Goosebumps: Movie Review

"Goosebumps" could have easily been a disaster. On paper, it has the makings of one run-of-the-mill and uninspired big screen adaptation of a franchise that, by itself, is already past its prime. But as it turns out, "Goosebumps" is one of the biggest surprises this year. What audiences will get is the perfect balance of spine-chilling fear, family-friendly scenes and on-cue humor to enthrall and please any age group.

Zach Cooper (Dylan Minnette) is upset about moving from the big city to a small suburb town worsened by the fact that their neighbor is a complete nut job. Their neighbor is not only over-protective about his property but also his own daughter Hannah (Odeya Rush). As Zach starts to slowly build a relationship with Hannah, he soon discovers that her father holds a dangerous secret: not only is he R.L. Stine (Jack Black) but the creatures that his stories made famous are real and unleashed when their books are opened. When Stine’s creations are unintentionally released from their manuscripts, Zach’s life takes a turn for the weird. In a crazy night of adventure, it’s up to Zach, Hannah, Champ (Ryan Lee) and Stine to team up and get all of these figments of Stine’s imagination back in the books where they belong.

Let's set things straight, if you expect "Goosebumps" to scare you out of your wits then it will leave you extremely disappointed. "Goosebumps" more than anything else is designed to cater to younger audiences meaning it won't be too dark, too gritty or too scary. What it delivers, and it delivers extremely well, is the perfect balance of scares, laughs and twists to keep you on your toes. The story itself is, to be frank, quite normal. It doesn't really break any molds and it has its fair share of loopholes and forced resolutions. It even fails to bank on a solid "twist ending" that the movie ever so slightly leans on from time to time. But what makes the magic is the chemistry between the leads, the frenetic pace of the sequences and solid visuals. "Goosebumps" kept everything simple, neat and fast and that's probably why we really enjoyed it. It knew what it was, embraced it wholly and did what it needed to do to make everything interesting.

Rating: 4 reels

Why you should watch it:
- perfect balance of scares, laughs and twists
- one of the bigger surprises this year

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- the story fails to be more than usual

Photos courtesy of Columbia Pictures.



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