|Directed by||Rob Letterman|
|Screenplay by||Darren Lemke|
|Story by||Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski|
by R. L. Stine
|Edited by||Jim May|
|Music by||Danny Elfman|
|Distributed by||Sony Pictures Releasing|
|Box office||$158.3 million|
Goosebumps is a 2015 American comedy horror film directed by Rob Letterman from a screenplay written by Darren Lemke. It is based on R. L. Stine's children's horror book series of the same name and stars Jack Black, Dylan Minnette, Odeya Rush, Amy Ryan, Ryan Lee, and Jillian Bell. The plot follows a fictionalized version of Stine who teams up with his teenage daughter and their neighbor to save their hometown after all the monsters from the Goosebumps franchise escape from their books, wreaking havoc in the real world.
Development on a Goosebumps film adaptation began in the 1990’s with Tim Burton and George A. Romero attached to direct. After failing to find a script to determine which book to adapt, the project was halted. In early 2008, Columbia Pictures acquired the rights to create a Goosebumps-based film, and the project reentered development. Principal photography lasted from April to July 2014 in Candler Park, Atlanta.
Goosebumps was theatrically released in the United States on October 16, 2015, by Columbia Pictures. The film was a commercial success, grossing $158 million against its $84 million budget, and received positive reviews from critics, with praise for its humor, pacing, and faithfulness to the Goosebumps franchise.
A standalone sequel, Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween, was released on October 12, 2018, with only Black returning as Stine in an uncredited supporting role.
After his father's death, teenage Zach Cooper and his mother Gale move from New York City to Madison, Delaware where Gale gets a job as the local high school's new vice-principal. Setting in the neighborhood, Zach meets his neighbor Hannah, whose overprotective father tells him to stay away from her. Zach also befriends a cowardly but friendly student named Champ. Hannah invites Zach to an abandoned amusement park where they get know each other. Upon returning home, Hannah's father again warns him to stay away from them.
That same night, Gale has to supervise the school's spring break dance and leaves Zach with his aunt Lorraine. Fearing Hannah is in danger, Zach tricks her father into going to the police station while he and Champ enter his house. They find a bookself with numerous locked manuscripts from the Goosebumps horror book series. Zach accidentally unlocks The Abominable Snowman of Pasadena and the book's titular monster emerges from it. With Hannah's help, they track the snowman to an ice rink where Hannah's father appears and reimprisons the monster in the book.
Hannah's father reveals himself as R. L. Stine, the creator of the Goosebumps franchise; Stine wrote the stories to cope with bullying but his creations became real as result of his supernatural imagination and he was forced to keep them imprisoned in their books. Back home, they find Slappy the Dummy from the Night of the Living Dummy series freed from his manuscript. Seeking revenge for his imprisonment, Slappy burns his book and escapes with the entire Goosebumps collection. He unlocks The Haunted Car and Revenge of the Lawn Gnomes books, driving away in the titular possessed car as Stine, Zach, Hannah, and Champ are attacked by living garden gnomes who force them to leave the house.
Slappy rampages through Madison, releasing several monsters from their books to wreak havoc. Mutant plants from You're Plant Food! destroy the cell towers to isolate the town, bug-eyed aliens from Invasion of the Body Squeezers freeze the entire police station and a vampire poodle from Please Don't Feed the Vampire! attacks Lorraine. Zach convinces Stine to write a new Goosebumps book to recapture the monsters, but it can only be done with a special typewriter displayed at the school. On the way, the group is attacked by Brent Green from My Best Friend is Invisible and a giant praying mantis from A Shocker on Shock Street, hiding inside a supermarket. Will Blake from The Werewolf of Fever Swamp chases them to the parking lot where he is run over by Lorraine, who survived the poodle's attack.
