R. L. Stine's famous fictional novels, Goosebumps, comes to life in this movie starring Jack Black. In case you didn't know, Goosebumps is a series of young adult horror novellas with some of the greatest imaginary demons ever put to print. These are the types of novels that would keep you up at night, scared out of your wits, with things that go "bump in the night."
The premise of the film is simple. What would happen if these demons were to come to life in the real world? That sounds very familiar to another movie doesn't it? Do you remember the movie, Jumanji, starring Robin Williams? Same idea, same premise, however Jumanji was a far better movie.
The problem I had with this movie was that it was too heavily concentrated on just a few of the characters from the Goosebumps novels. The real actors took a second seat to a select few animated characters. Once released into the real world, the animated characters took over the movie and it seemed way too simplistic to put them back where they belong. The ventriloquist dummy, “Slappy”, takes over as the starring role of the film.
However, in the movie, Jumanji, there was a much better balance between the live actors and their animated counterparts. I felt more connected with Jumanji than I did at any time during Goosebumps.
Spoiler alert: The inside 'gag' in Goosebumps is where the real R.L. Stein passes Jack Black in the hallway and says "Hello Mr. Stein," and Jack retorts: "Hello Mr. Black". At least there was one redeeming scene in this movie.
If you're young, you will like this movie for the characters and the animation. If you are really young, you’re going to have nightmares. If you’re old, just sit through it—your kids will appreciate it.