Anyone who grew up on the 90s or after will be thrilled to hear that the smash kids book series Goosebumps is finally being brought to the big screen. Jack Black was the first start announced to be attached to the project. Just recently the female child lead was announced. Odeya Rush will be joining the Sony Pictures film and playing Jack Black’s niece who will be getting into scary situations and facing monsters with her friends. Odeya has been in major films before like The Odd Life of Timothy Green and she has appeared in TV on Curb Your Enthusiasm. No word yet on a release date for the film but kids who grew up reading R. L. Stine’s Goosebumps young adult books will be excited to get the chance to take their own kids to see the new Goosebumps movie.
R.L. Stine’s books set records for readership. The Goosebumps series, which is a series of horror books for kids, sold more than 33 million copies. The only young adult series that has ever beaten Goosebumps record is the Harry Potter series. The books were written between 1992 and 1997 and were an integral part of the childhoods of millions of kids in the 90s. At first some parents were worried about giving their kids horror books, but the books encourage kids to deal with a lot of normal childhood fears. Author R.L. Stine felt that using familiar characters that were patterned after fairy tale characters and other characters well known to children would empower the kids to face their fears and overcome challenges. Obviously he was right because the books were an instant hit with kids. More than 80 % of kids recognize the Goosebumps name, making Goosebumps still a hot commodity.
There was a short lived TV cartoon based on the Goosebumps books that ran from 1995-1998 but it never managed to capture the imagination of audiences the way that the books did. Episodes of the TV show can be seen on Netflix and some other streaming services for anyone who wants to relive scary moments from their childhood or share Goosebumps TV with their own kids. Fans have been clamoring for a film version of the Goosebumps novels for a long time but it’s taken more than a decade to bring Goosebumps to the screen.
Some parents still worry that Goosebumps material is too scary for kids. But in the current media culture dark content is very in style. Kids and young adults are used to stories about monsters, vampires and zombies. The material in the Goosebumps books that seemed so shocking a couple of decades ago is really far for the course now. Kids are far less likely to be upset by the scary themes of the movie and the books now than they were then. Some childhood fears are universal, but the movie will also help children face those fears in the way that the books did. Parents can assess their own children’s development to gauge if their children will enjoy the movie.
There will probably be a large contingent of parents going to see the film without their kids too. Anyone who grew up in the 90s knows Goosebumps and probably had at least a few of the books or watched the TV show. You couldn’t get away from the popular horror series in the 90s. For many people going to see the movie will be a fun way to relive some of their childhood and see how far they have come since the 90s.
With the advances in animation and CGI special effects the movie makers will be able to create a much richer look and feel to the film, which is one advantage to the film being made now as opposed to 15 years ago. It’s very possible that the film will have more of a fantasy feel than a horror film which will make it easier for the kids to be scared but not so scared they have nightmares or are traumatized. Even though there is no official date for the release of the film it won’t be long now until Goosebumps hits the big screen and introduces a new generation to horror for kids.