Mister Cinecal

Mister Cinecal

Friday, 28 February 2014

Goosebumps Movie: Nostalgia of the Living Dummies?

Hayden Christensen cast in upcoming film
In a move set to have Buzzfeed writers tossing each other off with glee (or just posting Jurassic Park gifs alluding to that fact) this week movie producers finally agreed to pander to nostalgia by announcing a Goosebumps movie for 2016. Truly only 90s kids will get how awesome this is, unless people born in other decades have access to a library, or the internet.

The film, being produced by Sony, will star Jack Black

As R.L. Stine

Sure, okay. According to Variety, the plot of the film will see a young man move from New York City to a small town, where he discovers his secretive neighbour is horror writer Stine. When Slappy the Living Dummy releases all the horrors of Stine’s imagination (which, doesn’t include the living dummy…I guess?) into the real world, the two along with Stine’s niece must set things right. I mean there are other places I would have preferred a Goosebumps movie to go (horror anthology, Finding Forrester but with a children’s horror writer) but this is acceptable too, kids moving to new towns, old weirdos causing trouble, and a boy (probably named Chad) teaming up with a girl (probably a tomboy named Sam) these are all staples of the Goosebumps franchise. As a 90s kid, only I know this.

It does seem a strange choice to make a movie like this now. Firstly, children’s books these days are all about illicit romances between people whose names were derived from a cat walking across a keyboard, so I don’t know if a new audience will dig books which all end with a ten year old finding out that they weren’t being chased by a werewolf, but that they were the werewolf. And they were living under the ocean. On the moon. Secondly, I’m not sure that nostalgia-hungry young adults want to go revisiting Goosebumps, they might be in for the scare that it was actually not very good. Accuse me of heresy if you will, but R.L. Stine was definitely an author who believed in quantity over quality. Still, children of the 80’s have had such a stranglehold over Hollywood for so long (they still apparently want a Masters of the Universe movie, to the delight of no one) it will be interesting to see if there are any more adaptations of things only 90s kids will appreciate. Like Animorphs! Or Rugrats! Or the horrific war crimes of the Yugoslav war!!!

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