Zach Cooper (Dylan Minnette) isn’t too happy about moving from New York City to Madison, Delaware but his attitude improves when Hannah (Odeya Rush), the cute girl in the big, spooky house next door, introduces herself. She welcomes the big city kid but her father, R.L. Stine (Jack Black), isn’t so hospitable. “You see that fence?” he snarls. “Stay on your side of it!”
Of course Zach ignores the warning and soon finds himself on the wrong side of the fence, inside Stine’s library. The shelves are lined with dozens of books with titles like “The Abominable Snowman of Pasadena” and “The Werewolf of Fever Swamp.” It’s Stine’s life’s work, a collection of scary novels for kids, populated by creatures that exist only in the author’s imagination… until Zach opens one of the books and unleashes the fiends into the real world. As the Abominable Snowman wreaks havoc in Madison, Zach learns that Hannah and Stine keep the book’s beasts locked up inside the manuscripts. With Vampires, and Werewolves, and Demons—oh my!—
On the loose the town is in danger. Only Stine and the kids can put an end to the monster mayhem and take the beasties from the stage to back on the page.
“Goosebumps” will tickle your funny-bone more than raise any actual goosebumps, but it’s a fun throwback to the kind of teenage thriller best enjoyed at a Saturday afternoon matinee movie with a large box of popcorn and a Coke. The movie is meant for teens, but older viewers—whether you’re of the “Monster Squad” age or the “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein” generation—should get a nostalgic blast from the harmless scary fun on display.