Goosebumps (1995)

Although admittedly awful in child acting and constantly writing-cheesy, Goosebumps has serviceable kid-palatable macabre thanks to its atmospherics, set pieces, R.L. Stine stories, and orchestral themes. 7.1/10.

This live-action series based on R.L. Stine’s award-winning book series places average kids in a weird alternate reality, where they find themselves facing such situations as haunted amusement parks, possessed Halloween masks and other bizarre and frightening scenarios.

*Possible spoilers ahead*

CLC’s Best #Goosebumps Episodes: 1. The Haunted Mask (Pts 1-2), 2. Welcome to Camp Nightmare (Pts 1-2), 3. Night of The Living Dummy (Pts 1-2), 4. One Day At HorrorLand (Pts 1-2), 5. Chillogy – Squeal of Fortune

Review: Goosebumps. This sucker used to freak out me and my friends when we were kids growing up the 90’s. I vividly remember scares like ‘Night of The Living Dummy’, ‘The Haunted Mask’, and the ‘Camp Nightmare’ like it was yesterday, and it’s no wonder these stuck with me so much – the series’ subject matter is brilliant and takes from a lot of old (and new-school) horror classics. In these case being The Twilight Zone’s doll episode or Chucky, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Friday The 13th, but ranging all over in reference to genre scares dating back all the way to the 1930’s and 40’s, Goosebumps and R.L. Stine’s real genius was making these ideas kid-palatable and, in essence, introducing them young to such a magical genre of cinema – to which I might attribute some instilling during childhood of why I love the horror genre and primal scares it delivers to this day. The atmospherics are effectively creepy as well, with strong scoring rife with unsetlling melodies and a decent eerie tone as well – one that might not remotely scare any adults but will undoutedly make kids (their target audience) jump or remember as I and you probably did. Some of them are even twinged with light social commentary applicable to children coming-of-age in real life as well, like the theme of self-appreciation and identity in ‘The Haunted Mask’. While Goosebumps’ atmospherics and story writing carry the series and lift it overall into fresh territory, it does have some pretty serious flaws admittedly. The child acting is absolutely AWFUL – like almost unbearably bad for kids it feels like they offered roles to on the side of the street and haven’t acted a day in their lives (sure there’s plenty of kid actors even on Disney Channel/Nickelodeon often better actors than this, why not get them for some better production value at least?). Some of the screenplays and dialogue are wildly cheesy too judging it from hindsight filmic perspective today. However, these are adult metrics the series was clearly not envisioned for, and thus lessens the burden of some of these admitted diatribes. What Goosebumps is is serviceable, kid-palatable macabre that any horror fan should appreciate and endorse – production value problems and all – for introducing kids to the horror genre and wonder of scares. Thumps up.

Official CLC Score: 7.1/10