Goosebumps (film)

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Goosebumps
Goosebumps (film) poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Rob Letterman
Produced by
Screenplay by Darren Lemke
Story by Scott Alexander
Larry Karaszewski
Based on Goosebumps
by R. L. Stine
Starring
Music by Danny Elfman
Cinematography Javier Aguirresarobe
Edited by Jim May
Production
companies
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date
  • June 24, 2015 (2015-06-24) (CineEurope)[2]
  • October 16, 2015 (2015-10-16) (United States)
Running time
103 minutes[3]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $58–84 million[4][5]
Box office $150.2 million[5]

Goosebumps is a 2015 American horror comedy film based on the children's book series of the same name by R.L. Stine. It was directed by Rob Letterman and written by Darren Lemke, from a story by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski. The film stars Jack Black, Dylan Minnette, Odeya Rush, Amy Ryan, Ryan Lee, and Jillian Bell. It was financed by Sony, LStar Capital, and Village Roadshow Pictures,[6] and also produced by Sony Pictures Animation, Original Film, and Scholastic Entertainment.[7]

The film premiered on June 24, 2015, at the CineEurope fair in Barcelona, Spain, and was released on October 16, 2015, in the United States by Columbia Pictures.[7] Goosebumps grossed $150 million against its $84 million budget. It received nominations for the Las Vegas Film Critics Society[8] for Best Family Film and the Visual Effects Society for Outstanding Visual Effects in a Special Venue Project. A sequel titled Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween is scheduled to be released on October 12, 2018.

Plot[edit]

16-year-old Zach Cooper and his mother Gale Cooper move from New York to the town of Madison, Delaware after the recent death of Zach's father. While trying to settle into the new neighborhood, Zach meets a girl his age named Hannah and her overprotective father 'Mr. Shivers'. Zach and Hannah become quick friends, but Mr. Shivers frequently warns Zach to avoid contact with them. At Madison High School where Gale works as the vice-principal, Zach befriends Champ, a socially awkward student.

The following day as Zach is taking out the trash, Hannah appears behind him. When Zach inquires why he did not see her at school she replies that she is home-schooled by her father. Hannah then takes Zach to an abandoned amusement park where the two climb the Ferris wheel and bond in one of the carriages before returning home where they are discovered by Hannah's father. Mr. Shivers warns Zach once again to stay away or something very bad will happen before disappearing behind the fence. Later that same night, Zach hears Mr. Shivers and Hannah arguing, followed by Hannah screaming and something crashing. Zach calls the police, but Mr. Shivers assures the officers that the noise came from his television. Zach returns home with his mother who leaves shortly after, to go to the school's Homecoming Dance, leaving Zach home alone with his Aunt Lorraine. Fearing Hannah is in danger, Zach tricks Mr. Shivers into going to the police station for further questioning and breaks into his house with Champ's help through the basement. The two then enter Mr. Shiver's study where they find a shelf containing numerous "Goosebumps" manuscripts—all locked. In response to Champ's curiosity, Zach unlocks one of the books, but when Hannah discovers them, Zach drops it and releases the Abominable Snowman from "The Abominable Snowman of Pasadena". They pursue the monster to an ice skating rink, where they attempt to trap the snowman back in the book. As the trio are eventually cornered without the manuscript, Mr. Shivers appears behind the snowman and imprisons it back into the book.

On the way home, Mr. Shivers unintentionally reveals that he is Goosebumps author R.L. Stine. Once they return home he tells Hannah to pack up her things because they are moving away once again. Upon Zach's insistence, Stine explains how he created the stories as a child to terrorize the people that made fun of him, but the monsters came to life and became uncontrollable, so he trapped them in the manuscripts. Returning to the study, they find an angered Slappy, from "Night of the Living Dummy", waiting for them. Slappy burns his own manuscript as revenge for imprisonment and flees with all of the books intent on releasing all of the monsters, escaping in the Haunted Car from the book of the same name, after having released it. The group are attacked by living lawn gnomes from "Revenge of the Lawn Gnomes", but when Stine and the kids try to smash them, each of the gnomes reform, so they flee.

