I was excited for today’s film when I saw that it was available at my local Redbox location. I was a huge fan of the Goosebumps book series that came out in the 90’s from R.L. Stine and I was excited for the film version which stars Jack Black (High Fidelity) as R.L. Stine. Zach (Dylan Minnette) and his mother Gale (Amy Ryan) are trying to start fresh in a new town when they move to Madison, DE. While at the new home, Zach meets his neighbor Hanna (Odeya Rush) and her weird over protective father (Black). One night, Zach swore that he heard a scream coming from Hanna’s house so with the help of his skittish new friend Champ (Ryan Lee), they’ll go over to investigate, but trouble lurks ahead for them. The boys by accidentally let out the monsters from R.L. Stine’s Books and one them named Slappy the Ventriloquist doll (voiced by Jack Black) will stop at nothing to rid the world of Stine to ensure they can never be trapped again. The film also stars Jillian Bell (22 Jump Street) as Lorraine, Halston Sage (Neighbors) as Taylor, Ken Marino (Role Models) as Coach Carr, Timothy Simons (The Interview) as Officer Stevens, and even a cameo by R.L. Stine himself.
I was wondering going in to watching this film whether I would let a child see it because these were children’s horror stories. After watching it, I would say that I think it would be OK, but be watchful of some scenes depending on the age of your child because there is a werewolf, Zombies, a creepy clown, and much more. The movie overall was fun and cool to see come to life. I was weary of how Jack Black was going to do and he did fine in the film. He wasn’t an over top goofball like he can be which was pleasant to see. I loved the combination of Dylan Minnette who plays the strong type and Ryan Lee who is a complete chicken. Yes I know it’s very stereotypical cannon, but there is a reason why it’s around because it works. Just ask Scooby Doo! The monsters were very cool to see and there was plenty of action, comedy, and suspense to keep you going through the whole film. I had a lot of laughs as I watched in suspense and the set design was what was even better. I loved the scenes in the old fairgrounds that they have in the film. It’s visually stunning in my opinion especially when you throw some monsters in it. There’s also a little bit of a love story, but don’t worry cause it’s not overpowering. Just a nice little touch thrown in by the writers. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.