Director: Rob Letterman
Cast: Jack Black, Odeya Rush, Dylan Minnette
Spoilers Within: No
Originally posted 12 January 2016 on Letterboxd.
The majority of reviews for Rob Letterman’s interpretation of R. L. Stine’s novels will either have their enjoyment firmly rooted in nostalgia for the 150+ fantastical stories, or they’ll find more enjoyment in the films it so successfully pastiches. In many circumstances, it’s fine to make base in both camps.
In addition to the myriad of young-adult horror anthology television (Eerie Indiana and Are You Afraid of the Dark? to name two), Goosebumps (the novels and the film) undeniably owes a great deal to the timeless works of Joe Dante and Fred Dekker, but somehow manages to blend these into its own mixture of family-friendly, Amblin-esque Entertainment.
With a handful of rather exciting set-pieces, some charming moments of character development (though they could’ve excised the annoying sidekick entirely) and a conclusion full of well-deserved emotional heft, Goosebumps could’ve amounted to less a sum of its tributary parts, but manages to sustain a joyous harmony of adventure and nostalgia.