R. L. Stine is known as the Stephen King of children’s literature with a huge list of stories published under various titles like Fear Street, Rotten School, Mostly Ghostly and Goosebumps which is where the title of the film is taken from.
Goosebumps is based on the works of R. L. Stine but it doesn’t seem like a adoption of a book or story from him. It is more like a re-imagination of the characters created by him with some real life characters added.
The story is of a boy Zach who moves into this small town of Madison, Delaware with his Mom. The neighbor is a beautiful girl Hannah who befriends with him, but her eccentric Dad keeps interrupting and threatening Zach. Suspicion takes Zach into the house along with his new buddy Champ where they accidently unlock a book that releases a giant snowman. There after it is a rollercoaster ride of various fictional monsters getting released from the books and the whole town getting devastated by them. The writer Dad who is R. L. Stine creator of the books (Jack Black) is running, escaping the monsters along with the three kids trying to figure out way to get rid of these creatures.
The movie takes its time to build up the premise and the mysteriousness of the Stine house, however I found it as a waste of time as it was pretty much pre established by the trailers itself. Still once the monsters are released it is no stopping.
It is fun to watch the imaginative creatures on the screen live though there are very few of the creatures that do create an impact and establish a scare. Unlike the name there are very few scares in the film probably as the target is children.
Jack Black is in full form and the humor laced screenplay will definitely tickle your funny bone. All the supporting cast is adequate for the story.
I was a little disappointed as I found a lack of creativity in the whole solution, it could be my limited knowledge of Stine’s work as well but the single tracked solution didn’t resonate with me.
Overall this is a fun watch for the kids if they are aware of the scary stories from Stine.