Goosebumps - film review

Jack Black, Ryan Lee, Dylan Minnette and Odeya Rush star in Columbia Pictures' "Goosebumps." Hopper

Jack Black, Ryan Lee, Dylan Minnette and Odeya Rush star in Columbia Pictures' "Goosebumps." Hopper Stone, SMPSP © 2015 CTMG. All Rights Reserved. - Credit: Hopper Stone, SMPSP

Causing sleepless nights for a generation of terrified school children, R L Stine’s monstrous creations have been resurrected from literary limbo for a contemporary update.

A maniacal ventriloquist’s dummy, killer lawn gnomes and a behemoth praying mantis are just some of the multifarious ghouls intent on reeking supernatural havoc in the sleepy suburb of Madison, Delaware. New neighbour Zach (Dylan Minnette) inadvertently unleashes the first of many demons after rummaging through Stine’s deadly collection of Goosebumps manuscripts.

Teaming up with the novelist’s picture perfect daughter Hannah (Odeya Rush) and socially awkward sidekick Champ (Ryan Lee) the unlikely quartet set off to round up Stine’s army of destructive spooks. Jack Black puts in a humorously frenzied performance as the reclusive nom de plume author providing his usual deft comic timing along with a somewhat iffy English accent. Given the PG rating any real scares are few and far between and end up disappointingly pantomime-esque, losing the nostalgic creepiness of the genuinely unnerving 90s television series. Underwhelming FX effects add little to this poppy family fodder but as half term watches go it is infectiously goofy.

Rating: 3 stars

Certificate: PG

Run Time: 103 mins

Director: Rob Letterman

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Cast: Jack Black, Dylan Minnette, Odeya Rush, Amy Ryan, Ryan Lee


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