The infamous series of notorious books have come alive! Literally. Though the original series wasn't necessarily as enticing as other horror stories, they've always held a place, deep in our hearts. It was entertaining, flipping the pages of a worn out Goosebumps book, only to be appalled at the endings--over and over again. The movie implemented the similar rollercoaster of emotions, creating a more thriller-like movie than a horror one. Nonetheless, the mix of thriller and childhood nostalgia had assembled a movie definitely worth watching.
The movie initiates by introducing a teenage protagonist, Zach Cooper, reluctantly moving into a new town after the death of his father. The abrupt move to a suburban area was the idea of his mother, Gale, who acquires a new job of an assistant principle; she hopes that a "change of scenery" will allow them to move on. Zach's tragic backstory is not one too unique, but surely justifies and adds onto Zach's awkward and stiff behavior. School is cluttered with thousands of students and all seem unwilling to converse besides one; Zach befriends Champ, a "Chump" who is socially awkward, yet hilarious. Nothing seems to be going right for Zach... besides the girl who lives next door to him. Hannah, his new neighbor, is charming, sarcastic and easy to talk to but their interaction are cut short due to her father, "Mr. Shivers". Hannah's father outright threatens Zach, instructing him that "bad things will happen to you if you get any closer to us". Zach however, suspects domestic violence, evidenced by Mr. Shivers' over protectiveness to his daughter, threats and the screams that echo from next door. Of course, the situation isn't so simple; the police are convinced there's no incident involved, and so does Gale. Opposed to allowing Hannah to be harmed any further, Zach concocts a plan to enter her house and rescue her with the assistance of Champ. Things go terribly--horribly wrong, as Zach and Champ uncover and ignorantly unlock the living pages of a Goosebump manuscript. Ink proceeds to whirl and assemble the body and soul of the The Abominable Snowman of Pasadena! Hannah emerges from the doorway and attempts to seal the Snowman back into the covers of its pages. Unfortunately, the Snowman tears its way out of the house, stomping and wrecking havoc its way through town. It is then revealed that Hannah's father is actually R.L. Stine and that he created each and every monster in his stories to terrorize those who bullied him when he was a child. However, one of the most dangerous monster is released--Slappy--a living dummy from Night of the Living Dummy. Slappy is angered that his "Papa" would keep him locked away, thus he releases the rest of the monsters and burns their book so they cannot be trapped once again. It's then up to R.L. Stine, Hannah, Champ and Zach to somehow form a plan to protect the town from danger and to somehow return the monsters to where they belong--in books!
Overall, the film was a good watch; it had a consistent amount of humor and thriller that kept the audience engaged and humored. The film's audience is set for almost everybody. The nostalgic childhood background will appeal to the older generation and the simple yet captivating story will fascinate the younger generations. Yet it's title of a horror movie was misleading, as the content was far from terrifying. However, the monsters themselves were well portrayed, hardly straying from their original, twisted content. The characters were all very well done; they all had their witty moments, but their touching ones as well. Their progression through a traumatizing event had brought them all closer, allowing them to change and open up to one another. The movie touches upon the most important thing of all... that there are terrifying creatures out there and that they all start with your imagination.