Picture Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

Picture Courtesy of Columbia Pictures


Continuing with the “recreation of our youth” trend, insert remake of widely popular children’s book series Goosebumps by R.L. Stine.  Most of us can say we remember at least reading one, or watching an episode of these terrifying books, only to be left with nightmares at night.  For something that most parents spend their time protecting their children from, its quite surprising that we all share these horrifying memories.  Even the theme song and images from the show were enough to pull the covers over our heads when crawling into bed.

The film stars Jack Black as the mysterious R.L. Stine.  When Zach (Dylan Minnette) moves to a small town with his mom, adventure is the last thing he is expecting in this quiet town.  While moving boxes into his house, he meets the interesting and mysterious Hannah (Odeya Rush), his new neighbour.  Their interaction is cut short when her very strange father, R.L. Stine, warns Zach to stay away from his daughter, and his house.  After Zach hears Hannah screaming from her house, he calls the cops believing that her father had been hurting her.  When the cops arrive they find that, according to her father, Hannah is not there and had returned to be with her mother.  Not believing his lies, with the help of a boy he met at school, Zach breaks into the house to find Hannah.  While the two explore this strange house full of Goosebumps momentos, they unknowingly unleash the Goosebumps monsters upon the town.  It is up to Zach, his friend Champ, Hannah and R.L. Stine to complete a new story to trap the monsters in and return them to the pages where they belong.

These flashbacks to our youth always promise the wonderfully nostalgic memories we all have, while threatening to taint our treasured thoughts.  The excitement of seeing that Goosebumps had been turned into a new film is quickly squashed by the knowledge that it could never live up the greatness of the original.  We all also knew that going into the movie, it wasn’t going to be good.  The monsters bring back good memories and its fun to see them and how much you remember from the stories, but the remake is definitely suited to the younger generation.  A way to invite them to read the books of our past and somehow connect our generation to theirs.  R.L. Stine even makes a very brief cameo in the film towards the end.

Nothing I would ever watch again, and as mentioned, the film is exactly what we expected it to be.  Meant for kids and not as good as any memory of the originals could ever be.


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