For this month’s next review for Genre Grandeur – Horror Films, here’s a review of Goosebumps (2015) by SG of Rhyme and Reason
Thanks again to Jane of 500 Days of Film for choosing this month’s interesting (if not uncomfortable for me) genre.
Next month’s Genre has been chosen by Prime Six. He has chosen another unique genre for this coming month. We will be reviewing our favorite Realistic Films.
Here’s his interpretation of the genre:
We all put reviews in for films we think are realistic, for example Gravity has real physics behind it and Saving Private Ryan is a realistic depiction of war.
To be clear, not ‘real’, not a true story or documentary. What comes to mind when you think of the most realistic film you’ve ever seen? So Fast and Furious and Comic book films are all (mostly?) out.
It’s a weird topic, not even a genre, more of an opinion but I think it could be interesting.
A few examples just so we can have a good idea and get the ball rolling
David Ayer crime stuff
Watchmen could have an argument
Rambo 1 / First Blood perhaps
12 Angry Men
There’s a huge range of genre’s covered by this topic, clearly. It could be interesting to see what people define as ‘realistic’ in Hollywood – they’re not right or wrong because it’s opinion based.
Please get me your submissions by the 25th of Sep by sending them to email@example.com Try to think out of the box! Great choice Prime Six!
Let’s see what SG thought of this movie:
Creaking of staircases,
Lights that go dim,
Things not in their places,
Odds looking grim,
That you cannot prove,
That happen to move,
Monsters and terrors,
Such are the scarers
That give us goosebumps.
MPAA rating: PG
Like Rob, I’m not a big fan of the horror genre and wasn’t sure what to choose for this month’s GG. To avoid the hardcore stuff, I opted for the lighter side of the genre, horror comedy, and probably one of the lightest entries in the genre is Goosebumps, based on the horror-for-kids series by prolific author R.L. Stine. I never read Goosebumps growing up, and my exposure to them was limited to seeing the titles and creepy covers in the library or the video store. Thus, this film isn’t necessarily meant for me, yet it manages to entertain even non-fans with frights and amusement that never cancel each other out.
One reason Goosebumps connected with me is that it’s a family film in the vein of Jumanji, one of my favorite movies growing up. Like Judy and Peter in that film, Zach Cooper (Dylan Minnette, aka Jack’s son in Lost) moves into a new house but finds there’s far more mystery going on next door, where friendly Hannah (Odeya Rush) seems to be threatened by her menacing father (Jack Black, making good use of his eyebrows). In lieu of the magic game board from Jumanji, Zach and cowardly friend Champ (Ryan Lee) sneak into Hannah’s house and discover that her father’s myriad manuscripts release real monsters when opened, letting loose all manner of R.L. Stine creatures, from werewolves and aliens to the evil dummy Slappy (also Jack Black). Another touchstone for the film that came to my mind is the anime series Cardcaptor Sakura; I haven’t seen it in years, but I recall enjoying the story of a girl tracking down monsters accidentally released from magical cards (one of which also invades an ice rink). Goosebumps isn’t quite such a scavenger hunt, but its similarity to two fond entertainments from my childhood helped me appreciate it more than I expected.
Goosebumps is a family film so its horror aspects are tame. There’s more creepiness than true terror here; the danger is persistent yet restrained to chases and close calls. As a showcase of Stine’s many creations, it’s a creature feature, sometimes with echoes of Gremlins and The Twilight Zone. The first thirty minutes are fairly mundane, with awkward humor from Zach’s aunt and friend, but once the monsters burst onto the scene, the mayhem is a treat to watch as one little accident spirals into a town-wide disaster.
Goosebumps is a fun, CGI-heavy romp in the spirit of Jumanji, The Spiderwick Chronicles, and Inkheart, with elements of all three sprinkled throughout. It’s barely horror, but fans of Stine and newcomers alike are sure to be entertained.
Best line: (Officer Stevens, to Zach) “Do you have any idea what the penalty is for filing a false police report?”
(Training Officer Brooks) “Three years!”
(Officer Stevens) “Yeah, close. It… Actually, it’s a written warning.”
\Rank: List Runner-Up
© 2016 S. G. Liput
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