R.L. Stine’s monsters are on the loose in ‘Goosebumps’

Remember the times when you were a kid and when you wanted to get spooked you would turn on the TV to Nickelodeon’s Are You Afraid of the Dark? I do. In the good old days of the 90s and early 00s that show was the bomb, but along with it people were also hooked to these horrifically fun and adventure-filled books called Goosebumps created by R.L. Stine. These books were meant to bring the horror genre to kids and young adults alike by engaging them in fun adventures with occasional creepiness. I remember reading one in my early days of childhood, but I wasn’t able to finish it. Nonetheless, I thought they were harmless fun at times when they are not too creepy.

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Today as it is Hollywood’s standard operating procedure, a film adaptation of Stine’s Goosebumps will be brought to the big screen to bring harmless fun for this year’s Halloween season.

Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation would like to present Goosebumps the book-to-film adaptation of the novel of the same name. Directed by Rob Letterman (Monsters vs Aliens) and starring Jack Black (Kung Fu Panda), Odeya Rush (The Giver), Dylan Minette (Prisoners), Ryan Lee (Super 8), Ken Marino and Jillian Bell (22 Jump Street).

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After inadvertently releasing the monsters from R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps manuscripts, two teenagers team up with the daughter of the famed young adult horror author and the author himself to prevent his fictitious creations from terrorizing the town of Greendale, Maryland.}

Since 1998, there have been talks of turning Goosebumps into a movie, with goth filmmaking master Tim Burton set to produce. When Chris Meledandri was still president of Fox, he stated that the film would be impossible to do on the small screen. However, the plans of turning it into such didn’t transpire. Ten years later in 2008, the rights were acquired by Columbia Pictures and Neal H. Moritz and Deborah Forte were in talks to produce as Forte also developed the TV series. The two producers detested the idea of turning any book in the series a film since they felt that the books were too short. Later on while thinking of ways to have the creatures live in the book together, the two suggested that they would turn it into a quasi biography with his creations coming to life and himself facing the monsters he has created. This idea was accepted and Darren Lemke was hired to jot down the screenplay.

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Sure, the plotline sounds familiar and similar to that of Jumanji or Zathura, but it clearly looks amusing despite all the CG effects. This may be because of the fun, Goonies-like adventure feel it’s trying to achieve. Which hopefully it does get right since I love me some fun no-gore Halloween flick every now and then.  I just hope this doesn’t end up as lifeless and dull as the recent Pixels which almost has the same concept. I don’t mean to be cynical, but that’s really how Pixels ended up, in my opinion at leastBut looking on the bright side, we have Jack Black! (insert smiley face) and fun CGI monsters!

Goosebumps opens on October 21 nationwide. Distributed by Columbia Pictures Philippines. See it in 3D.

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