Movie Reviews / Reviews

Movie Reviews: Goosebumps

Rating: 8/10
Recommended for: Families with kids ages 9+

“There are three distinctive parts in a story, the beginning, the middle, and the twist!”

These words are spoken by Jack Black who plays the horror writer R.L Stein in the latest “Goosebumps” movie, and they tell exactly how this movie unfolds. So hold onto your seat and get ready to be thrilled!

The original “Goosebumps” series came out in 1992. It contained 62 books and all sorts of monsters and ghouls were presented to the audience. The hair-raising plots kept fans captivated. The original books were followed by six more series, comic books, a TV series, and now a live action movie. The movie was released on Oct. 16, 2015, and is directed by Rob Letterman. Original and new fans alike are going to love the newest member to the “Goosebumps” family.

Any “Goosebumps” fan can remember the books being full of twists and turns, you never really knew what was going to happen next. This story is about a teenager and his mom that have just moved to Madison, Del. Zach Cooper isn’t happy with the move, until he mets the mysterious neighbor, called Mr Shivers, and his daughter Hannah. Zach finds out later that R.L Stein’s monsters aren’t just fictional, they are real. This inciting event pushes the characters down a hilarious but haunting path. Slappy, the haunted car, a giant praying mantis, ghouls, aliens, R. L Stein’s monsters all come out to destroy the small town of Madison forever. Their creator has kept them locked away in books for many years and have been waiting for a chance to come out and play once more.

One question this movie raises is should we push people away? Even if they really don’t understand what we are going through; should we ignore them? R. L Stein has isolated himself for so many years, because he “stopped connecting with real people.” Zach has been building up a wall between himself and others due to loss in his life. Although Jack Black plays his character humorously, we can see evidence of the toll isolation has taken on his life. Stein is bitter, resentful, and cold. Ecclesiastes 4:12 says, “And though a man may prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him — A threefold cord is not quickly broken.” This verse is telling us is that there is safely in numbers, but not just physical safety, but mental and spiritual. Humans were created to seek friends and acceptance, cutting off the world can only lead to misery and danger to yourself.
Through the course of the movie we see both Zach and Stein begin to warm up to other people and come to terms with their anger, because they realize the only way to defeat the monsters is with the help of other people.

This movie is one of the few films that families can go see and enjoy, together. The monsters might be a little intense for some younger viewers, but the content overall is family friendly, only one instance of foul language, and a kiss between Hannah and Zach.

But one last warning; viewer beware you are in for a scare!

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