By Aric Sweeny
Zach, the new kid in town, sneaks into his neighbor Hannah’s house and finds a bookshelf full of “Goosebumps” manuscripts. Accidentally opening one up and unleashing the abominable snow monster, Zach, Champ, Hannah and her father (R.L. Stine, the author of all the “Goosebumps” manuscripts) must find a way to contain the beast and get the monster back inside the book. Little did they know, however, that during the monster’s destruction of the house, the book containing Slappy the Dummy was accidentally opened, giving way to every Goosebumps monster ever created to be let out into the real world. Now, it is up to the 4 of them to find a way to get all these creatures back inside their respective stories.
We have all come to know and love Jack Black, but his portrayal of R.L. Stine was a bit off. No, I’m not saying it was a bad performance, just a bit overacted. He seemed to be doing the signature Jack Black voice that he does in just about every role, and it didn’t work very well.
I never thought I’d be saying this, but Jack Black was actually the heart of this film, rather than the comedic lead.
The highlight of “Goosebumps” was just the spectacle of seeing all these characters I remember reading about come to life on the screen. It was apparent that the director had a good deal of knowledge regarding the book franchise, as there was references, nods and easter eggs to a lot creatures that have been written about. The way they handled Slappy the Dummy was done exceptionally well, with him and Stine being counterparts of each other. I bought into the love story of Hannah and Zach, but felt that they spent too much time on it.
Like all films, there is negatives to go with the positives. The ending was cheesy and predictable. I won’t spoil it for you, but it was obviously just a ploy to ensure a sequel if the film was successful. The CGI looked rough at times, especially with the scenes involving the abominable snow monster. It was quite an entertaining film, but the script was poor at times. I actually predicted the dialogue in certain scenes, which is just an obvious sign of laziness from the writers.
“Goosebumps” is an entertaining adventure movie, with an abundance of nostalgia filled scenes for anyone who has read the novels. Although it has its flaws, it is a fun time nonetheless.
Rating: 3.5/5 STARS
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