Google+

Monsters Run Amok in Delightful Adaptation of Family-Friendly Fright Franchise

Goosebumps

Film Review by Kam Williams

Monsters Run Amok in Delightful Adaptation of Family-Friendly Fright Franchise

Launched by Robert Lawrence Stine in 1992, Goosebumps is a phenomenally-popular series of spooky stories carefully-crafted to scare the bejesus out of 7 to 12 year-olds. The so-called Stephen King of kiddie literature has published hundreds of titles over the years, selling about a half-billion books worldwide and counting. Goosebumps has been spun off into a TV show and video games, so it makes sense that it would be brought to the big screen, too.Goosebumps, Film Review, Robert Lawrence Stine, spooky stores, Stephen King of kiddie literature

Directed by Rob Letterman, the picture stars the terminally-impish Jack Black as R. L. Stine, although the author he’s portraying does make a cameo appearance during a mob scene. The movie marks the reunion of Letterman and Black who in 2010 collaborated on a poorly-received remake of Gulliver’s Travels.

This production is likely to fare far better, since its has a built-in audience already weaned on the books. Plus, the adolescents’ appetites have been further whetted by the prerelease of a product line of Goosebumps tie-ins, including posters, games, stationery, Halloween costumes, plush toys, clothes and accessories. Not that the movie version needs any help, as the combination live-action/animated adventure proves to be quite entertaining in its own right.Goosebumps, Film Review, Robert Lawrence Stine, spooky stores, Stephen King of kiddie literature

At the point of departure, we find teenager Zach Cooper (Dylan Minnette) and his recently-widowed mom (Amy Ryan) grieving their loss and sorely in need of a change of scenery, which explains their moving to the town of Madison, Delaware. Their new, next-door neighbor, Mr. Stine (Black), is a reclusive grouch who warns the boy right off the bat to keep off his property and to stay away from his home-schooled daughter, Hannah (Odeya Rush). But it’s obviously love at first sight for Zach, who is instantly smitten with the attractive girl his own age.

On his first day of classes at Madison High, he proceeds to make fast friends with a nerdy loner named Champ (Ryan Lee). After school, the mischievous pair’s curiosity gets the better of them, and they trespass onto the Stine’s premises.

Upon entering the house, they rummage around the author’s mysterious manuscripts hidden in the basement, thereby unwittingly unleashing an army of monsters. They’re all characters mined from Mr. Stine’s fertile imagination: a giant praying mantis, the Abominable Snowman, the werewolf, lawn gnomes, zombies, Venus fly traps, the Invisible Boy, and so on.

Goosebumps, Film Review, Robert Lawrence Stine, spooky stores, Stephen King of kiddie literature

What’s more, they’re doing the bidding of a diabolical dummy bent on major mayhem in Madison, if not world domination. Can the creatures be corralled and safely redeposited between the covers of the author’s journal? Can Zach win the heart of Hannah in spite of the objections of her overprotective father? Don’t be surprised if this episode ends satisfactorily while simultaneously setting us up for a sequel.

A family-friendly romp providing just the perfect blend of light-hearted humor and spine-tingling fright fare to scare and delight kids of all ages!

Excellent (4 stars)

Rated PG for scary images, intense action and rude humor

Running time: 103 minutes

Distributor: Sony Pictures

 Source:  Baret News

Entertainment

For movies opening August 18, 2017

  OPENING THIS WEEK Kam's Kapsules Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun by Kam Williams For movies opening August 18, 2017 BIG BUDGET FILMS The Hitman's Bodyguard (R for graphic violence and pervasive profanity) Unlikely-buddies comedy about an ace bodyguard (Ryan Reynolds) who grudgingly helps a notorious assassin (Samuel … [Read More its Good for You...]

Books

Book of Black Heroes

  Book of Black Heroes Political Leaders Past and Present by Gil L. Robertson, IV Foreword by Myrlie Evers-Williams Just Us Books Paperback, $12.95 80 pages ISBN: 978-1-933491-21-9 Book Review by Kam Williams “The first African-American political leaders began to serve following the Civil War...Known as Reconstruction, this period … [Read More its Good For You...]

Art

The Day After the Day Of

  The Day After the Day Of by Paul Ilechko   The sky sheds its tears. This morning is the morning of the day after. The day of mourning, the day after the day of.  I beseech the sky to shed tears in order to wash away the tears on my face.   This is the first day of the time after. This is the beginning of a new time, the … [Read More its Good for You...]

Real Estate

Real Estate: Refinancing Rates on the Rise in 2017

  Real Estate: Refinancing Rates on the Rise in 2017 by Amy Lignor   The term ‘meteoric rise’ usually applies to something fun. Think: A Hollywood actor who has been ‘discovered.’) Unfortunately, when it comes to this article, ‘meteoric rise’ is something that will not bring a smile to one’s face. To put it simply, if you wish to refinance … [Read More its Good for You...]

Lifestyle

The “King” Will Take Center Stage at the 2017 Wildlife Conservation Expo

  The “King” Will Take Center Stage at the 2017 Wildlife Conservation Expo by Amy Lignor   Each and every year the Wildlife Conservation Expo is held to address situations out there that are harming our world and its animal inhabitants. This time around, WCN’s annual Fall Wildlife Conservation Expo in October, will be focusing on … [Read More its Good for You...]

Outdoors

How Bassmaster Pro Edwin Evers Adjusts the Auto Settings on His Sonar

  How Bassmaster Pro Edwin Evers Adjusts the Auto Settings on His Sonar  by Edwin Evers When it comes to electronics, a question I get asked a lot is, “How do you customize your fish finder settings at the beginning of a day on the water?” The short answer is, “I don’t.”   You might think that a guy who makes his living with a … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

College Football Arriving Soon!

  College Football Arriving Soon! by Amy Lignor   Ask any college football fan and they will tell you that it seems like an eternity waiting for the season to begin. But, have no fear, the kick-off to the college season is almost here, with Colorado State and Oregon State hitting the field on Saturday, August 26th at 2:30 p.m. ET. On … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

Book of Black Heroes

  Book of Black Heroes Political Leaders Past and Present by Gil L. Robertson, IV Foreword by Myrlie Evers-Williams Just Us Books Paperback, $12.95 80 pages ISBN: 978-1-933491-21-9 Book Review by Kam Williams “The first African-American political leaders began to serve following the Civil War...Known as Reconstruction, this period … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

Going Back in Time on the Ultimate Steamboat Vacation

  Going Back in Time on the Ultimate Steamboat Vacation by Amy Lignor   Many people love taking a cruise. But it is the river cruise on that glorious steamboat that not only offers all the benefits a big ocean liner offers, but also creates a more personalized, intimate vacation experience. It is a unique recipe: being able to witness … [Read More its Good for You...]