Upset about moving from the big city to a small town, young Zach Cooper (Dylan Minnette) finds a silver lining when he meets his beautiful neighbor Hannah (Odeya Rush). The teen is surprised to learn that Hannah’s mysterious father is R.L. Stine (Jack Black), the famous author of the best-selling “Goosebumps” series. When Zach accidentally unleashes the monsters from the fantastic tales, it’s up to Stine, his daughter and Cooper to return the beasts back to the books where they belong. (c) Sony
I wasn’t having high expectation seeing this film as the trailer alone already gave you an idea that even though this is loosely based on the 90’s TV show of the same title, the movie is a family movie fit for the Halloween month. I got to say the movie was entertaining as it gave me some nostalgia from the characters that I was once familiar but disappointed is a little way as the original TV show was really a creepy and scary (kiddie or a teen-type of a scare) and they completely eradicated it to be kid-friendly film. Let us be honest though to say that this entire flick is cliche from start to finish. The CGI’s used were not neatly polished to look like realistic which lessen that scary experience I had on that TV show. It has all the formula of a family movie and the kids will love this as there are non-stop adventure, comedy and fantasy. I love how the cinematography balanced the atmosphere of thrill and lightness. The score also helped bring tension during chase scenes.
I love the chemistry of the lead characters especially between Dylan and Odeya. The comedic timing of Champ brought in more laughs and hilarity to the film and Jack Black’s portrayal of the characters was effective especially with the voice of Slappy and Invisible Boy but he could have given a little push to be more mysterious as R.L. Stine. I love the twist they made but that ending scene somehow reminded me of a scene from Casper (live-action movie)… well the whole film is reminiscent to Jumanji! And don’t forget to miss that very short cameo of the real R.L. Stine!
Overall, I will give the movie 3 out of 5 stars for being engaging and effective as I wanted to kick Slappy off the fire for him to shut up! They could have fined tune the visual effect and CGI to really give a better movie experience. Also, I would love to see a different take on this and turn it into a more serious, gritty and scary film to spice things up as the characters are really promising considering their mythology is definitely dark.
Photo credits to Sony and Columbia Pictures.