Goosebumps Movie Review

Yesterday my daughter and I took advantage of her day off from school and went to see the movie Goosebumps based on the popular kids book series by R.L. Stine. The theater was surprisingly empty. We were the only ones in the theater until the previews started. It was a late afternoon show (3:45p). One employee that I spoke with did say that they were busy earlier in the day.

Movie Synopsis

Rather than focus on a single Goosebumps story, the movie tells the story of the author, R.L. Stine (Jack Black) whose creations come to life when the original manuscripts are opened. Teenager Zach (Dylan Minnette) and his mother have just moved to Madison, Delaware where he befriends his mysterious neighbor Hannah (Odeya Rush) despite the warnings of her creepy father (R.L. Stine). Fearing for her safety, he and his school friend Champ (Ryan Lee) break into the Stine house and end up setting monsters free from multiple manuscripts. Through the course of the movie, they must figure out how to defeat all of the monsters and trap them back in the manuscripts.

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Background

If you (or your child) has read the Goosebumps series you will recognize many of the monsters that appear in the movie.

The movie was our first introduction to the Goosebumps series. While I remember my sister reading some of the books, I was too old when they were originally released. I was surprised when we left the movie and my daughter said that she had never read any of the books. I swear over the summer when we first saw a trailer that she told me that she had read some at school. At any rate, we do have Night of the Living Dummy, so I am going to encourage her to read that when she finishes the Harry Potter series (she has about 5 chapters left in Deathly Hallows).
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Goosebumps Movie Review

My daughter and I both enjoyed Goosebumps. The movie had the right combination of spooks and laughs. My daughter enjoyed the movie. I also found the movie reasonably entertaining.

I enjoyed the choice that they made to make the movie about all of the monsters instead of selecting a singe book to convert into a movie. While some monsters are featured more than others, kids may still catch glimpses of their favorite monsters who aren’t one of the featured monsters. 

Jack Black Stars in Columbia Pictures' "Goosebumps"

The movie concludes with a setup for a sequel. We’ll have to see if they decide to make another movie or not. We would definitely see a sequel if it is made.

Age Appropriateness

While Goosebumps has a PG rating, I do not recommend it for every child since it is based on a children’s horror series. Sensitive children may not like the suspenseful situations and surprises that make the characters jump. Obviously a monster attack will result in some violence although the violence is relatively minor and mostly directed at the monsters. 

Goosebumps in Ann Arbor Theaters

Goosebumps is playing at both Rave Cinemas and Quality 16 in Ann Arbor. Tuesday is a great day to see it at Quality 16 with their Thrift Tuesday ($7 admission for all). Good times to see the movie at Rave are he first matinee of any day ($5.75) or Bargain Wednesday ($5.50 all day).

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