Film, Action and adventure
3 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
(3user reviews)

A rambunctious adaptation of the bestselling series of spooky books for kids

Taking the ‘Cabin in the Woods’ approach of chucking in all the monsters and seeing what sticks, this kid-friendly spooker based on the crazy-huge-selling stories by RL Stine is more goofy fun than such a blatant cash-in ought to be. It all begins in textbook ’80s-adventure fashion, with a single-parent family – mum Gale (Amy Ryan) and teenage son Zach (Dylan Minnette) – pitching up in a sleepy small town only to discover that their neighbour is a creepy weirdo who keeps his daughter on a short leash. It’s not long before said weirdo is revealed to be retired writer Stine (Jack Black), whose spine-chilling creations have a habit of jumping off the page and wreaking havoc in the real world.

For the first hour, ‘Goosebumps’ throws in so many sparky one-liners and pell-mell action set pieces that its shortcomings – creaky plot, Black’s out-there accent, a pair of slightly dull leads – are easy to overlook. It all spins out of control in a final blowout of naff special effects and random shouting, but there’s just enough leftover goodwill to carry it through.

Release details

Release date:
Friday February 5 2016
103 mins

Cast and crew

Rob Letterman
Scott Alexander
Odeya Rush
Jack Black
Halston Sage

Average User Rating

3.7 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:0
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
1 person listening

I was so excited to see this when I heard it was coming. As a child of the 90’s I remember fondly reading the books and watching the, really quite scary for kids, TV show after school so as you can imagine I was bursting at the seams with anticipation with the news of a new movie. With bonus points being added that it had Jack Black in it. Although not a patch on the shows or books the movie was entertaining and a nice family movie for a Sunday afternoon. I liked the idea of the books coming to life but I think they could have chosen a few other titles to escape like the Egg Monsters from Mars or the killer Snowman from the classic beware the snowman. But apart from that the movie did its job and did it well.


Starring Jack Black this is the perfect movie for those with young children or with a Peter Pan syndrome (like me).

It is based on a book series with the same name by R. L. Styne and its all about letting our fantasies fly wild. Monsters left and right – from their version of the Abominable Snowman to Werewolf’s – and even having time for a bit of teenager romance.


I saw the gala premiere of this film with my son as part of the BFI London Film Festival.  Having enjoyed episodes of Goosebumps previously shown on TV, we had high hopes for this film and we were not disappointed.  The film is not based on one particular book, but contains a lot of characters from the books, the main 'baddy' being Slappy the dummy. 

If you like films such as the Haunted Mansion, then you'll love this film.

Watch out for the cameo by R.L. Stein right near the end.