Goosebumps Review – IGN

Telling someone that you’ve gotten goosebumps and grown up won’t actually reflect your age. RL Stine has been writing these slim, preteen potboilers for so long that his fan base spans multiple generations; If you were a kid anytime between the early ’90s and last summer, you may have memories of tearing into one of her junior horror yarns. You’ll also join the ranks of the demographic influenced by the latest TV version of those books, a 10-episode series arriving on Disney+ and Hulu this month. Following supernatural events experienced by a group of suburban teens and their parents, the show aims to hit something of a sweet spot between current trends and ’90s nostalgia, like those reading behind the colorful covers of Stine’s Hoping to catch anyone’s interest. Colorfully titled tales of monsters in small-town America.

The first episode begins in 1993, with Kurt Loder on a TV and the melancholy tune of REM’s “Drive” on a boombox. (As in another recent Stine adaptation, Netflix’s Fear Street trilogy, expensive radio hits set the retro scene.) A teenage boy, Harold Biddle (Ben Cockell), dies in a fire, the flames spreading one lousy evening. Skull-face ghost leaves air. Only later will we get the full story, a slight variation on Freddy Krueger’s origin. Suffice it to say, Harold will be making a comeback in the form of a bucket hat soon.

Flash forward to the present day. The target of the ghost is a diverse, wholesome group of high-school friends in the fictional port town of Port Lawrence, who have gathered at a party held in the house where Harold died, which was tainted with the kind of things that It was a particularly hair-raising story. Its spooky hook: a haunted mask, a cursed camera, a jar of maggots. Although the characters are played by actors in their mid-20s, they are as straight-laced and lovable as the young kids Stine wrote. It’s a safe vision of teen life for scholastic (and Disney) audiences.

Aside from the shoddyness of the effects work, none of it bears much resemblance to the more faithful, ’90s Goosebumps show, the low-budget after-school compilation that took up many of Stine’s 100-some pages. Have adapted. And though co-creator Rob Letterman also directed the first Goosebumps film, which starred an amusingly hammy Jack Black as Stine, the new series is a far cry from that quirky Jumanji riff. This time, the source material has been shaped into a sprawling teen soap opera of buried family secrets and chaste love triangles. Often, it’s like Stranger Things, in which the point of reference shifts from Stephen King to an almost famous children’s author who has caught King comparisons his entire career.

For a while, the show at least loosely follows Stine’s trajectory, pulling from his early library of bestsellers as each character gets caught up in a different supernatural dilemma inspired by the books. We get evil clones, body-swap shenanigans, a Groundhog Day riff, a Tremors gloss. Letterman and co-creator Nicholas Stoller (The Muppets, Neighbors) try to connect the haunting phenomenon to the emotional struggles of teens: An online troll (Ana Yi Puig) literally transforms into a young adventurer (Will Price) who finds himself Saves’ emotional pain becomes virtually indestructible, and a football hero (Zack Morris) watches a Polaroid of impending disaster riding on his display. The cast is honest and likeable – part Breakfast Club, part Scooby Gang.

But Goosebumps becomes more vulnerable the more the children delve into their parents’ buried crimes. The plot becomes increasingly complex, driven by a vengeful ghost who can take possession of dead bodies And cause hallucinations And Exile the characters to a doodle dream world. “It looked like the past but it felt like the future,” says a child after a microscopic time-travel excursion. “It’s very difficult to describe.” She can say that again! Justin Long barely holds things together, bringing notes of comedy, pathos and savage post-villainy to his performance as a teacher at Port Lawrence High.

Goosebumps The more children are immersed in their parents’ buried crimes, the more vulnerable they become.

The joy of Goosebumps always lay in the simplicity of its teenage adventures: the books were addictive cliffhanger machines whose punchy prose instantly drew young readers in. that they were not Telling some grand narrative, that each story was self-contained, probably helped to account for their enduring popularity. Since the characters did not move, you could board the Goosebumps Express at any time along the way. Television operates in a different way, and there’s no reason to have excessive reverence for book series churned out at a mercurial monthly clip by their author for literally decades. At the same time, Stine’s work – his boilerplate stories of demon blood and evil dummies – may not be the best basis for a sprawling YA saga.

However, teen audiences may still be attracted to melodrama. Who among them wouldn’t relate to a story about an older generation screwing things up for a younger generation? For everyone else, nothing in the show will be as jarring as the realization that the early Goosebumps readers are now old enough to have Goosebumps readers of their own. It’s enough to make you feel like one of those skeletons you’re barbecuing Cover of Cheese and Die from,

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