GOOSEBUMPS (2015) Reviews and overview

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‘The stories are alive’

Goosebumps is a 2015 American comedy horror film directed by Rob Letterman (Lake Placid; Shark TaleMonsters vs. Aliens) from a screenplay by Mike White and Darren Lemke (Jack the Giant Slayer), based on the children’s book series of the same name by R. L. Stine.

Goosebumps was released on October 16, 2015, by Columbia Pictures. By December 8, 2016, it had taken $114,792,804 worldwide at the box office (before residuals) against a reported budget of $58 million.

The Tracking Board reported that Columbia/Sony immediately began developing a sequel and are seeking a screenwriter. They hope that Goosebumps will develop into an annual Halloween release film franchise.

Goosebumps is released by Sony on Blu-ray 3D and DVD on January 12, 2016. Extras include:

  • Alternate Opening
  • Alternate Ending
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Cast Blooper Reel
  • All About Slappy
  • Creaturefied!
  • Casting Gallery


Jack Black (King Kong), Dylan Minnette, Odeya Rush, Amy Ryan, Jillian Bell and Ryan Lee. Author R. L. Stine has a cameo role.

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On July 25, 2014, at Comic-Con it was confirmed that Slappy the Dummy, The Executioner from A Night in Terror Tower, the giant praying mantises from A Shocker on Shock Street, Murder the Clown from When Ghost Dogs Howl and The Horror at Chiller House, The Mummy from Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb and Return of the Mummy, and The Scarecrow from The Scarecrow Walks at Midnight would all appear in the movie.

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The filmmakers had to cut some of the books monsters for budget reasons, but director Rob Letterman stated that the crew tried to choose the monsters most appropriate to the story.

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After moving into a small town, a teenage boy named Zach Cooper (Dylan Minnette) meets Hannah (Odeya Rush), his new neighbour. Hannah’s father, R. L. Stine (Jack Black), who writes the Goosebumps stories, keeps all the ghosts and monsters in the series locked up in his books.

When Zach unintentionally releases the ghouls and the monsters from the storybooks, Zach, Hannah, and Stine team up in order to put the monsters back where they came from, before it’s too late…

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“There’s a streak of old-fashioned B-movie spooky playfulness here, and when actual, motivated characters are on screen it’s delightful. Danny Elfman’s score keeps the proceedings moving along, and it’s fair to describe the film as Tim Burton-lite.” Jordman Hoffman, The Guardian

“Keeping the creepy/kooky mix entertainingly intact, Goosebumps translates R.L. Stine’s frighteningly successful young adult horror fiction series to the big screen with lively, teenGhostbusters-type results.” Michael Rechtshaffen, The Hollywood Reporter

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” … a dreary big-screen adaptation of the popular R.L. Stine series of children’s horror books that’s meant to make the written word seem exciting but ends up being deeply unimaginative. Jack Black’s mildly theatrical, knowingly hammy performance is but one of this horror-comedy’s overdone elements, and the film fails to rise above the level of perfunctory effects-driven spectacle. Tim Grierson, Screen Daily

“A frightfully fun fright flick for families, Goosebumps is witty and dark, never descending into terribly distressing territory, but neither thumbing its nose entirely at the idea that nothing scary ever happens in the real world … Fleet-footed as it is, Goosebumps is the cinematic equivalent of an easy read, the kind of movie that’s easy to watch and doesn’t require too much intellectual or emotional engagement, but still leaves a pleasant aftertaste.” Peter Martin, Twitch


” … an endearing collection of silly, spooky stories into a busy, noisy, soulless eyesore. Perfectly timed to capitalize on Halloween-happy family auds, the lackluster horror-comedy will likely squander its breakout potential once word of mouth gets out.” Geoff Berkshire, Variety

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