As a 90s baby, I love nostalgia. That is exactly what I was expecting to experience as I watched the first trailer for “Goosebumps.” This movie, based on the soft-horror novel series for children released in the 1990s, was a new spin on the old tales.
As an avid reader of the novels, I had high hopes for the first film debut of “Goosebumps.”
Newly widowed Gale and her son, Nick make the big move from New York to Madison, Del. to take a position as a vice principle at Nick’s new high school. The movie plot begins as Nick is unloading boxes and has his first run-in with his exceedingly creepy neighbor, Mr. Shivers. He warns Nick to stay on his side of the fence — a foretelling for the rest of the movie. A few nights later, as Nick takes the trash out, he meets Hannah. Hannah is the “girl next door” in the movie. She is off-limits but in danger, or so Nick thinks. As they sneak out and begin the classic pre-teen love story, Nick begins to realize that Hannah is not like other girls. After hearing many screams come from the creepy house next door, Nick believes it is his job to save Hannah from her incredibly scary dad.
Despite Shivers’s many warnings to stay away, Nick and his new friend, Champ, decide to break into the house and free Hannah, only to reveal the secret that Mr. Shivers is not who he says he is. As they enter the library of the house, the boys are met with hundreds of old, locked up “Goosebumps” manuscripts.
“The Abominable Snowman of Pasadena!!” Champ exclaims as he picks up his favorite of the Goosebumps series.
Though Nick doesn’t want to, Champ is relentless about unlock
-ing the novel until he finally caves.
With the key in hand, he unlocks the book. With that, a monster is released. It turns out that each story holds the characters within, causing the kids quite a bit of turmoil. With their leader, Slappy the Dummy — quite arguably Stine’s scariest creation — leading the pack, the chaos begins.
The nostalgia portrayed in the movie is low, but for good reasons. It is a movie that draws in a new audience, while slightly throwing puns at the old one. As I watched the familiar characters destroy the town of Madison, I did not feel like I was re-reading the books or re-watching the show. I was being told a new, ex citing story.
The film’s PG rating is quite fair with the creepiness of the movie balanced out by its humor. It is wonderful to see Jack Black in another comedy for kids. “Goosebumps” may not be the next “Nacho Libre,” but it definitely was a success.
Selina Pohl is a sophomore nursing major. This review reflects the view of the writer only.