Review: Goosebumps

goosebumps

After years and years in development limbo, finally, the Goosebumps movie has arrived. And, even though it’s been through the hands of many, many writers and filmmakers over the years it’s not a complete mess.

Jack Black’s performance as the reclusive writer is a stroke of comic genius, he has a naturally funny face and way of emoting, but doesn’t dial it up as far as he can when he can become a bit tiring. Plus, his accent choice, which falls somewhere between American, English and German is inspired. Without him, it’s doubtful that the film would have been made.

That said, the ‘teens’ who are the central protagonists of the film are really good too. The only character that grates is the aunt who is played by an overweight actress who had that typical ditsy persona that ‘fat’ characters seem to portray in Hollywood films, which is a shame.

The monster effects are really well done, so much so that it felt like quite a strong PG, but horror is balanced really well with comedy, so much so that there were no upset children or walkouts.

It probably benefits from having knowledge of the source material, but more so of horror films and Stephen King novels as most of the humour is, as usual, for the adults and the more cine-literate among the audience.

It’s not a knock out success and there are some problems, though there’s so much more right with it than wrong. Goosebumps is a smart, well written, film that knows how silly it is and works on a number of levels. It is certainly better than the regular run-of-the-mill family friendly films that usually rear their heads over the holidays.

If you have a family, go and see it, if you loved the books go and see it, if you have no interest don’t. It’s as simple as that really.

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