Sony Pictures Animation’s Goosebumps, starring Jack Black, is coming to Blu-ray 3D combo pack, Blu-ray combo pack and DVD Jan.26. Here’s my review of the Blu-ray combo pack…
In Goosebumps, the new kid in town, Zach (Dylan Minnette) accidentally unleashes the monsters of the Goosebumps books, on the town. Zach needs the help of his friend Champ (Ryan Lee), his mysterious neighbor R.L. Stine (Jack Black) and R.L. Stine’s equally mysterious daughter Hannah (Odeya Rush), to help get these monsters back into the magical books.
As a kid, I was a huge fan of the books and the TV series. I would read the series constantly and would watch the TV series just as much. So coming into this film, I obviously had some doubts of resurrecting a series that hasn’t been popular since the late 90’s. But I have to say that after watching it, it was actually better than I expected it to be.
Story wise, it reminded me kind of like the film Jumanji. Instead of the game taking over the town, it was the monsters from the books taking over. It didn’t have quite the same tone as the TV series had. Of course as an adult, it obviously wasn’t scary like the TV series somewhat was when I was a kid. I’m not sure if kids watching this film will be scared either, but that could be a good thing since it is a family film. There’s a lot more comedy and action in the film than there was in the TV series but it did have the twists and turns just like the books and TV series did, so on that part, it stayed true to the brand.
As far as the acting goes, Dylan Minnette and Odeya Rush had good on-screen chemistry and both actors did well keeping up with veteran actor Jack Black. Minnette and Rush definitely have a bright future ahead of them.
The Blu-ray combo pack has about fifty minutes of bonus features. The exclusive Blu-ray bonus features are: Alternate Opening, Alternate Ending, Deleted Scenes, Cast Blooper Reel, All About Slappy, Creaturefied! and Casting Gallery. You also get Beginner’s Guide to Surviving A Goosebumps Creature and Strange Things are Happening…On-Set, which are included with both the Blu-ray and DVD.
My favorite bonus features were the alternate opening and ending, and All About Slappy, which is a feature (you guessed it) all about Slappy the dummy. Goosebumps author R.L. Stine and the cast talk about the villain’s origin from the books, to the show and up to the film. The only thing about this feature that I didn’t like was that Jack Black’s voice wasn’t used for Slappy in the feature. I’m not sure why Black’s voice wasn’t used since he voices Slappy the dummy in the film. Sony Pictures Animation once again added a family-friendly arts & crafts feature which is “Creaturefied!”. This feature teaches you how to make creatures and things like special effects blood, out of things from home.
The cardboard slip cover on this one is pretty cool. It’s foiled and has a resemblance to the Goosebumps “reader beware you choose the scare” books. The Blu-ray and DVD discs plus a digital HD code come inside the case, which also has a couple of coupons for various things.
I was surprised how much better the film was than I had thought it would be. Though the film didn’t have the same tone that the TV series had, there was lots of action and comedy, so there was never a dull moment and this tone worked better on film. There weren’t many scares and this could be because the CG wasn’t all that great. Most of the creatures looked obviously fake but with that being said, most of the creatures that I remember from the books were there or mentioned somewhere in the film, and even R.L. Stine makes a quick cameo. The film gave me some nostalgia and I almost wanted to go back and read the books and watch the TV series again. So in that part, it did its job. The bonus features were good and I always condone more features that involve the whole family.
I give the Goosebumps Blu-ray combo pack 7.5 fridges out of 10.