Film Trailers

The New Goosebumps Movie Is Like Jumanji With YA Novel Monsters & I Can’t Wait to See It

I have been interested to see how the Goosebumps movie turned out ever since I learned it would be like a meta version of Jumanji where all of the monsters in R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps novels (nearly 70 in total) spring to life from the page.  Sure, some thought that sounded insane, especially since Stine is a real, living person and he’ll be played by Jack Black in the movie, but to me it sounded like a Jumanji-meets-Night at the Museum-meets-The Dark Half horror comedy.  It also sounded like a perfectly kid-friendly horror story  for a series of novels and eventually a TV show which acted like a stepping stone for so many of us on our way to the more teen horror of Christopher Pike and then adult horror of Stephen King.

Kid-friendly horror is understandably hard to come by.  Back in my day – did I really just say “Back in my day”? – I encountered plenty of R-Rated horror movies my older brothers were watching.  I don’t, however, recall too many horror movies which were actually aimed at me.  There apparently wasn’t a lot of money in making kid-friendly horror movies.  For me, that made light-hearted horror-comedies like The Monsters Squad, House II: The Second Story, Gremlins 2, and Army of Darkness extra memorable.

I had expected Goosebumps to follow in that tradition of younger skewering horror, but now that the trailer is here I don’t know that it’s really accurate to categorize this as “horror,” more like fantasy action-adventure really.  Whatever it is, it looks like a lot of fun, even if Black is a surprisingly minor player throughout the trailer.

Here’s the plot description:

In Goosebumps, upset about moving from a big city to a small town, teenager Zach Cooper (Dylan Minnette) finds a silver lining when he meets the beautiful girl, Hannah (Odeya Rush), living right next door.  But every silver lining has a cloud, and Zach’s comes when he learns that Hannah has a mysterious dad who is revealed to be R. L. Stine (Jack Black), the author of the bestselling Goosebumps series.  It turns out that there is a reason why Stine is so strange… he is a prisoner of his own imagination – the monsters that his books made famous are real, and Stine protects his readers by keeping them locked up in their books.  When Zach unintentionally unleashes the monsters from their manuscripts and they begin to terrorize the town, it’s suddenly up to Stine, Zach, and Hannah to get all of them back in the books where they belong.  Rob Letterman directs the film from a screenplay by Darren Lemke and Mike White and a story by Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski and Darren Lemke.

Buzzfeed has already walked through the trailer and picked out seemingly ever single classic Goosebumps monster:

Night of the Living Dummy

  • Abominable Snowman from The Abominable Snowman of Pasadena
  • Brent the Invisible Boy from My Best Friend is Invisible
  • The Giant Preying Mantis from A Shocker on Shock Street
  • Will Blake the Werewolf from The Werewolf of Fever Swamp
  • Bees from Why I’m Afraid of Bees
  • Slappy from Night of the Living Dummy
  • Dr. Brewer the Plant from Stay Out of the Basement
  • The Lawn Gnomes from Revenge of the Lawn Gnomes
  • Clarissa the Witch from Be Careful What You Wish For
  • The Jack O’Lanterns from The Night of the Jack O’Lanterns
  • The Lord High Executioner from A Night in Terror Town
  • Prince Khor-Ru the Mummy from The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb
  • Murder the Clown from A Nightmare on Clown Street
  • Count Nightwing from Vampire Breath
  • Scarecrow from The Scarecrow Walks at Midnight

I read the early Goosebumps books, yet Slappy and The Invisible Boy are the only monsters I recognized (well, not so much Invisible Boy since he’s, you know, invisible).  I haven’t even heard of the other ones.  Still, as long as you get the basic premise – the goofy monsters created by a prolific children’s author start coming to life – you may not need to know much at all about the Goosebumps books to enjoy the Goosebumps movie.

Goosebumps is due out October 16, 2015.

What do you think?  Does this look a little too kiddy for you?  Or are you such a huge Goosebumps nut you noticed several monsters Buzzfeed might have missed?  Let me know in the comments.

Source: Buzzfeed


  1. I loved Goosebumps when I was a kid and I used to read everything R.L. Stine (loved the Fear Street series). I can’t wait for the movie especially when it looks like Jack Black will be fairly toned down. It looks like fun and I remember the books being deviously fun. Who could ever forget Slappy?!?

  2. When I worked at an independent bookstore in the 90s, there was this kid who would call EVERY.SINGLE.DAY to ask if the new Goosebumps book had come in. I think he’d call as soon as he got home from school. We had a sign-up sheet, and we’d order a copy for every kid on the list and call when they came in, and he was on there, and he’d still call. Every. Day. For a pleasant change-up, sometimes his grandma called. Somehow, I managed to work there four years and I never read a Goosebumps book. I did read his first adult novel, Superstitious, and it was ridiculously bad.

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