goosebumps

Goosebumps (2015) – Review

R.L. Stine used to constantly send nightmare to your 90s childhood with his notorious children fiction, Goosebumps, which inspires this film. As a fan of the translated version of the novella and along its collectibles—including glow-in-the-dark poster and pins, I have high hopes to this.

Amazingly, Sony’s generous enough to not only bring particular edition, but a whole pack of Goosebumps terror (including Night of the Living Dummy, The Abominable Snowman of Pasadena, The Werewolf of Fever Swamp, My Best Friend is Invisible and many more, although it bears a strong reference to The Blob that Ate Everyone episode) in a Cabin in the Woods meet Jumanji rampage. 

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The 2015 Goosebumps is a comical metafiction, which brings a silly, fictional R.L. Stine (Jack Black) back to action after his daughter, Hannah (Odeya Rush), and a new neighbour, Zach (Dylan Minnette) unlocks supernatural beings from Stine’s manuscripts of Goosebumps book series.

Unlike the structure of Goosebumps novellas which device major twist during third act, Goosebumps is surprisingly straightforward and slow in the beginning. Yet, when the terror begins, a bittersweet nostalgia to Slappy and friends also begins. It never gets too complicated although there’s some subplots, like Zach’s grief of losing a father or Hannah’s identity, which are effectively knitted and perfectly conjoint to the main plot. There’s also small twist—which might not be predictable—but not really in a Goosebumps dose; but an annoying cliffhanger in the end feels so Goosebumps, and it’s great.

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Goosebumps might look campy on the outside, but it’s payoff for fans of the original. It delivers tons of horror references—especially to Stephen King (in many ridiculous way)—and clever inside jokes (including R.L. Stine’s cameo, who swaps name with his fictional version’s actor).

For Goosebumps aficionados, this movie is certainly a big-time nostalgia, which doesn’t give you goosebumps at all, but lots of laugh instead. It’s a fan-service gem which is worth the same as your glow-in-the-dark poster.

Goosebumps (2015)

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star3

Adventure, Fantasy, Comedy Directed by: Rob Letterman Written by: Darren Lemke, Scott Alexander, Larry Karaszeswski based on books by R.L. Stine Starred by: Jack Black, Dylan Minnette, Odeya Rush, Amy Ryan Runtime: 103 mins Rated PG

IMDb | Official Site

Scene during credit: No // Post-credit scene: No


Pada jamannya dulu, R.L. Stine selalu berhasil menghadirkan mimpi buruk pada anak-anak generasi 90-an dengan buku-bukunya, Goosebumps—yang menginspirasi film ini. Sebagai produk generasi yang tongkrongannya Gramedia, yang doyan collectible Goosebumps macam poster glow in the dark dan berbagai macam pembatas buku seram, ekspektasi pun menjulang tinggi.

Demi para fanboy, Sony sangat bermurah hati dengan tidak hanya menampilkan satu atau dua terror dari edisi tertentu. Tak tanggung-tanggung, se-pack terror khas Goosebumps ditumpahkan dalam film ini (termasuk dari episode Boneka Hidup Beraksi yang super seram, Manusia Serigala Rawa Demam, Pembalasan Kurcaci Ajaib, Kejutan di Shock Street, Misteri Manusia Salju, Manusia Siluman (My Best Friend is Invisible) bahkan Mesin Tik Ajaib) dalam sebuah kegilaan besar a la Cabin in the Woods campur Jumanji.

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Film Goosebumps 2015 sendiri bergaya metafiksi. Kisah Goosebumps menampilkan versi konyol R.L. Stine (Jack Black) yang beraksi melawan monster-monster ciptaannya yang tak sengaja dibebaskan oleh putrinya, Hannah (Odeya Rush) dan tetangga barunya, Zach (Dylan Minnette). Secara tidak langsung, ceritanya memang mirip episode Mesin Tik Ajaib (The Blob that Ate Everyone), tapi dengan elaborasi yang cukup seru.

Tidak seperti struktur cerita Goosebumps yang biasanya menampilkan twist besar di babak ketiganya, film Goosebumps ini cenderung lebih konvensional, meskipun agak pelan di awal. Namun begitu terror dimulai, nostalgia tak terduga dengan Slappy dkk pun tak terhindarkan. Kalau mengharapkan kisah yang seram, tentu saja Goosebumps bukan jawabannya, karena film ini malah cenderung fun.

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Plotnya tak terlalu rumit meskipun ada beberapa subplot yang ditampilkan, seperti rasa kehilangan Zach maupun identitas Hannah sendiri, yang ditampilkan cukup efektif. Memang ada sedikit twist di pertengahan menjelang akhir—namun rasanya kurang Goosebumps, yang keren justru cliffhanger di akhir yang sangat Goosebumps.

Goosebumps memang nampak campy, namun film ini sukses menjadi fan-service yang keren dengan menampilkan referensi pada horror klasik—khususnya Stephen King yang diolok-olok—serta inside joke yang agak segmented. Bahkan, R.L. Stine yang asli pun sempat ber-cameo (dan bertukar nama dengan pemeran R.L. Stine, Jack Black).

Bagi penggemar Goosebumps, film ini jelas adalah nostalgia besar yang bukannya membuat bulu romamu begidik tapi malah membuatmu tersenyum simpul.


This Goosebumps review is written by Paskalis Damar. Review film Goosebumps ini diterjemahkan ke dalam Bahasa Indonesia juga oleh Paskalis Damar.

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