What happens when you want to make a horror movie for kids? Goosebumps. That’s what you get.
I’m not going to criticize the film right out of the corner- after all, its meant to be for kids anyway, and the trailer makes it clear in a really big way. Here’s a brief idea on what this whole thing’s about- you see, there’s this guy named R.L. Stine (No, he isn’t fictional), who created a whole series of books which are geared towards little children out there. It follows young protagonists who find themselves in all types of trouble, due to a variety of monsters. Every book will have a separate one-off storyline, which features kids being terrorized by monsters, which will leave readers with nightmares. Oh, and these monsters include the Abominable Snowman, Aldebaranians, Dr. Eeek, Egg monsters….. you should have the idea. For those who still don’t get what this means, simple- ghosts, snowman, mummy, aliens, vampire and almost everything you will associate with a horror movie (and whatever can scare a kid). But this being Hollywood, surely someone has to go bigger. I mean, in today’s age, who will care about following a storyline from only one book? When you can combine them all in one? Isn’t it more funs to have a ‘monsters’ team-up?
Hence, Sony is going to bring you just that. And here’s the actual plot.
‘After moving into a small town, a teenage boy named Zach Cooper meets Hannah, his new neighbor. Hannah’s uncle, R.L. Stine, who writes the Goosebumps stories, keeps all the ghosts and monsters in the series locked up in his manuscriples. Zach unintentionally releases the ghouls and the monsters from the manuscripts. Now Zach, Hannah, and Stine team up in order to put the monsters back where they came from, before it’s too late.’
Yeah. This is a film about unleashing your creations into the real world. Which begs me to ask this- why exactly did he write those in the first place? And keep writing and writing and writing? Does he derive pleasure from this? Is he a psychopath?
For those begging for a more mature version of this, and a more grounded and serious one, its sad to say that you won’t find what you wish here. Despite the fact that most of its readers have already outgrown the series, it looks like this is meant to appeal to whatever little kids are following the later installments. All adults just looking to relive their childhood.
Jack Black is coming back after having been missing from the scene for a number of years by now. I haven’t noticed him lately, and even if he does, only in small cameos which are quickly forgotten. Sending him into the lead this time has both its pros and cons- he has always been a funny man, easily being comic relief, but his star power just isn’t there, though that problem is more or less non-existent, considering kids and teens don’t really care about the stars that power the film. After all, these days, it’s not about the stars that matter. It’s about the quality (and the amount of visual effects they can throw).
By opening in the October frame, right around the Halloween period, it really is going to be a huge stand-out- its definitely the only ‘horror’ movie that appeals to kids and families of all ages, unlike the adult-only Paranormal Activity and The Last Witch Hunter, and the ‘too creepy for kids to enjoy’ Crimson Peak. Its going to get a boost by launching in that period alone, and definitely has the potential to open tops in the otherwise jam-packed October. The trailer definitely looks really fun, with ‘monsters going loose everywhere’ being a highlight. Many comparisons are being drawn to Pixels, releasing later this month about a group of video game masters going on an adventure to capture all their favourite video game characters, all in ‘Godzilla’ mode. This one indeed looks real similar, with giant Grasshopper and angry knife-throwing, hammer-smashing Gnomes, and a giant Yeti like creature which is named Abominable Snowman. Oh and there’s a werewolf too. Okay, not really that similar, since its monsters are of different sizes. This one, though, is rated PG, unlike Pixels PG-13, which you can kinda derive by watching the trailer (definitely looks way more kid friendly, the wordings and general atmosphere). However, this kinda reminds me of Frankenweenie released 3 years ago. That black-white stop motion animated film ended off with a couple of revived giant mutilated creatures wrecking havoc on the small town upon reaching the climax. That comparison is made only by me, though. However, one thing to end off with before proceeding on to the trailer- this is going to be the one stand-out in the otherwise adult-skewing dramas/horror movies which are dominating the cineplexes, and award season contenders scattered throughout the calendar. Here it goes, anyway. The trailer you have been waiting for (once again as a ‘thank you’ note for reading all of this. But if you skipped right here, I just gotta say one word. Dammit.”)
Goosebumps is bumping its way around you, while unleashing ‘nightmares’ on 16th October 2015. Catch it if you enjoyed this.