Nostalgic. Goosebumps is a visual time portal back to the scary Sunday nights in your bedroom or living room where a 10 year old child is wrapped up in a blanket, has one of the books of an excellent series in his hand and has goosebumps at the back of his neck and hands. Goosebumps shockingly is an excellent adaptation of the hit horror book series, titled as the same.
The movie is based on a very realistic plot. The story of the movie is unlike any of the books we’ve read, because in this movie, the books are the plotrunners. A retired old man finds himself new neighbors in the form of Zach (Played by Dylan Minnette) and his mother. In the start itself, the movie establishes Zach as a boy struggling to adjust to his new environment, and he finds solace in a girl, Hannah (Played by Odeya Rush) who is also his neighbor and the daughter of the old man. But it then further goes on to establish, that they are an introvert-ish group of people, who were reclusive and kept to themselves, and the father had forbidden Hannah from meeting anyone from the outside world. This didn’t bode well with Zach who had barely found a new friend, who he was clearly attracted to. On many occasions, he tried to get Hannah out of the house and defy the old man, and one night when he believes he sees the father beating her, he rushes into their house which would only go on to lead to a whole lot of crazy and spooky.
The story successfully sells the plot of how the books written by R.L.Stine are actually true; the original manuscripts possessed the monsters that were described in them and if those manuscripts were to be opened, it would unleash the monster present within. Zach along with his goofy, nerdy friend, Champ (Ryan Lee) make the mistake of opening the book titled, The Abominable Snowman of Pasadena, releasing the 10ft monster in to the tiny little house of Hannah. A wild escapade entails the releasing of the snowman, and the kids barely survive when the old man, manages to suck the snowman back into the book he originally belonged in. While they all are heading back home, Zach identifies the old man as R.L.Stine (Played by Jack Black). Stine explains why he had to start and then stop writing and how his typewriter had a magical power to bring his characters to life. As they reach Stine’s place, they find Slappy (Voiced by Jack Black) sitting at his desk. Slappy personally has always creeped me out and seeing him in this movie only aggravated that sentiment. The mysterious thunder-teleportation, the violent sense of fun and pure psychopathy. But in this movie, he somewhat reminded me of The Joker at certain points, which was definitely a plus. Slappy releases all of Stine’s characters and burns their original manuscripts leaving no way for them to go back into the world of fiction. From here the movie only gets more intense, yet funnier. I found one significant loophole. To avoid spoilers, I shall keep this as discreet as possible, when Stine manages to suck all the characters back into the world of fiction, he ensures all his characters go back in, but in the end The Invisible Boy stays back. Talking about that, I love how the writers have brought in a new take on the stories of R.L. Stine but have also managed to keep the original essence of the books, the twists, the unexpected developments and essentially, never a happy ending; it always ended with something the characters overlooked, a mistake.
Jack Black, is simply excellent. After all he is Jack Black. I didn’t peg him to pull of this role to be honest, but boy, he did it in an excellent manner. There is a cool cameo by the original R.L.Stine in the movie too as the Mr. Black, the drama teacher. It’s a cool pun at how both these individuals changed their roles in the movie. Mr. Black, the drama teacher/actor became Mr. Stine, the author/writer and Mr. Stine, the author/writer became Mr. Black the drama teacher. The last half an hour of the movie is simply too gripping and you’ll find yourself at the edge of your seats till the very end. This movie isn’t complete horror, but has a lot of comedy and satire to go with it, making it an enjoyable movie for all ages.The costume and make up are simply excellent and the animation only adds to amazing work the make-up artists have done. Seeing the monsters come back into my life only makes me happy but also makes me wish, at no point in my life do I ever want to encounter them. The movie as usual ends with a twist, leaving scope for a sequel. What more can I say about this movie? Classic Goosebumps.
My rating for Goosebumps: 8.6/10
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