Many of us can remember wrapping ourselves in a blanket, intently listening while our mom read us a “scary” “Goosebumps” story. The tales weren’t very frightening, but as a 7 year old, they were scary enough. I wasn’t scared enough to need to sleep with my parents like I was after watching “Blade”. Now, with the release of the “Goosebumps” movie, I can take a trip back to when my mom read those stories, a time where “frightening” things weren’t so frightening.
I have long left these memories of “Goosebumps” and made the drastic switch to movies like “Paranormal Activity” and “Nightmare on Elm Street”. Movies that I watch now are actually scary. So, when “Goosebumps” was released I knew I would enjoy the nostalgic Halloween film.
Going into the theater I expected a sentimental experience. I wanted nothing less than to be reminded of one of my favorite childhood book series. At first I was caught off guard by the approach of the movie, but once the plot started to unfold, it became more clear to me. It wasn’t a simple interpretation of a book in the series like I had expected it to be, instead it was more of a story about the stories. It was a mash up of the series’ monsters together, and this time their target was R.L. Stine, the author of the goosebumps series, portrayed by Jack Black. The monsters are let loose into a modern world where a group of high schoolers are sent to capture and return them to their stories. I was expecting more of a rendition of one of the novels, but It was nice to see an original take on “Goosebumps”.
Within the movie, there’s romance between two characters, Zach and Hannah. I can’t say I was surprised that there was a romantic subplot. With a mysterious new neighbor named Hannah, the leading character, Zach, is enticed not only by her, but her odd and cryptic dad as well. All signs pointed to a relationship between the neighbors. Yet, I’m not sure that this added anything to the movie.
It was easy to tell that they tried to add more intricacy in the plot, but the result was a movie primarily focused on the monsters. Although it was relaxing to watch the movie, I was never really spooked. The plot was easy to follow and suitable for young audiences, just like the books. I realized watching a Halloween movie and not being scared is just as much, if not more fun, than watching other horror movies. It’s entertaining and gets you in the spirit for Halloween, yet you can look forward to not being paranoid that ghosts are haunting your house.
The movie allowed me to reminisce on my childhood and walk back to my car without feeling like someone was following me. Horror movies are great to get your adrenaline flowing, but it’s refreshing to be able to see a scary movie that is more sentimental than frightening. I couldn’t think of a better way to kick off Halloween.