The group cut through a cemetery as Lorraine goes to the police station where she is freezed by the aliens. Zach sees Hannah ghost-like glows in the moonlight before being attacked by zombies from Attack of the Graveyard Ghouls. In the school, Stine confesses to Zach that his daughter is Hannah Fairchild from The Ghost Next Door, whom he originally created to cope with his loneliness. They find the typewriter and Stine starts typing a story based on the events around them while Zach and Champ attempt to warn everyone.
Slappy releases all remaining monsters from the Goosebumps franchise and commands them to attack the school. Zach battles mutant bees from Why I'm Afraid of Bees while the monsters get in the school with help of toy robots from Toy Terror: Batteries Included. Slappy finds Stine and breaks his fingers with the typewriter's case before he can finish the book. The group trick the monsters into following a school bus rigged with explosives while they board another and drive to the abandoned amusement park. Slappy tracks them down and releases the titular monster from The Blob That Ate Everyone as the other monsters arrive. Stine confronts it and is devoured while Zach, Hannah, and Champ take refuge in the park's ferris wheel where Zach finishes the story before the structure is damaged by the monsters. Zach refuses to open the story's book because Hannah will also be sucked in but Hannah reveals she knew the truth about herself all along and opens it, sucking all the monsters and herself inside.
Sometime later, Stine begins working as a teacher at the school while starting a relationship with Lorraine. He reveals to Zach that he brought Hannah back into reality by writing a new copy of her book. As Zach and Hannah leave together, Stine incinerates the copy but then finds his typewriter writing by itself. Brent Green reveals he evaded his imprisonment and uses the typewriter to write a new Goosebumps book titled The Invisible Boy's Revenge.
- Jack Black as R. L. Stine, the creator of the Goosebumps franchise, attempting to keep his identity secret.
- Dylan Minnette as Zach Cooper, Stine's new neighbor.
- Odeya Rush as Hannah Stine, Stine's daughter and Zach's new neighbor and love interest, who is secretly Hannah Fairchild from The Ghost Next Door, a character of Stine's brought to life, whom he decided to raise himself.
- Ryan Lee as Champ, a student who becomes Zach's new friend.
- Amy Ryan as Gale Cooper, Zach's widowed mother who becomes the vice-principal at Madison High School.
- Jillian Bell as Lorraine Conyers, Zach's aunt and Gale's sister. She later begins a relationship with Stine.
- Halston Sage as Taylor, a popular student at Madison High School whom Champ has a crush on and later becomes his love interest.
- Steven Krueger as Davidson, a popular student at Madison High School.
- Keith Arthur Bolden as Principal Garrison, the principal of Madison High School.
- Amanda Lund as Officer Brooks, a police officer trainee partnered with Officer Stevens.
- Timothy Simons as Officer Stevens, a police officer working for the Madison Police Department.
- Ken Marino as Coach Carr, the gym teacher at Madison High School who hits on Gale.
- Karan Soni as Mr. Rooney, a teacher at Madison High School.
- Caleb Emery as a dumb jock that gets attacked by the giant mantis from A Shocker on Shock Street.
- John Bernecker as the uncredited motion-capture of Will Blake, the titular werewolf from The Werewolf of Fever Swamp.
The real R. L. Stine has a cameo as Jack Black (Mr. Black), a drama teacher at Madison High School, credited as "Hallway Player". Kumail Nanjiani and Luka Jones appear as two movers who encounter Slappy in an alternate opening sequence featured on home media releases.
In the mid 1990's, George A. Romero wrote a script for a film adaptation of the first original Goosebumps book Welcome to Dead House. It was rejected and was then kept at The University of Pittsburgh.
The popularity of the Fox Kids' Goosebumps television series generated an interest among fans for a full-feature film based upon the show. In 1998, Tim Burton was attached to direct a Goosebumps film for 20th Century Fox. 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". However, the film did not materialize since they could not find a script they liked or determine which book to adapt into a film.
In 2008, Columbia Pictures acquired rights to create a Goosebumps film. Neal Moritz and Deborah Forte, the latter of whom had previously worked on the Goosebumps television series in the 1990s, were chosen to produce the film. Screenwriting team Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski were hired as screenwriters, 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. In 2010, Carl Ellsworth was chosen to write the screenplay. 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. 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. The screenplay was rated PG-13. He also mentioned Where the Wild Things Are being adapted into a film almost 50 years after publication.
