Goosebumps: Your Childhood Nightmares Come to Life


Story by Valeria Munoz, Copy Editor

While Halloween movies are typically seasonal, many are considered year round classics like Casper, Hocus Pocus, by movie buffs at Boca High, Goosebumps is a horror comedy that may just be added to the list. The movie, Goosebumps, stars Dylan Minnette who plays Zack, the new kid in a small town in Maryland. He quickly befriends Champ, Ryan Lee a quirky teenager, and becomes infatuated with his next door neighbor Hannah, played by Odeya Rush, who also happens to be the daughter of R.L Stine. The author of the popular Goosebumps novels is played by none other than Jack Black. Zack meets R.L. Stine the overprotective father immediately after he falls in love with Hannah. However, Zack and Champ investigate Stine’s house upon hearing suspicious screams. They stumble upon the author’s home library, which holds every single Goosebumps title, similar to followers of the book series. But Stine’s copies have one difference, when opened, the characters come to life. The boys accidentally let loose Slappy The Dummy, who upon his release quickly sets out to free all of Stine’s infamous monsters from the Snowman to the Werewolf. The boys along with Stine and his daughter embark on a journey to save the town from destruction.

Overall it is a fast paced movie and much like its books, the movie never has a dull moment. Although it’s mostly a kids movie, teenagers who were fans of the book will enjoy seeing the characters who gave them chills and nightmares come to life on screen. Minette holds his ground as a strong male lead, Rush gives the film a certain warmth only to shock viewers later with an unexpected twist.  Black plays the part perfectly through his very telling facial expressions. He definitely added a lot to the character going from dark and cold to humorous in just the right moments. The movie relies very heavily on Common Gateway Interface animation or CGI monsters which can leave viewers a bit underwhelmed at the lack of human presence. The film tries to incorporate other characters though, such as Zack’s mom, Amy Ryan, who is also the assistant principal. Zack’s aunt played by Jillian Bell, and potential love interest for Stine. Police officers and high school students try to fill the gap of real characters.

There is an attempt at character development when Stine confesses a childhood secret. He reveals that the reason he created monsters was because he needed them to fight the bullies at school. Black’s character also uses the alias “Mr. Shivers” for part of the film, which served as a slight jab at a rip-off dollar version of Goosebumps known as Shivers. The movie does fall under certain clichés at time such as a Ferris wheel scene where Zack and Hannah share a high school sweetheart moment. Goosebumps definitely gives that Halloween vibe and nostalgic feel for readers of the series. All in all, Goosebumps is far from scary and most likely won’t give the audience actual goosebumps but will serve as a trip down memory lane and hopefully an incentive for younger children to pick up the creased over book covers our generation remembers so well.

[email protected]