R.L. Stine’s ‘Goosebumps’ will literally raise the hairs on your arms (Review)

Jackson Hoch

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(From left to right) Jack Black, Odeya Rush and Dylan Minnette. Photo from the official movie website.

I used to love the Goosebumps book/television series as a kid, mainly because I loved the thrill of a good scare. R.L. Stine, who wrote the books and had a large part in the production of the show, knew how to connect with kids without making the content too horrifying, and his books and movies still impress both children and adults today.

Yet I was worried when I heard about this Goosebumps movie, mainly because it had been so long since Goosebumps had been something that was widely discussed and also because many new movie spin offs of old shows and ideas that used to be really good end up getting ruined by being reprised again. After watching the 2015 film Goosebumps though I now know that there really was nothing to fear. 

The movie was everything it should have been. It was at times scary yet quirky, and it brought together all of Stine’s characters in the best way it could from his series and television show. The movie reminded me of why I loved the series to begin with: Goosebumps mixes comedy and horror brilliantly that can be enjoyed by kids of all ages.

The acting was also for the most part well done during the film. While I wouldn’t call the acting brilliant, it was everything it needed to be. I was impressed mainly how many characters Stine was able to bring back for this film such as Slappy from “Night of the Living Dummy,” The Abominable Snowman from “The Abominable Snowman of Pasadena,” and even those nasty lawn gnomes from “Revenge of the Lawn Gnomes,” just to name a few.

Additionally, there are new stories mixed into the old ones as well, such as love interests between characters, dramatic realizations, flashbacks and much more.

R.L. Stine even makes a cameo in the film which adds a nice touch. The film on a larger scale is even more about his life and his own demons and how that’s played a role in his writing.

For any fan of Goosebumps, young or old, this movie will delight you, bringing back fond memories and possibly even create some new ones. Any film that can do that is worthy of being called a success.