HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
1 chance sur 2
Betterman
Scooby-Doo! Abracadabra-Doo
Yin Yang Master, The
Hail, Mafia!
Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase
Mirai
Strange House, The
Morfalous, Les
Dreambuilders
Everything Went Fine
Lux AEterna
Rum Runners
Fairy and the Devil, The
Mad God
Outside the Law
I Remember Mama
Superman Unbound
Lawrence of Belgravia
House Across the Lake, The
Wonder Park
Hornsby e Rodriguez
Operation Mincemeat
5 Kung Fu Daredevil Heroes
Scoob!
Earwig
Offseason
Peau Douce, La
Double Indemnity
Na Cha and the Seven Devils
Deep Murder
Superman vs. the Elite
Adam Project, The
Osamu Tezuka's Last Mystery of the 20th Century
Horse, La
Buffaloed
Train Robbers, The
Let Sleeping Cops Lie
Abominable
Funeral, The
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  Goosebumps Page Rage
Year: 2015
Director: Rob Letterman
Stars: Jack Black, Dylan Minette, Odeya Rush, Ryan Lee, Amy Ryan, Jillian Bell, Halston Sage, Steven Krueger, Keith Arthur Bolden, Amanda Lund, Timothy Simons, Ken Marino, Karan Soni, R.L. Stine, Caleb Emery, Gabriela Fraile
Genre: Horror, Comedy, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Zach (Dylan Minette) is a teenage boy upset at having to leave New York City for the small town of Madison, because although he wants to support his widowed mother Gale (Amy Ryan) in her new job there as high school vice principal, he feels he is abandoning a great life in the Big Apple for the obscurity that awaits him in the middle of nowhere in particular. Nevertheless, he decides to make the best of it, and when his aunt Lorraine (Jillian Bell) shows up to lift their spirits, he thinks maybe things could be worse - and when he drops a cardboard box full of his stuff on the way up the path, he is more convinced because an attractive teen neighbour called Hannah (Odeya Rush) strikes up a conversation. What could possibly go wrong?

If you've ever read a Goosebumps book then you may have more than an inkling, for this was the big screen version of the immensely popular R.L. Stine horror novels. He was a sort of Stephen King for teens, well, okay, Stephen King is probably Stephen King for teens, but Stine pitched his spooky tales a little more towards the younger market exclusively and was rewarded with hundreds of millions of sales as a result, many more than King in fact. This was alluded to in the script, for it featured Stine as a character, played by Jack Black as an embittered recluse which was a conceit dreamt up for the film to work out a way of distilling the essence of what amounted to umpteen books into one conglomeration of fright fiction.

It is Black's Stine who lives next door, and Hannah is his daughter, only he is extremely protective of her, home schooling her and not allowing her to talk to anyone else, much to Zach's consternation when he takes an interest. If this owed a debt to any forebears in the horror scene, it would be the material from the nineteen-eighties, as this started out as a variation on Fright Night with the young hero fascinated by next door, then wound up mixing Gremlins (small town terror chaos) with The Monster Squad (monster archetypes invade) in its debt owed to Steven Spielberg and his productions from that era with its small, lightly idealised community under siege, much in the way Jumanji had been for the nineties.

Yet however the movie's Stine might have balked (Black keeps getting aggrieved references to how his Stine isn't considered the King of horror when a certain Steve is still around), this story owed something to the author's magnum opus of the eighties It as well, revolving around a series of episodes where the young cast (Ryan Lee joined the two younger leads as the very fine comic relief Champ) faced up to their fears through the medium of the sort of chills they had from reading or watching scary books, movies and TV, therefore overcoming the more realistic fears that life threw at them in the process. So Zach may be struggling with outwitting a werewolf or an enormous praying mantis, but at the same time he is dealing with the mortality of his parents and the nerves that finding new love can bring.

Fair enough, this was essentially a comedy with action sequences framed around horror for the younger set, but it was well aware of the value of "safe scares" and how they could prepare the viewer for the more serious business they may encounter at some point as well. Though make no mistake, this was a very funny film, with some excellent one-liners from the screenplay by Darren Lemke who adapted the concept from Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski when it was originally planned as a Tim Burton production. Oddly enough, both Lemke and director Rob Letterman came from animation works that did not hint they had something this good in their capabilities, and while it remained derivative (a charge you could put at Stine's door if you were feeling dismissive) and even repetitive, the cast were terrific, and what they were called upon to carry out allowed them to be highly amusing, with the case of Minette and Rush proving appropriately heroic too. What this did right was treat the material not as some corny joke, but as something with the value its target audience saw in it, affectionate and respectful, yet irreverent too, a tricky combination nicely achieved. Music by Danny Elfman.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3178 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Enoch Sneed
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
  Sheila Reeves
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: