Goosebumps Review

  • Directing7.5
  • Writing7.5
  • Acting7.5

Rob Letterman's Goosebumps is good old-fashioned monster movie fun for all ages, with a splash of comedy for good measures.


Rob Letterman‘s big screen adaptation of Goosebumps is light-hearted scares and fun for the whole family, both pleasing fans of the children’s novels and entertaining newcomers as well. Jack Black and Letterman perfectly capture the feel of R.L. Stine’s characters and stories, giving us an engrossing and spooky little film to enjoy over the Halloween season.

Zach (Dylan Minnette) and his mom Gale (Amy Ryan) have just moved in from New York City in hopes of starting fresh. Zach isn’t exactly excited for his new small-town life, but he tries to make the best of it.

Things get slightly better when he meets his neighbor Hannah (Odeya Rush), despite also running into her creepy and mysterious father (played by Jack Black).

Then something strange happens when Zach hears screams coming from Hannah’s house only to call the cops and get basically ignored. So, he takes it upon himself to check things out and then suddenly he stumbles upon some old Goosebumps manuscripts.

Unlocking one can be deadly, unleashing the actual monster from the pages into the real world.

Now, Zach and his friends must find a way to stop these monsters from destroying their town, with the help of author R.L. Stine himself.

Rob Letterman‘s Goosebumps is an entertaining thrill-ride from beginning to end, capturing the love of horror movie monsters in a way that’s both kid-friendly, yet still exciting for long-time fans.

Goosebumps isn’t exactly scary, but it is spooky and exploding with creative monsters that perhaps once gave you nightmares as a kid growing up and reading Stine’s endless supply of creativity in his Goosebumps books.

I know I enjoyed the books as a kid and I even liked the mini-movies/shows that were made, despite their lack of quality. Letterman’s film is definitely more broad, trying to capture as many creatures as possible while also presenting its own story about what it feels like to be alone.

It’s an honestly sweet and touching little subplot that doesn’t enhance the film in huge ways, but it does give the film its core heart and story.

Young star Dylan Minnette and Jack Black earn most of the film’s smiles and laughs, with Minnette playing a young guy with a big heart and helping personality, while Black goes over-the-top with a version of R.L. Stine that’s odd and funny and fits right into his resume of weird characters.

Odeya Rush and Ryan Lee might not get as much time to develop their characters, yet both help round out the team.

I love that Goosebumps doesn’t have any annoying teenage characters that make no sense or make you grind your teeth at their stupidity. For once, the film features a strong group of characters that are all likable and understandable.

Goosebumps is the kind of film that adults will chuckle and enjoy far more than they’re probably expecting, while introducing their kids to a whole new generation of ghouls, ghosts and creepy creatures to both laugh at and be slightly scared of.

There haven’t been many memorable horror movie monsters in the past few decades, with slashers and creature features on the slow decline, which makes Goosebumps both a retreat to classic characters and a reinvention for those that weren’t old enough to experience them the first few times.

Do yourself a favor and go and see Goosebumps this Halloween season. It’s the perfect time of year for the film and it’s a good one to take the entire family to. The 3D isn’t exactly needed, but does add a few moments of extended gags — throwing drool and other monster debris in your face.

Goosebumps is good old-fashioned monster movie fun done in a way that’s exciting and funny. Jack Black brings R.L. Stine to life in a way that will definitely be remembered just as much as his books, while Dylan Minnette, Odeya Rush and Ryan Lee give us a team of strong young characters that are never annoying and always enjoyable to watch.

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