Teenager Zach (Dylan Minnette) crushes over the mysterious girl-next-door Hannah (Odeya Rush), just as weird things start to happen in the neighbourhood. Her overprotective dad (Jack Black) forbids her from fraternising with Zach so he and his friend Champ (Ryan Hall) go investigating. What they uncover threatens to destroy the town of Madison, Delaware as Stine’s imaginary creatures are brought to life and set free to wreck havoc.
Horror author R. L. Stine has delivered many memorable stories for young adults over the years. The Goosebumps movie follows suit and delights throughout.
Jack Black is excellent as R.L. Stine and brings a natural energy and zany attitude to the table. This is balanced up against Dylan Minnette who makes for a solid lead as does Odeya Rush, who really feels like a younger version of Mila Kunis, both in looks and performance. Both work off Jack Black very well and create a good dynamic. Throw in solid support from Ryan Lee, Jillian Bell, Amy Ryan and the awesome Halston Sage and you have a great ensemble.
The scares of Goosebumps hark back to a gloriously spooky era of old. The style of the film is really good and evokes the classic series along with films like Jumanji. If there is a criticism to be levelled, it’s that it doesn’t utilise a lot of their best monsters properly. But then maybe they are waiting to do that for a sequel? It’s possible – especially if audiences take to this tale.
With Jack Black on great form, not only as Stine but as the voice of Slappy and Invisible Boy, Goosebumps is a great family adventure with plenty of spectacular effects and laughs along the way. Anyone who remembers the books and show will no doubt love what they’ve done with the cinematic version. Light scares and kooky fun for all of the family, Goosebumps is a fun way to pass an afternoon.
Cast: Jack Black, Dylan Minnette, Odeya Rush, Ryan Lee, Amy Ryan, Jillian Bell, Halston Sage Director: Rob Letterman Writer: Darren Lemke (screenplay), Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski (story), R.L. Stine (Goosebumps books) Released By: Sony Pictures Certificate: PG Duration: 103 mins Release Date: 30th May 2016