Saturday, October 31, 2015

Review: Goosebumps (2015)

             'Goosebumps' Might Give You Those, But For The Right Reasons

          It's days like this where I love what I do. I can review a film that manages to live up to my expectations and isn't a film that is super serious or too deep. Just a fun time to watch and that is what Goosebumps is.

   Goosebumps follows the story of a boy named Zach (Dylan Minnette) who moves into a small town with his mother (Amy Ryan). Living next door is the mysterious author R.L. Stine (Jack Black) and his daughter Hanna (Odeya Rush). After breaking into Stine's house and opening one of his sealed Goosebumps books, the rest of his books come to life, leading to a night of adventure and horror.

   I thought the actors did a fine job. Dylan Minnette, I think is on his way to bigger things because he is so charismatic and likable here as the main protagonist. While Jack Black is marketed as the lead, it is mainly Minnette's movie. Speaking of which, I though Jack Black was pretty good. I'm usually not fond of his brand of humor, but I didn’t mind him here. Amy Ryan isn't given much to do, but she does a solid job with what she is given. But Jillian Bell was a real scene stealer as Zach's aunt Lorraine. She has a handful of scenes, but she was a riot whenever she appeared.

    I also liked the CGI on some of the monsters. My favorite monster in the film was the Werewolf of Fever Swamp. I liked how they had him walk on two legs and gave him people clothes to acknowledge the fact that he is a werewolf. Also, the Werewolf of Fever Swamp is my second favorite episode of the TV series, right behind The Haunted Mask, so that could also be why I loved the creature so much.

    As a fan of the series, I was hoping they'd include the Haunted Mask because it is my favorite episode (Then, now, and forever, might I add). But to be fair, there are so many monsters in the series, it's difficult to focus on all of them. Maybe in the potential sequel, we'll see it. Also, I admit that it does take a short while for things to really pick up and for the main events to really be set in motion.

   Overall, Goosebumps is a solid treat for the family that is a fun adventurous romp and a nice nod to fans of the source material. It's not anything ground breaking, but it doesn't need to be. It's simply a fun time at the movies.

Grade: B+

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