Goosebumps (2015) Miller Meter-3/5

Directed By: Rob Letterman

Written By: Darren Lamke, Scott Alexander, Larry Karaszewski

Starring: Jack Black, Dylan Minnette, Odeya Rush, Ryan Lee, Amy Ryan

PG  1 h 43 min – Adventure | Comedy | Family

Ok here’s the dealio.  Jack Black is R.L. Stine, author of famed kids books, Goosebumps.  Dylan Minnette plays Zach, the new kid in town who’s dad died a year ago but his sense of witty post-teenage humor survived miraculously.  Amy Ryan plays Zach’s mom and she just so happens to also be the new VP at his high-school, what a drag.  Zach meets his neighbor Hannah (Stine’s daughter) and immediately those pubescent hormones start firing on all cylinders and in a flash he falls in love with her.  I’m not talking simple passing notes every period in school kind of love, I’m talking full on I’m crazy in love with you and I will defend your honor to the day I die kind of love.  Anyways, Zach sees some weirdness going on next door, gets suspicious and decides to investigate.  He brings his new bestie Champ (Ryan Lee) to check it out.  They discover the original transcripts of all the Goosebumps books and OOPS! THEY OPEN ONE!  Hell breaks lose (well actually, the abominable snow man) and we find out that R.L. Stine is overly protective of his daughter for good reason, this has happened before and blew their cover and let me tell you, those moving expenses are really adding up.

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Stine helps capture the first monster, but in the meantime Slappy (the ventriloquist doll from Night of The Living Dummy) escaped the book as well and freed all his buddies from the rest of Stine’s books.  Stine and the kids then set out on a quest to put all the creatures and monsters back into the books and save the world from certain doom!

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Ok here it is:  this movie was fun as hell.  I read several (not all, I admit) of the Goosebumps books and the whole gang showed up to play.  It was horribly cheesy and even more predictable, but that’s expected with the PG rating and silly story.  Jack Black was the real gold of this flick, he brought the heat and made a seemingly flat character three dimensional.  The visuals were actually pretty incredible and the acting from the kids wasn’t half bad either.  Don’t expect to see this at the Oscars (no shit? why did I even write that?) but if you don’t see anything enticing on Netflix, give it a shot.

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