Listen, I'm not ashamed to admit I had high hopes for this movie. Nor should any '90s baby who grew up on Stephen King-lite R.L. Stine's Goosebumps books and the even more lit TV series adaptation. Of course, Goosebumps benefits much more from nostalgia bias than actual merit, but that's OK. "Haunted Mask," "Stay Out of the Basement," Slappy the Dummy! Beautiful moments in adolescent pop culture, fam. Enter the inevitable Goosebumps movie, because every pseudo-franchise is up for grabs in these desert days of Hollywood. It has Jack Black, and that kid (Dylan Minnette) who's lowkey played son to every anguished white male on prestige television (remember season six of Lost?).
There was a chance that this movie would be a fun trip down memory lane, an excursion to the cinema with your younger sibling or cousin along to excuse your presence in a PG theater. Unfortunately, this trailer is a sign that it may not be worth the trip. Instead of the quietly creepy portraits of youthful suburbia painted in the TV show, we have a fake ass, meta-Jumanji. The premise: Goosebumps books exist as manuscripts that, when "unlocked," releases the real monsters onto the world. Instead of going for kid-scary this shit just looks wacky. One goofy setpiece after another featuring all the fan faves, from the Abominable Snowman, to the gnomes, and, of course, Slappy. And it has the nerve to angle for a Halloween release! I think I'm just going to torrent the series and make my cousins watch that instead.