I grew up reading the Goosebumps books. R.L. Stine’s book “Night of the Living Dummy” was the creepiest book! When I saw that they were making a movie, I was excited because I was going to see all of these monsters on the big screen that gave me nightmares when I was little. I would once again be face to face with Slappy, that creepy evil dummy (by the way, if you ever come face to face with him, don’t call him a dummy. Bad things will happen to you).
The movie starts off with Zach (Dylan Minnette) and his mom, Gale (Amy Ryan) driving to a new town in Delaware. Once there, Zach meets his next door neighbor Hannah (Odeya Rush) and her overly protective father (Jack Black) who forbids the two to see each other. One night, Zach hears Hannah’s screams and decides to run over there to save her from her dad – he thinks. He and his newly found friend, Champ (Ryan Lee) break into the house and discover a bookcase full of Goosebump stories. Not knowing at first that they are “magical books”, Champ picks a book and unlocks it, releasing a monster and it’s up to Hannah, Zach and Champ to get it back in the book before Hannah’s uptight father finds out. A chase around town ensues and ultimately the kids end up needing rescue -from R. L. Stine! They all get back to the house to put the book back only to find more opened books and Slappy, the dummy, waiting for Stine. From there all hell breaks loose and the adventure starts.
Goosebumps was a highly enjoyable film. I loved watching all of the different monsters pop up on screen and trying to remember their stories. I liked that the fact that they didn’t pick one story of R.L. Stine’s but combined all of them into one big movie. It would definitely be hard to just pick one and it was a great mash-up of all of the characters. The only problem of having all of them is that you miss an individual screenings of the monsters. However, they picked some good ones with the individual screen times. I loved the lawn gnomes. They are little ankle biters that are trying to kill you. Hilarious!
Besides the monsters, the casting was fun. I didn’t know how I would feel about Jack Black playing R.L. Stine but he really surprised me and I thought he was great, especially his portrayal of Slappy. Slappy stole every scene he was in, he brought it and delivered. The rest of the cast were quite entertaining. Zach’s aunt Lorraine was hilarious and you couldn’t help but love Champ. Overall, I thought it was a fun, adventurous, scary movie for the whole family to watch together. It also brings back a lot of childhood memories for people who grew up with the books and television show.
Side note: Did anyone else notice the resemblance between Goosebumps and Gulliver’s Travels when Jack Black was being tied down by small people and dragged toward the oven? Which makes sense since it was the same director (Rob Letterman) and actor for both movies.