Rather than straight adaptation of a particular Goosebumps tale, the Jack Black-starrer has opted for an all-out attack. Black plays creator and author R.L. Stine, whose creatures come to life when unlocked from their original manuscripts. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Goosebumps trailer then presents an all-night romp, rather than a creeper for kids akin to the book and 90s TV series.
Which is something of a bummer! Without putting the books on too much of a pedestal, they were certainly important for a lot of kids getting into monsters, creatures and horror. They were silly all around of course, but rooted in being a fun, spooky experience for adolescents. It doesn’t seem director Rob Letterman has similar aspirations, especially with largely digital creations.
In the film, “Upset about moving from a big city to a small town, teenager Zach Cooper (Dylan Minnette) finds a silver lining when he meets the beautiful girl, Hannah (Odeya Rush), living right next door. But every silver lining has a cloud, and Zachs comes when he learns that Hannah has a mysterious dad who is revealed to be R. L. Stine (Jack Black), the author of the bestselling Goosebumps series. It turns out that there is a reason why Stine is so strange he is a prisoner of his own imagination the monsters that his books made famous are real, and Stine protects his readers by keeping them locked up in their books. When Zach unintentionally unleashes the monsters from their manuscripts and they begin to terrorize the town, its suddenly up to Stine, Zach, and Hannah to get all of them back in the books where they belong.”
For more on Goosebumps, Shock spoke with Stine last month and the author selected 10 Essential Goosebumps Books for us. Goosebumps is out October 16th.