How can you mess up Goosebumps? Seriously Sony, how?
When RL Stine released his first Goosebumps book Welcome to Dead House in 1992 a phenomenon was born. From that came video games, a TV show, spinoffs and lots of merchandise. A movie was inevitable, so when a Goosebumps movie was announced starring Jack Black and Stine people went nuts. The end result was a huge upset.
Zach has just moved from a small apartment in New York City to a giant house in Delaware. His next door neighbor is a bit of an oddball with a hot daughter. When Zach decides to break into the house after he suspects she is being abused he inadvertently releases monsters from the Goosebumps books. Now he, the girl and his neighbor who is actually RL Stine must return all the monsters to their rightful books.
This movie is your typical family comedy series with all the trappings front and center. We have the new kid, the weird aunt, the dead parent, the super busy parent, the unfunny annoying comedy relief friend and the eccentric. The writing does absolutely nothing to flesh out these characters, nor does it try to make any of them act like actual humans.
The movie tried very hard to build up the fact that Jack Black was RL Stine, but every advertisement for this movie ruined that. As for how Black played Stine, he didn’t. He played Black. No, seriously. All they did was put obvious Real D 3D glasses on him and called him Stine. Now that we got that out of the way, this movie has successfully made Jack Black not funny. The material Black was given is so basic, cliche and trite that not even he was able to salvage it.
The other characters are so bland and one dimensional that they’re not worth talking about except for Champ, the comedy relief friend. He is annoying, unfunny and adds nothing to the plot. The only “development” the character gets is that he gets the girl at the end in a very contrived way. He can be written out of the story and nothing will change.
The plot is super predictable. We all know when everything is going to happen, who’s going to do it and everything is resolved by a convenient coincidence. The movie also has all these horror characters, but there was nothing scary happening in the movie. Even hardcore Goosebumps fans like me admit the books aren’t scary. The humor is also not funny because the jokes are typical of the horribly written kids sitcom genre. The movie even gives us the happy ending and how the day is saved is one of the stupidest things you’ll ever see.
One major thing of note here is that the movie loves to suck the dick of Goosebumps. There are scenes where the movie says how great the books are, how many copies they sold worldwide and how great of a writer Stine is. There’s even a jab at Stephen King where Stine says King wished he can write the amount of books Stine wrote. The thing is the average length of a Goosebumps book is 120 pages and they all pretty much have the same plot. These books are so easy to write that fans have even written their own Goosebumps books.
The Goosebumps movie has a terrible plot, writing, characters and humor. Say what you want about the Goosebumps TV show, but at least we can laugh at how over the top the show is. Here, everything just seems so by the numbers. This is not the movie Goosebumps fans wanted.