Slappy rampages through Madison in the Haunted Car, releasing several more monsters: mutant plants from "You're Plant Food" destroy the cell phone towers, isolating the town, while the vampire poodle from "Please Don't Feed the Vampire!" attacks Zach's aunt Lorraine, and the Body Squeezers from "Invasion of the Body Squeezers" freeze the police station and the officers. Zach implores Stine to write a new book that can trap every monster, but he can only do it with a supernatural Smith Corona typewriter, on display at the high school. En route, Brent Green from "My Best Friend is Invisible", and the giant praying mantis from "A Shocker on Shock Street" attack Stine's car, forcing them into hiding in a supermarket. Will Blake's werewolf form from "The Werewolf of Fever Swamp" pursues them to the back loading dock of the supermarket, only to be run over by Lorraine into one of the dumpsters. Stine and Lorraine show a romantic interest in each other, before Zach asks Lorraine to notify the police at the police station.

At the police station, Lorraine attempts to notify the police of the group's whereabouts but finds the station empty. After trying to use one of the radios to get in contact with any officers, Slappy appears mockingly in police attire indicating how he has taken over the entire police station. A frightened Lorraine is soon frozen by the Body Squeezers.

The group cuts through a graveyard where Zach notices that Hannah glows blue under moonlight before they are attacked by ghouls from "Attack of the Graveyard Ghouls". After escaping the graveyard, the group arrives at the school where Zach privately questions Stine about whether Hannah knows she is another character. He reveals that she is, in fact, Hannah Fairchild from "The Ghost Next Door". Stine created her to cope with his loneliness even though she does not know it, and doesn't expect Zach to understand his intention. Zach then reveals that he does understand with him losing his father. Hannah appears, telling them how they found the typewriter. Stine acquires the typewriter and starts writing a new story based on the events around them, while Slappy releases the rest of the Goosebumps monsters outside on the school football field. Zach tries to warn the students about the events going on outside before the praying mantis attacks the school frightening the students. Slappy then rallies all of the monsters to attack the school together in order to get to Stine and stop him, while Zach leads the students in fending off all the released monsters storming the building. Meanwhile, the monsters finally enter the school with help of the Annihilator 3000 from "Toy Terror: Batteries Included". Slappy soon finds and confronts Stine, breaking his fingers with the typewriter case before the story is finished.

As the students and staff at the high school continue to fend the monsters off, the group boards a school bus and head to the abandoned amusement park. The monsters follow in pursuit and catch up with the school bus. However it is revealed to be a decoy with the group, who're waiting for their plan to work. Upon opening the doors, the school bus explodes and temporarily destroys the monsters giving the group more time to escape. At the park, the group take refuge in the fun house where Zach continues to type the story as Stine is telling it to him. Slappy soon tracks them and after revealing how he and Stine are the same persona, releases the blob from "The Blob that Ate Everyone". Stine hands the book and typewriter to Zach and distracts the blob by allowing it to devour him. The group then climbs to the top of the ferris wheel where Zach finishes the story. However, when Slappy notices the book is not with Stine, he has the monsters attack the Ferris wheel making it fall off its hinges and roll violently out of the park. As the group climbs out, Hannah insists Zach to open the book but Zach is reluctant to open the book because Hannah will also be sucked inside it. Revealing she knew the truth about herself all along, Hannah opens the book, sucking Slappy and all the other monsters into it; she bids farewell to Zach with a kiss before she is also sucked in.

Months later, Stine is the new substitute English teacher and is in a relationship with Lorraine. After class, as Zach reminisces about Hannah to Stine, Stine reveals Hannah in the hallway. Stine explains that he wrote her back into existence with one more book. Hannah and Zach kiss and leave school together while Stine burns Hannah's manuscript, making her permanently real. As Stine is about to leave school, he hears the click of the typewriter typing by itself inside its display case. Much to Stine's horror, Brent Green has evaded imprisonment and begins to write a new Goosebumps book titled "The Invisible Boy's Revenge".

