You remember them. You loved them. You feared them. Now it’s time to experience your favorite Goosebumps monsters on the big screen for the first time. Just in time for Halloween, this young-adult horror franchise has returned with a major motion picture adaption that brings all of the legendary author R.L. Stine’s creepiest characters to life. Starring a strong, young cast led by Dylan Minnette, Odeya Rush and Ryan Lee acting side-by-side with the incomparable Jack Black, this film will not only bring back the nostalgia but advance all the best aspects as well.
The film begins with the main character Zach (Dylan Minette) and his mother Gale (Amy Ryan) moving from the big city to a small town. They discover quickly that they’ve moved next door to a not-so-sociable neighbor (Jack Black) who leaves Dylan uneasy. At school, he meets an anxious boy named Champ (Ryan Lee) who decides that Dylan and he should stick together as outcasts. In his first few days, Dylan also meets Hannah (Odeya Rush), the aloof next door neighbor’s daughter, and after this, the film hits its stride. Dylan hears a disturbance next door and it appears that the unidentified neighbor is in an altercation with Hannah, so Dylan runs to rescue her. Of course the neighbor averts Dylan and the authorities, citing that Hannah is not even home, and tells them to leave him alone or else. This leaves Dylan dissatisfied knowing that he can catch the neighbor in the act again. When the neighbor leaves home urgently, Dylan takes this as an opportunity to find Hannah by breaking into the house. With his buddy Champ in tow, they make way through the basement to see what they can find. Once inside the actual house they find a bookshelf with tons of leather-bound Goosebumps book manuscripts. As they investigate further, they are startled when Hannah comes into the room asking what they are doing in her house and why they are holding the books. After questioning her about why she has the books in her house, the truth comes to life when a book is left opened. Her father is the infamous author of the Goosebumps series, R.L. Stine, and in these original locked copies, the monsters actually come to life if the books are opened. This is proven when they have a run in with the “Abominable Snowman of Pasadena” in the living room of the house. They chase the beast all the way down to the ice rink and try to get him to jump back into the book. After many attempts, the beast has them cornered and right when the situation looks absolutely bleak, he begins being sucked back into a book by R.L. Stine in the middle of the ice rink. Saving them from peril at the last minute, Stine chides them for their actions and they return home. When they come back, more books have been opened and worst of all, Slappy from “Night of the Living Dummy” is out and ready to set the rest of the monsters free. This launches the kids and R.L. Stine into action to stop Slappy from releasing the monsters and saving the town from being terrorized.
This film features cameos from all of R.L. Stine’s most iconic creatures. The visual effects throughout the movie are stunning, but never distract from the heart of the film. It’s a fun thrill that brings the scares, but nothing too gruesome. The young cast shines under the tutelage of Jack Black, and the Goosebumps monsters are done fair justice in representation. So fans, rest assured, your childhood favorites are secure and in full HD.
I got the chance to do a round table interview along with other internet and college media outlets with the cast of Goosebumps during their press tour in Houston. We talked about the making of the film, the Goosebumps book series, Tex-Mex cuisine, and what R.L. Stine himself thinks of the film.
Thank you to Moroch and Coog Radio for the opportunity to interview the cast and see the film. Enjoy the audio below and make sure to go see this film when it’s released in theaters on October 14th!
By Trent Lira