Paying homage to vintage sci-fi flicks
UPSET about moving from a big city to a small town, teenager Zach Cooper (Dylan Minnette) finds a silver lining when he meets beautiful girl Hannah (Odeya Rush), living right next door.
But every silver lining has a cloud, and Zach's comes when he learns that Hannah has a mysterious dad who is revealed to be RL Stine (Jack Black), the author of the best-selling Goosebumps series.
It turns out there is a reason why Stine is so strange - he is a prisoner of his own imagination.
The monsters he has made famous on the page are real, and Stine protects his readers by keeping them locked up in their books.
When Zach unintentionally unleashes the monsters from their manuscripts and they begin to terrorise the town, it's suddenly up to Stine, Zach, Hannah and Zach's friend Champ (Ryan Lee) to get all of them back in the books where they belong.
TV series remake
This film is a remake of the TV series, which is condensed into the one film. It's a project that has reportedly been in the works since the 1990s.
The real RL Stine could not help himself and has a five-second cameo.
This is a Jack Black project, and the only 'monster' characters in the film with spoken lines (Slappy the ventriloquist dummy and the invisible boy) are both voiced by Black.
Does his film feel like something we've seen before? Yes, it does. The similarly-themed Jumanji (1995) was released by the same studio.
The film feels a bit like Gremlins (1984), Teen Wolf (1985) and Back to the Future (1985) because it pays homage to the type of high school sci-fi horror flicks so fashionable in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Once the monsters are unleashed, the film becomes fun and engaging. It's full of good 1980s fun, with a Black twist.