the always funny Jillian Bell, had a few good lines.
The special effects were nothing amazing, made more for kids but they did make good use of the 3D in a few parts, especially the werewolf. Slappy the dummy was a great lead villain and should come back if they make a sequel.
Overall this was a goofy kids movie that played on my nostalgia. I wish they had made more references to the novels instead of just throwing a bunch out there as an homage but I'm sure explaining all of the different books would have made for a longer movie. The pace already felt rushed. It was passable but I'm still waiting on a real horror movie to come out.