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". 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". 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. Rob Letterman was chosen as the director, reuniting him with Black, after working together on Shark Tale and Gulliver's Travels.
It was announced in February 2014 that Dylan Minnette had been cast as Zach Cooper, and Odeya Rush as the Stine-like author's daughter, Hannah. On February 26, 2014, it was announced that the film would be released on March 23, 2016. On April 4, 2014, it was announced that Amy Ryan and Jillian Bell had joined the cast as Cooper's mother and aunt respectively. On April 10, 2014, Ken Marino joined the cast as Coach Carr. On April 28, 2014, Halston Sage joined the cast. On May 1, 2014, the film's release date was moved up to August 7, 2015. Stine stated on May 20, 2014, that he was going to make a cameo appearance in the film.
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.
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". In November 2014, the release date was moved back to April 15, 2016. In January 2015, the release date was pushed forward to October 16, 2015.
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. Neal Moritz and Rob Letterman stated that Madison was their first choice for the film after scouting the city. Principal photography on the film began on April 23, 2014, in Candler Park in Atlanta; they were also set to shoot the film in Conyers and Madison. On May 19, filming was taking place in the streets of Madison, with 480 Goosebumps crew members working in Madison and Morgan County. Principal photography ended on July 16, 2014. A stretch of Dawsonville Highway in Georgia was intermittently closed to film a car travelling up and down multiple bridges for the film.
Music and soundtrack
|Goosebumps (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)|
|Soundtrack album / Film score by|
|Released||October 9, 2015|
|Danny Elfman film scores chronology|
|Singles from Goosebumps (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)|
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.
- Songs featured in the film
- "Racketeer" - The Blue Van
- "Headlights" - OPIEN
- "Get Ugly" - Jason Derulo
- "Everybody Have Fun Tonight" by Ryan Perez-Daple
- "Better Than the Rest" - Shock Diamonds
- "Heads Will Roll" (A-Trak Remix) - Yeah Yeah Yeahs
- "Bumps Gonna Goose Ya" - MF Bumps featuring Jack Black
Goosebumps was released on Blu-ray (2D and 3D) and DVD on January 5, 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.
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.
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. 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. It made $600,000 from its early Thursday night screenings at 2,567 theaters, and $7.4 million on its opening day. 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. Families represented the largest demographics with 60%, followed by under 25 with 59% and male/female ratio was split evenly at 50/50.
Outside North America, Goosebumps was released in a total of 66 countries. 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). 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. In Russia, it opened at No. 2 behind In the Heart of the Sea with $1.27 million. Furthermore, it opened in France with $1 million.
On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 78% based on 161 reviews, with an average rating of 6.38/10. 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." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 60 out of 100 based on 29 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale.
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".
Geoff Berkshire of Variety wrote: "The ADD overload combined with an understandably kid-friendly approach to horror (no one’s ever in real danger, and the monsters are never too scary) results in a disposable product intended to appeal to everyone but likely to resonate with no one."
|Las Vegas Film Critics Society||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||Best Fantasy Film||Nominated|
Development of a sequel was reported in September 2015. Rob Letterman intended to return to direct, but dropped out due to scheduling conflicts, and Ari Sandel replaced him. Jack Black and Odeya Rush were set to reprise their roles as R. L. and Hannah Stine; Black's role was reduced to an uncredited cameo and Rush's role was ultimately cut. Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween was released in the United States on October 12, 2018.
On 28 April 2020, it was announced that a reboot live action TV series was in the works by Scholastic Entertainment, Sony Pictures Television Studios and Neal H. Moritz's production company Original Film, who produced the 2015 film and its sequel. In March 2021, R.L. Stine stated that the series found a producer and director. In February 2022, it was announced that the series will be heading to Disney+.
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