October 29, 2015


Jack Black stars as R.L. Stine, the creator of the “Goosebumps“ franchise–Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures Entertainment

Jack Black stars as R.L. Stine, the creator of the “Goosebumps“ franchise–Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures Entertainment


Staff Reporter | reb033@latech.edu


Just in time for Halloween, “Goosebumps,” directed by Rob Letterman, is a fun family film that promises laughs.


The film does not rely too heavily on slapstick humor but contains witty and sometimes dry jokes.


While the dialogue in many family movies can be contrived, “Goosebumps” has surprisingly organic moments between characters.


The movie is set in Madison, Delaware, where Zach Cooper, played by Dylan Minnette, moves next door to the author of “Goosebumps” novels, R.L. Stine, played by Jack Black, and his homeschooled daughter, Hannah, played by Odeya Rush.


The teenagers immediately hit it off, but Stine, with his almost unbearable accent, forbids her from leaving the house.


She takes Zach to an abandoned fairground in the woods where they climb to the top of a well-lit Ferris wheel, and neither of their parents seems to notice.


One would expect the thrills to begin at a park called Horror Land, but the setting is more of a nod to the novel than a place for terror.


Later, a worried Zach and his cowardly new friend Champ, played by Ryan Lee, sneak into Stine’s house to check on Hannah and find his hundreds of manuscripts, locked with a key.


They curiously unlock “The Abominable Snowman of Pasadena” and release the beast on the small Delaware town.


The accidentally freed Slappy proceeds to open all the books as revenge for being locked away. Zach, Champ, Hannah and Stine have to work together to capture the hundreds of monsters.


Fans of the novels should see the movie for a bit of nostalgia before Halloween.


The movie does not attempt to recreate any one of the novels, but combines the characters to make a new story.


When the action starts, it keeps its pace but leaves room for humor. One could say it is one of Black’s more serious roles, however. In an interview with Stephen Colbert on “The Late Show,” Black said he had to jump on the opportunity for his sons.


Though the frights are not comparable to the books, moviegoers should enjoy the hints to the stories they enjoyed and feared in elementary school.


At the end of the movie, Stine explains every good story has three parts: “a beginning, a middle and a twist.” If you are looking for a twist, you will see it coming from a mile away. That’s okay though. Just sit back and enjoy.


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