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Film Review: 'Goosebumps'

Adrianne Ramsey |
October 18, 2015 | 12:02 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

"Goosebumps" brought scares and laughs to the big screen (Columbia Pictures)
"Goosebumps" brought scares and laughs to the big screen (Columbia Pictures)
With the  “Goosebumps” movie coming to the big screen, it's hard for avid readers of scary novels not to see it. It was a  a job well done. Adaptations of book series can be controversial due to changes that writers sometimes make, but something the writers for “Goosebumps” did very well was know to not mess with a good thing. 

The premise of the story takes place from the perspective of Zach (Dylan Minette), a new kid in town who stumbles upon Hannah (Odeya Rush), whom he immediately develops a crush on. However, he is disturbed by her overprotective and mysterious father (Jack Black). Surprise, surprise as Hannah’s father turns out to be no other than R.L. Stine, the author of the famed "Goosebumps" series. While investigating Stine’s house, Zach and his new friend Champ (Ryan Lee) accidentally unlock manuscripts containing real versions of the monsters. Stine and Hannah come home to the madness, and in the ensuing chaos, more monsters are released. They seek revenge on Stine for locking them up and set out to destroy the town. Now it's up to Hannah, Stine, Zach and Champ to be the heroes and save everyone. A little cliché, but a good story nonetheless. 

READ MORE: Retro Movie Review: 'Batman Returns' 

The best, laugh-out-loud parts of the movie had to be when the monsters would appear out of nowhere and attack. There was consistently a high level of intensity and suspense throughout the film. However, there were predictable moments, such as Hannah and Zach's obvious transition from being friends to becoming friendlier, as well as Champ's character. Champ is a socially awkward, bullied student whom Zach befriends, and his role is clearly to be the unforseen zero. There were many moments when Zach and Hannah pushing Champ out of his comfort zone to help save the day, another typical cliche. However, what makes this movie interesting despite its predictability is it's theme of what's real and what's not. None of these montsters could actually be real in the actual world; yet, you are also kept guessing at the true intent of Hannah's character. Why is she so withdrawn in some scenes but very helpful in others? Why does she turn blue in the moonlight? Even though the film could be predictable, it was in the last half hour that things really progressed, where the perfect plot twist was introduced. 

In the film’s hour and a half run time, horror, laughs, romance and secrets from not only the past, but the future are revealed. While this initially sounds like a crammed film, the filmmakers did a pretty good job at not making these concepts become muddled. "Goosebumps" moves at a frantic pace and includes enough spooky material that kids will be delighted and adults will not be bored. It was also refreshing to see Jack Black not only acting in a more mature, adult role, but also looking the part. While Rush, Minette, and Lee are fairly well known in the acting world, this film will most likely propel their careers to a new height and on a good status. 

Verdict: go see it. If you haven’t read the book series, still see the film. It’s a great Halloween movie that doesn’t disappoint and gives a good name to the original books. "Goosebumps" was able to create a mold of being a family-friendly film as well as a movie that college students may want to check out for a fun night with friends. 

Reach Staff Reporter Adrianne Ramsey here



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