Goosebumps (2015) – movie review

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Do you want to see an army of insanely creative vicious monsters dismember every living human they see? Well is The Cabin in the Woods the film for you!

Goosebumps is an adventure film based on the novel series of the same name following three teenagers and Goosebumps author R.L. Stine (played by Jack Black) as they attempt to capture an array of Goosebumps characters that have been unleashed upon Madison, Delaware after they’d been released from their books.

As the child who believed more in the Grim Reaper than Santa Claus, I loved reading Goosebumps as a kid. I was fascinated by the horror genre and the endless creativity of the characters within them and to read a book series dedicated specifically to just that, was amazing! To hear that they were making a film about the horror book series was even more amazing! To see that the film wasn’t even remotely close to being a horror was saddening. Very saddening indeed.

Goosebumps is a PG rated family adventure film. Don’t let the fact that it’s based on a horror series fool you. Goosebumps is a PG rated family adventure film. It may be a good PG rated family adventure film, but it is still a PG rated family adventure film.

The reason I use the word “good” instead of “great” is because of one very large reason; threat. There is no threat in Goosebumps. Despite having a werewolf to the left, a snowman to the right and an army of zombies in the center, I did not feel for one moment that any characters were in danger. There is as much threat in Goosebumps as there is in punching your pillow with snow gloves on.

Goosebumps used up so many monsters that could’ve been used in horror scenarios but they just weren’t. The only monster that was kind of threatening to the characters and the one monster that I was actually kind of scared of was Slappy the Living Dummy. He was creepy. If Goosebumps had taken out every single monster except Slappy, replaced the PG rating with an M rating, replaced every character with just R.L. Stine, it would’ve been a much better film.

Despite my massive disappointment with genre and the fact that the main characters could’ve moonwalked to the end of the film without trouble, Goosebumps is enjoyable. The adventure itself in Goosebumps may not be thrilling but it is entertaining and light.

Jack Black is great as R.L. Stine and as the voice of Slappy the Living Dummy whereas the rest of the cast were just a bit above passable. The directing in Goosebumps is okay and the cinematography does bring out as much colour in every frame as it can. The soundtrack is slightly repetitive but it does suit the mood. And the CGI for the monsters is cartoony, but fun to look at.

It had a lot of potential in creativity that it didn’t quite use and the monsters (however cool and colourful they make look) don’t pose any threat whatsoever but Goosebumps is an okay adventure that’s enjoyable and a light watch from start to finish.

What did you think of Goosebumps? Leave your comment on the side and don’t forget to follow my Instagram page for movie posters.

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