Running Time: 1 hour, 43 minutes
Moviegoers: Mom; Teagan, 8.
What’s the story (spoilers ahead!): Based on the bestselling R.L. Stine series, this family-friendly horror film follows the adventures of Zach Cooper (Dylan Minnette), a young teen who falls for his beautiful neighbor next door, Hannah (Odeya Rush). He soon discovers Hannah’s eccentric father is actually the infamous author, R.L. Stine (Jack Black), who’s harboring a terrible secret. Every time a book opens a monster is unleashed. Thus, in order to be proactive, Stine attempts to hold his readers hostage in their books. In essence, Stine feels trapped in his own thoughts.
Unfortunately, Zach releases Stine’s imaginary demons from the manuscripts on the town of Greendale, Maryland. The town goes hysterical as the monsters begin to wreak havoc on Greendale. Zach teams up with Stine, Hannah and Zach’s friend Champ (Ryan Lee) to capture the monsters and place them back in the books. This was the first scary movie for my 8 year-old. Just as Stine designed, we both jumped due to the many perilous scenes. I think it’s a fun movie to watch with your family especially around Halloween.
What parents may like about this movie: I enjoyed the storytelling as the basis of the movie. My daughter and I talked about a line where R. L. Stine’s character says that there are three parts to a book: the beginning, the middle and the twist. My daughter is a bookworm and this opened up a discussion. She also sees the characters finishing a story and how a typewriter works! I also liked how the movie was “scary,” but not too scary. The acting was on par and Slappy the dummy made the movie creepy!
What kids will like: My daughter liked R. L. Stine’s character (Jack Black) – She thought he was funny. It was action packed, good acting (she was familiar and liked the young actors), for book fans, seeing some of their favorite monsters come to life!
Positive themes: I don’t know that the books are written with a moral, but I felt there were a couple of positive themes. Going with your gut and doing what you think is right is a pervading theme. Zach feels that Hannah is in danger and he goes out on a limb to help her. Figuring out how to get out of a frightening situation (Problem-solving) and working together as a team. 3/5
Violence/scare factor: Scary elements, (lots of monsters), element of surprise, peril — if a child is sensitive to certain imagery the movie might be too much. But, my daughter is 8 and scares easily. She was able to sit through and enjoyed most of it. She was scared of the Slappy the Dummy/ Honestly, he’s a bit creepy but it’s his voice that makes him scary. There is also a scene where a gnome throws a knife, a zombie poodle attacks a woman (You don’t see the attack but the scene leads up to it.), there is a scary clown (Coulrophobia — fear of clowns). No blood. (3/5)
Sex/Romance: There are two quick kisses on the lips. Mild flirting between main characters. 1/5
Bad language: I do not remember any bad language. 1/5
Want to know more about Goosebumps? Tune in to their moms movie minute review Fandango.com
Goosebumps is in theaters October 16, 2015.
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