released 30 May 2015 | PG | Blu-ray/dVd
Director rob letterman Cast Jack Black, dylan Minnette, ryan lee, Odeya rush
Stephen King for the torch-beneath-the-blankets demographic, RL Stine’s Goosebumps books were always a big-screen brand in waiting. Tim Burton planned a movie in 1998 but dithered over which of Stine’s kid-friendly spine-shiverers to adapt. Luckily modern science has found a solution. Simply pour all 182 books into the blender and whip that undead legion of ghouls and monsters into a postmodern purée.
In a meta move, Jack Black is RL Stine himself, self-exiled to a small town in Delaware. Toadlike and cranky, bristling at comparisons with arch rival King, he sees his literary creations lurch and slither into the real world: evil garden gnomes, demonic poodles and even a giant praying mantis.
Lit by an ’80s Amblin glow, powered by a sharp screenplay and great leads, this is a smart and charming ghost train ride – and a stealth celebration of the sorcerous art of writing.
Extras The DVD has two kid-friendly featurettes (nine minutes): one on how to defeat the movie’s monsters; one a gag about the set being haunted. The Blu-ray adds two more (13 minutes) – a behind-the-scenes bit on evil dummy Slappy, and a piece on making your own horror effects – plus deleted and alternate scenes, a gag reel and screen tests (26 minutes). Nick Setchfield
The real RL Stine isn’t a fan of the movie’s Stephen King gags: “They’re just not like me,” he says.
Barrowman had once again exposed his buttocks.