Cast[edit]

Jack Black, Dylan Minnette, and Odeya Rush starred in the film as Mr. Stine, Zach, and Hannah.
  • Jack Black as R. L. Stine, a single father with a secret past,[9] who Hannah lives with.
    • Jack Black as the voice of Slappy the Dummy, a living ventriloquist dummy from the Night of the Living Dummy books.[10]
    • Avery Jones provides the puppeteer work for Slappy.
    • Jack Black also voices Brent Green, the invisible boy from My Best Friend is Invisible.
  • Dylan Minnette as Zachary "Zach" Cooper,[11] R. L. Stine's new neighbor.
  • Odeya Rush as Hannah Stine,[12] Stine's adopted daughter, Zach's new neighbor and love interest, secretly Hannah Fairchild from The Ghost Next Door.[13]
  • Amy Ryan as Gale Cooper, Zach's mother who becomes the vice-principal at Madison High School.[14]
  • Ryan Lee as Champ, Zach's new friend.[15]
  • Jillian Bell as Lorraine Conyers, Zach's aunt and Gale's sister.[14]
  • Halston Sage as Taylor, a popular student at Madison High School whom Champ has a crush on.[16]
  • Ken Marino as Coach Carr, the gym teacher at Madison High School who hits on Gale.[17]
  • Timothy Simons as Officer Stevens, a police officer that works for the Madison Police Department.[18]
  • Amanda Lund as Officer Brooks, a police officer trainee that works for the Madison Police Department and is partnered with Officer Stevens.[18]
  • Steven Krueger as Davidson, a popular student at Madison High School.[19]
  • Keith Arthur Bolden as Principal Garrison, the principal of Madison High School.
  • R. L. Stine as Mr. Black, the new drama teacher at Madison High School that R. L. Stine encounters in the hallway. He was credited as "Hallway Player".[20]

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

The first attempt at a Goosebumps film, in 1998, was set to be produced by Tim Burton. Chris Meledandri, the president of Fox Family Films at the time, said, "I think you'll see us tackling a scale of story that would be prohibitive to do on the small screen".[21] However, the film did not materialize since they could not find a script they liked or determine which book or monster to adapt.[22] In 2008, Columbia Pictures acquired rights to create a Goosebumps film.[23] Neal Moritz and Deborah Forte, the latter of whom had previously worked on the TV series, were chosen to produce the film.[24] Screenwriting team Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski were hired as screenwriters,[25] and wrote the original script for the film. The duo decided against adapting any one book in the series, feeling the individual books in the series were too short. Thinking of ways to create a universe where all the creatures in the books could live together, they elected to do a fake biographical film where R. L. Stine writes a book and the monsters within it become real.[26] In 2010, Carl Ellsworth was chosen to write the screenplay.[27] On January 14, 2012, it was reported that a new draft of the screenplay would be written by Darren Lemke; Lemke co-wrote the screenplays for Shrek Forever After and Bryan Singer's Jack the Giant Slayer.[28] In November 2012, Stine expressed pessimism about the prospect of the film, saying that he would believe that a film can be based on his Goosebumps series when he sees it. He mentioned Where the Wild Things Are being adapted into a film almost 50 years after publication.[29]

Casting[edit]

Jack Black "fighting" Slappy and his fellow monsters at the 2014 San Diego Comic-Con International.
The film marks the third collaboration between Jack Black and director Rob Letterman, who previously worked together on Shark Tale and Gulliver's Travels

In September 2013, it was reported that Jack Black was in talks to "play a Stine-like author whose scary characters literally leap off the page, forcing him to hide from his own creepy creations".[30] Black stated that he tried to make the character "more of a sort of curmudgeonly dark, brooding beast master". He also said that he attempted to approach this film the same way he does others, trying to "make it as funny as possible".[31] Black met with R. L. Stine to get his consent for the film, but determined that his character could not be too similar to the real one; Black explained that he needed the character to be more sinister.[32] Rob Letterman was chosen as the director, reuniting him with Black, after working together on Shark Tale and Gulliver's Travels.[30]

