There are a small handful of things I credit for instilling a love of horror in me as a child, including the Nightmare on Elm Street movies and HBO’s Tales from the Crypt TV series. But there’s nothing more influential on my lifelong love of horror than R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps books, which I voraciously consumed in the years prior to digging deep into the world of horror cinema.
With their eye-catching cover art and easy to digest stories, the Goosebumps books were the absolute perfect introduction to all things monstrous and spooky. I’m fairly certain that I had every single one of the original books growing up – in fact, I must admit that my collection is still growing to this very day – and I was also a big fan of the mid-late 90s TV series, which brought the individual books to life.
One area that those characters never ventured into, however, was the movies. It seemed like a no-brainer that the world of Goosebumps could potentially make for one hell of a movie, and rumblings began back in 1998, when Tim Burton was attached to produce a feature film adaptation. The project unfortunately fell through the cracks, and it would be over a decade before it flew back onto the radar.
It’s almost hard to believe, but Goosebumps finally makes the leap to the big screen this coming October, and today the hotly-anticipated trailer hit the net. As always, I tried to keep my expectations in check as I sat down to watch it this morning, as we’ve all been burned in the past when it comes to dream projects that finally materialize. But today, my friends, was not one of those depressing days.
I’m sure everyone reading this has already seen the Goosebumps movie trailer by now, but why not watch it again? Check it out below, before we proceed!
It was back in April of last year that the Goosebumps plot was revealed, and I can remember falling instantly in love with the concept. Rather than focusing on one story or turning the books into an anthology of sorts, as I had expected, it was announced that the film would feature almost all of the fan-favorite monsters from the books, rolled together into one giant monster mash of a movie.
To make the idea even cooler, we learned that the movie would take place in a world wherein both R.L. Stine and his books exist, thereby giving it a meta quality that quite literally would allow for those monsters to leap right off the pages of the books we all know and love. Jack Black was cast as R.L. Stine, yet another piece of the puzzle that I was completely 100% on board with.
Everything about the project seemed absolutely perfect, on paper at least, so I was both excited and considerably nervous about the trailer reveal. Thankfully, pretty much everything about that trailer completely lived up to my expectations, and I’m incredibly happy to say that the Goosebumps movie looks almost exactly like the visions that danced around in my childhood head, while reading the books.
For starters, the movie is not skimping in the least in the monster department, and a handful of familiar faces are on display throughout. The Abominable Snowman of Pasadena, Slappy the living dummy, a gaggle of lawn gnomes and even a giant praying mantis from Shock Street are in there, as well as a pumpkin-head, a creepy clown and a werewolf – all the childhood friends R.L. Stine introduced me to, in other words.
Another thing I love about the trailer is it paints Stine as a mysterious writer hiding out on the fringes of society, which is the way I imagined him as a kid. Truth be told, I always wondered if Stine was even a real person, as he seemed to be less of a human being and more of a monster-making factory. I of course know more about him now that things like Twitter exist, but I’m glad to see the movie playing into that mysterious quality.
In terms of the meta aspect, I really like the idea of the young heroes being aware of the Goosebumps books, and it looks like one character in particular is a big time fan of Stine’s work. The trailer suggests that his knowledge of how the monsters were killed off in the books is going to help him and his friends destroy the real-life incarnations of those monsters, which sounds like a whole lot of fun to me.
As much as Goosebumps is going to appeal to my inner child, and it certainly seems intent on doing just that, what’s also cool about the movie is that it’s going to introduce a whole new generation of kids to Stine’s monsters. There has in recent years been a troubling lack of kid-friendly horror films out there for families to enjoy together, and this looks to be the perfect primer course for budding monster lovers.
Honestly, I don’t have a single negative thing to say about Goosebumps at the present time, and it again makes me so happy to be able to type those words. This truly looks to be absolutely everything I ever wanted from a Goosebumps movie, and it also looks like the beefed up remake of The Monster Squad that I didn’t even know I wanted. I am ecstatic right about now, and I can’t wait until October 16th.
Lately it has seemed like all the nostalgia-based fun has been geared toward 80s kids, and Goosebumps looks to be a slice of that fun for children of the 90s. So rejoice, fellow 90s kids. This one is for us!
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