Film Review of “Goosebumps” – Hello Again, Childhood!
As I sat down amongst the sea of families about to watch “Goosebumps,” I suddenly felt like a kid again. I too had my hands greasy from popcorn and was loudly laughing at the animated previews that played before the film. I was transported back to the era of when I read R.L. Stine’s terrifyingly captivating books.
The year was 2007. I had accidentally just hit the internet button on my flip phone and repeatedly hit the end button to make sure my mom did not yell at me. My family did not dare pay for such an expensive service. I took my Lip Smackers out of my khaki cargo pants and moistened my lips.
I was reading Stine’s “One Day at Horrorland” from the “Goosebumps” series. I would pick up and read the book on commercial breaks during “Drake & Josh.”
Now, as a college senior, when I found out that Stine’s beloved book series was being made into a film, I excitedly purchased a ticket and riffled my surprisingly still odiferous Bubble Gum Lip Smackers. I went to the film with excitement and regained innocence. What I left with was mixed feelings.
The film starred Jack Black as R.L. Stine. All of Stine’s issues start when his daughter, Hannah (played by Odeya Rush), starts to develop a relationship with the cute neighbor, Zach (played by Dylan Minnette).
Having been a pre-teen girl, I can attest that many of my and my parents’ problems, at that time, came from a boy. The only difference is that my boy dramas never caused all of R.L. Stine’s monsters to escape from their confines and try to destroy Stine and the city.
Of course, the ghouls, goblins and other terrifying creatures are ruled by the bone-chilling Slappy, the dummy. But don’t dare call him a dummy! As Slappy scared me in my childhood, he scared me in adulthood. Possibly, the only way that I watched the film without having a panic attack was the fact that I noticed Jack Black voiced Slappy.
As Stine, Jack Black excelled at being simultaneously creepy, eccentric, creative and loving. The film also was very humorous and had the twist and turns that any “Goosebumps” fan would come to expect from the series.
“Goosebumps” was a very good movie. It will be a perfect fit to air on “13 Days of Halloween” on ABC Family. It was humorous, creative, captivating and included great actors.
With that being said, I was still kind of let down, but I don’t know if that has anything to do with the quality of the movie.
My flip phone was replaced with an iPhone.
My khaki cargo pants were now black skinny jeans.
And worst of all, shows like The “Thundermans” and “Henry Danger” have taken the place of “Drake & Josh.”
While the film adaptation of my favorite childhood book series was good, I was no longer a child. I could not look at with the same innocent and naïve eyes that I used to have in the past. I found myself noting every time that something illogical happened. Possibly the scariest thing of all is that I did not have to tell myself once that “it’s all make-believe.”
“Goosebumps” was a nice visit to my childhood, but I realized that it was time to pack up the Lip Smackers and move on.