It was announced in February 2014 that Dylan Minnette had been cast as Zach Cooper,[33] and Odeya Rush as Stine-like author's daughter, Hannah.[9] On February 26, 2014, it was announced that the film would be released on March 23, 2016.[34][35] On April 4, 2014, it was announced that Amy Ryan and Jillian Bell had joined the cast as Cooper's mother and aunt respectively.[14] On April 10, 2014, Ken Marino joined the cast as Coach Carr.[17] On April 28, 2014, Halston Sage joined the cast.[16] On May 1, 2014, the film's release date was moved up to August 7, 2015.[36] Stine stated on May 20, 2014, that he was going to make a cameo appearance in the film.[20]

The film was promoted at the 2014 San Diego Comic-Con International where Jack Black and Rob Letterstein interacted with Slappy the Dummy. Slappy even brought some of his "friends" out consisting of the Bog Monster from How to Kill a Monster, two Graveyard Ghouls from Attack of the Graveyard Ghouls, Cronby the Troll and a Mulgani from Deep in the Jungle of Doom, the Lord High Executioner from A Night in Terror Tower, Murder the Clown from A Nightmare on Clown Street, the Mummy of Prince Khor-Ru from Return of the Mummy, Captain Long Ben One-Leg from Creep from the Deep, Professor Shock from The Creepy Creations of Professor Shock, Count Nightwing from Vampire Breath, a Creep from Calling All Creeps!, a Body Squeezer from Invasion of the Body Squeezers: Part 1 and Part 2, Carly Beth Caldwell's Haunted Mask form from The Haunted Mask, a Scarecrow from The Scarecrow Walks at Midnight, and a Pumpkin Head from Attack of the Jack-O'-Lanterns. When Jack Black tells Slappy that it is him that Slappy wants, Slappy instructs the Lord High Executioner, Murder the Clown, and Professor Shock to take Jack Black outside to his car. As the monsters leave, Slappy tells Rob some of his pitches causing Rob to leave as well.[37][38]

Some monsters due for an appearance in the film were cut for budgetary reasons, but Letterman stated that the crew tried to choose the monsters most appropriate to the story. Letterman also stated that he tried to combine both humor and horror in the film, commenting that "[t]he books themselves are legitimately scary, but they're legitimately funny, and we try to capture that".[32] In November 2014, the release date was moved back to April 15, 2016.[39] In January 2015, the release date was pushed forward to October 16, 2015.[40][41]

Filming[edit]

In mid-April 2014, a crew of six spent three days gathering visual data for the film in downtown Madison, Georgia. The crew used a theodolite to collect points in three-dimensional space to complete a detailed survey of the city. The visual data was used to create a CGI background of the downtown.[42] Neal Moritz and Rob Letterman stated that Madison was their first choice for the film after scouting the city.[43] Principal photography on the film began on April 23, 2014 in Candler Park in Atlanta;[44] they were also set to shoot the film in Conyers and Madison.[9] On May 19, filming was taking place in the streets of Madison,[45] with 480 Goosebumps crew members working in Madison and Morgan County.[43] Principal photography ended on July 16, 2014.[46] A stretch of Dawsonville Highway in Georgia was intermittently closed to film a car travelling up and down multiple bridges for the film.[47]

Music and soundtrack[edit]

Goosebumps (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Soundtrack album / Film score by Danny Elfman
Released October 9, 2015
Recorded 2015
Genre Soundtrack, orchestral
Length 64:07
Label Sony Classical Records
Producer Danny Elfman
Danny Elfman film scores chronology
Avengers: Age of Ultron
(2015)Avengers: Age of Ultron2015
Goosebumps
(2015)
Alice Through the Looking Glass
(2016)Alice Through the Looking Glass2016
Singles from Goosebumps (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
  1. "Racketeer"
    Released: 2015
  2. "Everybody Have Fun Tonight"
    Released: 2015
  3. "Better Than the Rest"
    Released: 2015

The soundtrack for the film, featuring original music composed by Danny Elfman, was released on CD on October 23, 2015, by Sony Classical Records. The digital version was released by Madison Gate Records the week before.[48]

Songs featured in the film

Release[edit]

Premiere[edit]

Goosebumps had its world premiere screening on June 24, 2015, at the CineEurope film distributors' trade fair in Barcelona, Spain, where the film was presented by Black on stage.[2]

Home media[edit]

