Film review: Goosebumps (2015), directed by Rob Letterman
tl;dr: Fun, but not amazing.
After the loss of his father, teenager Zach (Dylan Minnette) and his mum Gale (Amy Ryan) move from the big city to the small town in Delaware where his aunt Lorraine (Jillian Bell) lives. Zach comes across a girl next door, Hannah (Odeya Rush), and her over-protective dad (Jack Black) who tells Zach to stay away and not bother them again, ever.
Of course, that’s not how things turn out – Hannah and Zach hang out, Hannah’s dad finds out and is very angry. From looking through a window, it appears that the father is being violent with Hannah, so the local (inept) police force show up … but there is no sign of Hannah, or any foul play.
Wondering what the hell is going on, Zach decides to investigate, and calls on the sort-of-a-loser kid who happened to befriend him at school, Champ (Ryan Lee), to help him break into the house. As it turns out, Hannah’s dad is the Goosebumps author R.L. Stine, and as luck would have it, Zach and Champ have managed to set a couple of his fictional monsters loose into the real world … and one of those has definitely had enough being locked up inside a manuscript!
What follows are a lot of CGI creatures, and if you’re an avid reader of the Goosebumps books, you probably recognise some of them. It’s not a series I’m very well-versed in, having only read a handful (if that) a long time ago, but I remember enjoying the ones I read. Monsters break free from books and cause mayhem in the real world. You think garden gnomes are creepy? Try an army of them!
All in all, we enjoyed the film, but it felt kind of lacking, and much preferred another Jack Black film we watched the same day – The House with a Clock in Its Walls – but that’s a review for another day. Goosebumps is predictable in the sense that you know exactly how things are going to work out, but it’s still a fun ride to get there. I wish we could’ve seen a bit more of Stine and Lorraine together, because that seemed like an interesting thing.
3 out of 5 enchanted (cursed?) typewriters.