Columbia Pictures did a stunning job in capturing the essence of R.L. Stine’s “Goosebumps” book series for film. It had the same novelty of “Hocus Pocus,” only lacking the obvious Halloween themes. Do not be turned off by the PG rating. Children, writers or any person with a big imagination will enjoy this vivid and creative film.
I did not know what to expect as I sat in the theater watching previews for upcoming children’s animations. Part of me doubted I would be able to give a good evaluation of the movie, as I have never read a “Goosebumps” book in my life. If for nothing else, this was an opportunity for a stress- free moment, an hour-and-a-half-
life break. The movie brings together all the monsters Stine has brought to life in his frightening series. Jack Black plays the role of the neurotic next-door neighbor who is overly protective of his daughter.
The new kid in town notices the strange behavior of his neighbor and breaks in the house to see his love interest. Inside, he finds every “Goosebumps” manuscript ever written, but locks keep the books closed. When opened, the monsters leap off the page and, it turns out, the kooky neighbor is the famous author R.L. Stine himself.
Between the scenes, the movie is essentially a narrative of Stine’s life and writing process. Just like his stories jump off the page and chill readers, Stine’s monsters come to life in the movie. However, in this story, it is Stine who is haunted by his own monsters. In the end, Stine faces the army of beasts unleashed from his books and makes peace with his anger.
In the movie, Stine explains the reason why he has written such horrifying stories. After being bullied for having allergies, he isolated himself from the world, making monstrosities to exact revenge on the people who bullied him.
The narrative filmed in “Goosebumps” is biographic underneath many metaphors. Better yet, it is told in the essence of Stine’s imagination.
I enjoyed the movie more than other people may have would. As a writer, I think this movie would suit any creative personality.
As is said in the movie, “There are three parts to every story— the beginning, the middle and the twist.”