Directed by Rob Letterman
starring: Jack Black, Dylan Minnette, Odeya Rush, Ryan Lee
Good News fellow movie lovers… ‘Goosebumps’ is EXACTLY the movie you’ve hoped it would be!!!
It’s easy for me to critique ‘Goosebumps’ without a bias too, because I’ve never read a ‘Goosebumps‘ book, or seen the original T.V. show. Not knowing the source material, I wanted to see if the movie stood on it’s on, and I’m happy to report, it absolutely does.
‘Goosebumps’ stars Dylan Minnette (“Lost” and “Saving Grace”) as Zach Cooper, the new kid in a small town. Zach quickly catches the eye of his 15 year old neighbor, Hannah (Odeya Rush – “The Giver”), but is warned to “stay away from my daughter”, by her creepy, hermit of a Dad, R.L. Stine. Jack Black brilliantly plays this fictional version of R.L. Stine, the real-life author of the children’s horror books popular in the mid 1990’s.
One night, after hearing screams next door, Zach fears for Hannah’s safety. He and his bumbling idiot friend Champ (Ryan Lee – “Super 8”) break into the Stine house to check on her. They stumble upon a cabinet full of the popular “Goosebumps” books, each individually locked. After finding Hannah safe and sound, Champ insists on unlocking one of the books. Despite Hannah’s warnings, the book is unlocked, and out pops a 20 foot tall angry Abominable snowman. The only way to get the creature back into the book, is to open it while standing close to him. As the 3 fight get him back in the book, the creature escapes and more books are unlocked, releasing more of the Goosebumps “monsters”.
One of those “monsters” is a ventriloquist dummy named Slappy, voiced by Jack Black. Slappy decides to open ALL of the books, then burn them, therefore releasing Stine’s creatures into the world forever. As the creatures and monsters wreak havoc on the small town, Slappy discovers Stine’s plan to simply write a new book to capture them all again. Slappy instructs all the creatures to bring Stine to him, before he can finish the book… and the race is on.
I have to give a quick mention of Ryan Lee, the actor who plays the “bumbling idiot friend”, Champ. In a movie whose “stars” are the digitally created creatures, Ryan Lee really stood out, and practically stolen every scene he was in. I think he may an actor to keep an eye on.
Okay… at just over an hour and a half (103 minutes to be exact), ‘Goosebumps’ is the perfect length for it’s audience. The story is easy for kids to follow, the action is instant and non-stop, and the creatures are just “cartoony” enough NOT to give kids nightmares. I was able to watch the movie in a theater 75% full of kids. It’s always fun to watch a kids movie thru their eyes, to see if the film works for them. As I said earlier, ‘Goosebumps’ absolutely does.
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