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MOVIE REVIEW: You’re In For A Good Time In “Goosebumps (2015)”



Directed by: Rob Letterman
Produced by: Deborah Forte, Neal H. Moritz
Written By: R. L. Stine, Scott Alexander, Larry Karaszewski
Starring: Dylan Minette, Jack Black, Odeya Rush
MTRCB Rating: G
7.0/ 10

User Rating
2 total ratings



Some cool sequences with the monsters, solid performances by the cast, serviceable twists towards some monsters, chuckle-worthy Goosebump references and jokes


Some minor narrative issues

There have been talks about getting book-to-movie adaptations of R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps for a long time, making it a hard time for them to decide because of the vast library of R.L. Stine’s work over the years. It wasn’t until one guy pitched to solve the problem by putting all of the famous monsters in […]

Posted October 16, 2015 by



There have been talks about getting book-to-movie adaptations of R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps for a long time, making it a hard time for them to decide because of the vast library of R.L. Stine’s work over the years. It wasn’t until one guy pitched to solve the problem by putting all of the famous monsters in one movie with Stine as the star instead of adapting them individually. Conceptually, that sounded like a fantastic idea but quite worrisome to the fact that it will just be a Facebook page slideshow of “Look! Remember this old 90s thing?” Thankfully it wasn’t the case with Rob Letterman’s Goosebumps as he injects a lot of entertainment value with a cast that spews out the right amount of wit, humor, and heart with a dash of nostalgia.

Plot Summary:

Underwhelmed by the fact that they are moving in to a small town, Zach Cooper (Dylan Minette) his life starts to be more interesting as he found out about the secrets of the girl next door, Hannah (Odeya Rush) and her father who turns out to be the famous author, R.L. Stine (Jack Black) of the horror anthology children’s book series, Goosebumps. When Zach and his friend, Champ (Ryan Lee) got deeper in the mystery behind this girl’s family he accidentally unleashes the monsters trapped in their leathery book prison. It’s now up to Zack, Stine, Hannah, and Champ (Ryan Lee) to stop these monsters from wreaking havoc among the people of the small town.

A Nostalgic Love Letter to Family Movies

Goosebumps-Movie-Jack-Black-vs.-SlappyThis movie pretty much takes notes from the era of kids movies in the late 80s and the early 90s where they get to have these wild adventures in modern day (at the time) with something or someone “otherworldly” that they only see on TV, books, movies, and even board games. Suffice to say, this movie is pretty much Monster Squad and Jumanji’s love child. It has every trope in those movies: you got the charismatic lead, the mysterious girl who would be the love interest, the weirdo sidekick, the overbearing parents, the lead not being believed by people around the town of the weird stuff he saw only to be believed later on when the small town is being under attack by these otherworldly things (and still manages to work normally in other parts of the town as if NOTHING WAS EVEN HAPPENING), the list goes on!

But those tropes were fueled by R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps as they bring out the horrors that define a generation’s long list of fears like killer clowns, giant bugs, creepy dummies, and vampire poodles (don’t be deceived by their fluffiness! they are EVIL!). And by that they were able to bring a lot of quirky humor when it comes to going through those said tropes, making the experience of going through the set-up be less of a chore. Along the way there were some genuine twists using the mythology of Stine’s works and some other fun references to pick up on. But unfortunately, they made a last-minute narrative decision that kind of harmed the ballsy twist they made towards the climax of the movie which does cripple the experience for me, also there were things that get unresolved like one aunt being visited by one monster only to be okay in the next scene, transitions like that were quite odd.

You’re in for a…. Scare?

goosebumpsThe movie only settles from bringing thrills than chills; maybe it’s just me, but I didn’t really find any of the monsters a tad bit “horrifying” because of how they were rendered in a cartoonish fashion. But then I realized that I had to take that out of my system because this is after all marketed as a family movie and I think they made that intentional to hold off the “scare factor” behind these monsters for the film’s younger target audience. It’s a family movie at best, you’ll find your kids laughing through some of the slapstick stuff or people shouting or making funny noises while you (the “adult”) find some hidden gems that the people in the movie gave some “double meaning” to and some obscure Goosebumps references as well for fans of the book series.

The movie gave us some straight forward action sequences where we constantly encounter these iconic monsters from point A to point D; monsters like Slappy the living ventriloquist dummy, the giant praying mantis, and even the werewolf of Fever Swamp did get a fairly good amount of screen time while the other monsters are just used as cameos only to forward the plot. Seeing the monsters you grew up reading in the books (and even watching them in the old nickelodeon show) to life may not be how you imagine them but it was still cool to see those monsters in action.

The Cast:

Goosebumps-Jack-Black-Dylan-MinnetteThe small cast was able to get the job the done in their roles. The most notable performer is the ever energetic, Jack Black as R.L. Stine. The books in this world exists as we know them making the R.L. Stine of their world be a more exaggerated one along with his backstory of how he created the monsters and how they were brought to life. Exaggeration is no stranger to Jack Black, as his exaggerated mannerisms come to play for the comedic factor of his character in the movie. But he manages to balance the comedic aspect to his acting ability to a softer side in the movie’s more somber moments. He was even great at voicing Slappy! (when I first thought of him being voiced by Mark Hamill). The rest of the cast were strong performers, Dylan Minette  in his first outing in a big project (If anyone can remember him, he had that one small role in one episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) along with another up and coming star, Odeya Rush as all three of them bond giving the movie some heartfelt scenes together.


“Goosebumps”, is an innocent yet entertaining family movie that serves as a great introduction to a new generation of fans, and a nostalgic trip to memory lane for fans that have grown up following the series.

GP Manalo

G.P. Manalo is a student by day, and a resident tortured writer by night. Writing to keep him sane from all the Business School papers and presentations piling up each week.


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