There is a Goosebumps movie coming out. Jack Black stars as R.L. Stein and I feel like no one is talking about this. This is a horror/comedy/family/Buzzfeed generation movie that no one has talked about, which is greatly offensive.
Word was really pushed on this when the film’s producer Neal H. Moritz and director Rob Letterman spoke with i09 about what to expect. The film is described as taking place in a world where the books are actually super scary and a means for the author to deal with his own personal shit. This sounds great and, if you doubt that, think about how great Black was in Bernie and the upcoming The D Train: Jack Black is a master of dark comedy. (Yet, from Letterman’s track record, it will most likely be for the kids.)
The interview doesn’t reveal anything extraordinary but, without saying it, the film certainly seems like it’s an Are You Afraid Of The Dark? episode come to life. This feeling is the result of Moritz’s contextualizing the story:
We explain that [R.L. Stein] was an author, who nobody knows what happened to, he stopped writing because of this problem, this curse. Each time he’s moved from town to town to town, because maybe one time a monster got out. He’s always been on the move.
Thankfully, they also decided against serializing the film, instead turning it into a one-shot deal that summarized everything. It does indeed feel like there will be a box opening for another generation to enjoy, though. Here’s how Moritz puts it…
We’re like, here’s one book, and here’s our movie. And then we’ll take another book. That didn’t work. That wasn’t the thing. But what we did was take the touchstones of what Goosebumps is, a new kid moving into town, an outcast. Thematically what the soul of what the Goosebumps books are.
That sounds super fun. They also cite films like Jumanji and Gremlins as inspirations so there is hope that it can rise above and straddle adult and kid territory. While it is not said, let us all meditate over a DVD copy of Monster Squad and pray that it is an indirect incarnation of that film.