To get everyone on the same page, we’ll start with the trailer for Goosebumps, starring Jack Black as R.L Stine, author of the classic children’s book series of the same name.
Watching this trailer leaves me with a strange sense of confusion, nostalgia, anger, intrigue and excitement. I can’t figure out if I hate Sony for making this movie, or if I should be sending them a thank you card. I can’t deny that I didn’t get excited seeing all of the classic Goosebumps characters that I remember from my childhood, and I’m not ashamed to admit that I can tell you the title of the book every single monster in the trailer is pulled from. It’s even a pretty cool concept:
Boy moves to a new town.
Boy meets girl.
Boy meets girl’s dad, famous author R.L. Stine.
Boy accidentally releases all the monsters from Stine’s Goosebumps book catalog.
It’s original, and it works in stories from Stine’s entire series of Goosebumps books, without ensuring way too many unnecessary sequels. But here’s what my problem is: It seems like they can’t figure out who they are targeting. The obvious target would be the Millennials. People like myself- approximately ages 18-30; those who grew up reading the Goosebumps books and will actually understand the references. But they seem to be aiming for a much younger audience, and really embracing the fantasy aspect rather than the original horror that I loved so much reading the books as a child.
Take the movie poster for instance. The covers for the books are to this day, some of my favourite pieces of cover art. So when I’m expecting this:
We’re currently living in a chapter of the entertainment industry where movie poster design has really taken a hit. Even some of the best movies, and by best I mean highest grossing like the Marvel movies, all have the worst designs for their official movie posters, while amateur artists create way better ones that don’t make it much further than some praise and fake internet points on Reddit.
And lets talk about Jack Black for a moment. I can’t think of a more “hit-or-miss” actor. He has his moments, typically in movies about music, but if I have to hear his “Riggg-a-gee-gee-GAYEAAAHH” mouth guitar soloing in one more movie I’m going to forever boycott Tenacious D. I can’t figure out if he is a great casting for this movie, or an awful one.
Goosebumps does seem to have all the bullet points to make a great kids movie that’s fun for the whole family:
- Relatable teen lead
- High school romance/ girl next door
- Goofy friend
- Broken family/ absent father
- Slapstick comedy adult figure (Jack Black)
- Murderous garden gnomes
I’m sure they know what they’re doing, and I will definitely be seeing Goosebumps when it comes out on October 16th of this year, but I will be going in with low expectations. Let’s hope the nostalgia is enough to carry my interest through this movie.