What’s it about?
When teenage Zach (Dylan Minnette) moves to a small town, he soon discovers that his new neighbour Hannah (Odeya Rush) and her father, novelist R.L. Stine (Jack Black) are keeping a spooky secret.
What did we think?
Amy Currie says: This adaptation of the popular Goosebumps series starts promisingly enough. The opening scenes are quite self-aware and genuinely funny in a family-friendly sort of way, and Jillian Bell’s Aunt Lorraine character is a standout. Sadly, it soon starts to turn into a Buzzfeed listicle of 15 Crazy Monsters You Might Remember From Goosebumps (Number Nine Will Shock You!). Nostalgia can’t keep it from lagging, Jack Black’s usual intense-eyes-wacky-voice shtick is as grating as ever and by the inevitable final confrontation I was bored. It’s worth pointing out that I’m not ten, though, and the kids in the audience seemed pretty into it. It’s not brilliant, but there are worse family films.
1 comment on “Goosebumps”
Millennials who grew up reading the original stories will enjoy identifying the copious references. They’ll also like the first half, which simultaneously mimics the narrative style of the books and makes light of it via a solid cast that includes Black, Jillian Bell and Ken Marino. Nonetheless, it winds up a series of sluggish action scenes and forgettable characters, becoming laughable in unintended ways. I’d only give it 2½ stars.