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Trivia / Goofs
Summary / Analysis
Times of India
The demons of author RL Stine's Goosebumps series get together to wreak havoc in the small town of Madison.
The celluloid rendering of RL Stine's Goosebumps is a delightful feat. Despite coming a decade too late, director Rob Letterman ensures that this comic horror film is a hoot all the way. For young, voracious readers, Stine's series was a way of life before JK Rowling's Harry Potter books took on the mantle to add some magic to our lives.
Here, Stine is an actual character of flesh-and-blood, played by Jack Black. He is ill-tempered and leads a detached life with his daughter Hannah. His new teenage neighbour Zack (Dylan Minnette) becomes curious about the mysteries of the his household after he befriends Hannah (Odeya Rush). The writer keeps the evil forces of his books bolted in hardbound personal copies of his works. The unsuspecting Zack mistakenly releases the vicious antagonist of Stine's book, Night Of The Living Dummy, a ventriloquist dummy named Slappy, who brings to life, the others of his brethren.
Letterman's Stine has a backstory - a bullied child who created monsters to scare off neighbourhood kids. Stine has a few stock qualities - he shoos away people, breaks his fan's phone and is hardly a pleasant man to be around. Thankfully, Jack gets inventive and laces the character with his trademark energy and wit. The only glitch in the film is that it is all too predictable, much like the books that followed a template, but that is a minor distraction in this fun affair. Stine and his books get a new lease of life in this charming tribute film. To have Slappy, arguably the most menacing villain of the series, leading the pack of baddies was a clever move. As the dummy tromps off in a car emblazoned with the word HAUNTED in place of a number plate, releasing one monster after another, Goosebumps maintains its breakneck speed amidst the lunacy. The film, with the well-mounted CG villains - the werewolf, the abominable snowman, body squeezers - and its hair-raising playfulness, is a pleasure ride.
The film was earlier supposed to release in August but it was eventually pushed to October.
Dylan Minnette, who plays Zach Cooper, coincidentally plays a boy named Anthony Cooper in Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (2014).
This film is based on a young adult horror anthology book series of the same name.
This is not the only R.L. Stine related project for Dylan Minnette and Ryan Lee; they've both appeared on the TV series, R.L. Stine's The Haunting Hour (2010).
In real life, R.L. Stine has a son named Matthew.
A portion of the movie was filmed in the small town of Madison, GA. This town was voted best small town in America and is a big spot for filming in recent years.
A member of the marketing team commented on the first Goosebumps poster, saying that the marketing team wanted to make the poster unique, yet pay homage to the original television series. This explains why the poster uses a unique blue and gold coloring, along with the "Goosebumps" logo being yellow.
The only "monster" characters in the film with spoken lines (Slappy the ventriloquist dummy and the invisible boy) are both voiced by Jack Black.
Had to briefly delay filming in certain areas of New Orleans, LA in April 2014 due to the ongoing WWE Wrestlemania XXX festivities.
During the 1990s, George A. Romero was hired to adapt the book series into a single film and even finished a draft.
Jack Black portrays R.L. Stine in the film, while the actual R. L. Stine makes a cameo appearance. Playing a teacher, he passes by Stine (Jack Black) and acknowledges him, saying "Mr. Stine." Jack Black acknowledges him and responds "Mr. Black."
Tim Burton was originally going to produce the film in 1998, and was attached to it. However, the project fell through.
Why Stine's typewriter is at the local school is also left in a blur, because the writer has been in the town for only two years.
The silver filling of Champ's that kills the werewolf is actually made of amalgam.
It is strange that all monsters know Slappy because each book was separate from each other.
Zach and his mom Gale move from New York to the small town of Madison, after the demise of his father. Soon after moving in his new home, Zach befriends his pleasant neighbour Hannah. But that doesn't go down well with her father who is referred to as Mr Shivers early in the film. Shivers is unpleasant and definitely not someone anyone would want to be around. He warns Zach to stay away from Hannah. At school, he befriends an awkward boy named Champ. His mother is the new vice-principal of the school. After a delightful evening out with Hannah, Shivers is terribly displeased with his daughter. From the window of his home, Zach finds them engaging in an heated argument. Sensing that Hannah is in trouble, Zach calls the cops. The officers are assured that nothing is wrong and ask Zach to not interfere in their lives.
Zach tricks Mr Shivers to go to the police station for some further questioning. Zach calls Champ over and the two break into the home in search for Hannah. the two discover the original versions of RL Stine's books locked up on the bookshelf. Hannah confronts them and Zach explains himself. Champ who is a fan of Stine's series instigates Zach one of the books and a Yeti appears and escapes the house. Hannah runs behind the demon and the boys after her and end up at an ice-rink. He is about to attack when Mr Shivers rescues them and traps the monster in the book. On their way home, it is revealed that Mr Shivers is actually RL Stine, the writer of the series Goosebumps. As a child he was bullied by the neighbourhood kids and writing about ghosts, demons and witches became a hobby for him and he believed so strongly in these evil characters that they became real. After they became hard to control, he kept them locked in a his books.
When they return home, they discover that another book has been left open. It is no ordinary book. The villain of Night of the Living Slappy has been let free. he is angry about been shut down in a book. Before Papa Stine can catch him, he disappears with all the books and begin letting out other locked down friends of his brethren. They are attacked by gnomes and finally escape only after realizing that these monsters cannot be killed. They always rebuild themselves.
The only way to control them again is by writing another book by which all monsters are recaptured. These guys keep warding off one monster after another including the werewolf, snowman, zombies to reach Stine's typewriter that is at the local school. After passing through many dangers and almost losing their life, they finally reach the school. Slappy comes to know of their whereabouts and he and his demon friends attack the school. Slappy finds Stine and breaks his finger and it is eventually Zach who completes the story.
Stine is attacked by devilish blob but that distracts the other monsters. Zach is reluctant to open the book because it will trap even Hannah (whom he loves) because she too like others is a figment of Stine's mind. Hannah, too, gets trapped in the book like other monsters.
A few weeks later, Stine joins the school as the English teacher. He clearly misses Hannah and Stine brings her back and burns the manuscript which will keep her real for life.