Directed By: Rob Letterman
Starring: Jack Black, Dylan Minette, Odeya Rush
For Fans Of: Goosebumps (TV Series), Jumanji, Gremlins
My Rating: 4 out of 10
OK before I get a barrage of complaints; Yes, I know this movie is meant to be for kids. No, I don't care. Yes, I am an asshole.
I get it. I completely get that some people, who used to love the series when they were younger, are going to be shouting at their computers or phones right now because they are completely blinded by that most poisonous drug. Nostalgia. It's a funny thing nostalgia, it makes you think things were quite good from when you were kids, yet all it really serves to do is mask the fact that it probably was shit. But you liked it because you were a dumb kid.
Remember slinkies? I will not accept the argument that this was silly and rubbish because it was for kids. So was Jumanji and that shit will stand the test of time. No remake will tarnish its reputation as one of the finest kids movies ever to be witnessed. But Goosebumps didn't come close for me, the only saving grace was toward the end when the credits started rolling.
Jack Black plays R.L. Stine, the writer of the books. Here is my first annoyance, what is with his accent. It grated on me for the entire film. I don't even care if he was meant to be emulating the real R.L. Stine, if that's what the guy sounded like it's no wonder he spent days alone writing books. I couldn't have been in a room with the guy for more than 10 minutes before I had to leave. Second annoyance, the CGI, I’m sorry but it just looked terrible in parts. I hate most CGI in films, but can accept sometimes it's a necessary evil. In today’s modern age a lot of it looks fairly good most the time. This however, felt cheap. The monsters themselves are served up almost like a greatest hits of the old books and TV series (Remember that? Now THAT was awesome) and again this was bad as it seemed to move so fast from one monster to another that realistically you get no time to be scared of any one thing.
Third annoyance, Dylan Minette who plays the lead. The school kid tasked with saving the day, just comes off as a bit of a gimp. Only rivalled by his mate called Champion, who is even more of a gimp, and the only thing more annoying than these two was Jack Black. He also plays two of the monsters, one being a ventriloquist dummy called Slappy who feels the need to make a joke every moment he's on screen. All of which, fall flat on their face. They are beyond “dumb for kids” terrible. The only thing that would have brought a smile to my face would have been for Jack to tumble down the stairs like the aforementioned slinky.
On a positive, I think the storyline was good enough however, it just wasn't executed properly. And I’m sure you will say “But my kid enjoyed it”, Yes I'm sure they did, your kid's a dumb kid. And I'm sure you will say "wait a minute there Gaz, I enjoyed it”. I'm sure you did and for that reason, you're a dumb kid. Probably why your kid is a dumb kid.
I want more from my dumb kid movies and this did not deliver. So I’m off to wait for the “Are You Afraid Of the Dark” movie to get announced. As we all know, this was far better anyway!