Goosebumps was released on Blu-ray (2D and 3D) and DVD on January 26, 2016, and includes deleted scenes, a blooper reel, interviews with the cast and crew, an alternate opening, an alternate ending, and a featurette about Slappy.[49]

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

Goosebumps grossed $80.1 million in North America and $70.1 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $150.2 million, against a budget of $58 million.[5]

In the United States and Canada, pre-release trackings indicated the film would open to between $20–31 million at 3,501 theaters. However, Sony was more conservative, and projected the film to take between $12–15 million.[50][51][52] The film opened on October 16, 2015 alongside Bridge of Spies, Crimson Peak, and Woodlawn, however box office pundits noted that it did not face serious competition except for The Martian, which was entering its third week.[6] It made $600,000 from its early Thursday night screenings at 2,567 theaters, and $7.4 million on its opening day.[53][54] In its opening weekend the film grossed $23.5 million, beating studio projections and finishing first at the box office. It marked the fourth Sony film to reign at the top of the box office during the fall. Previously the studio scored No. 1 spots over the last seven weeks with War Room, The Perfect Guy and Hotel Transylvania 2.[55][56] Families represented the largest demographics with 60%, followed by under 25 with 59% and male/female ratio was split evenly at 50/50.[55]

Outside North America, Goosebumps was released in a total of 66 countries.[57] Mexico has so far represented its largest opening as well as the biggest market in terms of total earnings with $7.1 million followed by Australia ($6.3 million) and the United Kingdom and Ireland ($6 million).[57][58] It opened at No. 1 in the United Kingdom and Ireland ($3.9 million). In the United Kingdom, preview takings helped Goosebumps top the box office ahead of the more heavily hyped Dad's Army.[59] In Russia, it opened at No. 2 behind In the Heart of the Sea with $1.27 million.[60] Furthermore, it opened in France with $1 million.[58]

Critical reception[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 76% based on 152 reviews, with an average rating of 6.3/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Goosebumps boasts more than enough of its spooky source material's kid-friendly charm to make up for some slightly scattershot humor and a hurried pace."[61] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 60 out of 100 based on 29 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[62] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale.[63]

Kevin P. Sullivan of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a B rating, citing at the end of his review: "Nothing about Goosebumps is revolutionary—at a certain point you may realize that it's as if Nickelodeon produced Cabin in the Woods—but it's a never-boring trip to a world, where stories and imagination are powerful tools, that just might inspire kids to do the scariest thing of all: pick up a book".[64]

Accolades[edit]

Award Category Recipient Result
Las Vegas Film Critics Society[8] Best Family Film Nominated
Visual Effects Society Outstanding Visual Effects in a Special Venue Project Jason Schugardt, Mike Wigart, Alex Harding, Daniel Mars Nominated
Saturn Awards[65] Best Fantasy Film Nominated

Sequel[edit]

On September 2, 2015, it was reported that a sequel was in the planning stages, with Sony looking for a screenwriter.[66] On January 17, 2017, a January 26, 2018, release date was set and Rob Letterman confirmed that he is to return as director for the sequel.[67] On February 6, 2017, it was announced that the film's release date has been delayed to September 21, 2018, taking the place of the release date previously held by Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation.[68] In May 2017, the title was revealed to be Goosebumps: Horror Land.[69] It was confirmed that Jack Black will reprise his role as R.L. Stine but it later turned out due to scheduling issues he will not be returning after all.It has also been confirmed that Odeya Rush will return as Hannah Fairchild, R.L Stine’s daughter from the first film. [70] In November 2017, Rob Lieber was tapped to pen the script.[71] Shortly after Ari Sandel was announced as Letterman's replacement as director. Variety reported that two scripts have been written. One script has Black reprising his role, while the other has Black cut out entirely.[72] In December 2017, the sequel's release date was pushed to October 12, 2018.[73] Production began on February 25, 2018,[74]Due to scheduling conflicts Jack Black will not be returning[75] New cast members include Madison Iseman, Ben O'Brien, Caleel Harris, and Jeremy Ray Taylor.[76] Ken Jeong, Chris Parnell, and Wendi McLendon-Covey joined the following month.[77] Filming officially began on March 7, 2018, and in April 2018 the new title was announced as Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween.[78]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]