I’m cranky and old and the upcoming Jack Black-starring adaptation of the beloved teen horror books Goosebumps is definitely not aimed specifically at me, but damn if this new trailer doesn’t make it look like a total blast. I know, I know, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but this movie looks strange and fun and more than a little adventurous. But you don’t need to take my word for it as you can check it out for yourself below.
Based on the beloved, best-selling books by R.L. Stine, Goosebumps takes this world and gives it a unique meta twist. Instead of picking one or another storyline to adapt for the big screen, this movie inhabits a world where these books come to life. And as you can see from this trailer, that appears to happen quite a bit.

The story follows Zach Cooper (Dylan Minnette, Prisoners), a teenager who moves fro a big city to a small town where his mother gets a job. He’s bummed, but the fact that there’s a cute girl, Hannah (Odeya Rush, The Giver), living next door takes some of the sting off of relocating. Too bad she has a weird dad who turns out to be none other than R.L. Stine (Jack Black), author of the Goosebumps books. There’s a reason he’s so strange, however, and it’s because the creatures he brings to life through his imagination on the page actually come to life in reality, and in order to protect readers and the general populace he keeps them locked up.

Of course, you know that they’re not going to stay locked up for long, and Zack inadvertently lets them out. This leads to an infestation of angry gnomes, giant spiders, abominable snowmen, and all manner of creepy crawlies. It’s up to Zach, Hannah, Stine, and Zach’s weird friend (Ryan Lee, Super 8) to round up all of the escapees and get them back into the books where they’re supposed to be.

I don’t necessarily think this will wind up standing alongside the likes of Goonies and Monster Squad, but from what we see here Goosebumps does have the potential to be an entertaining, if light and wacky, movie. It looks like Jack Black will have ample opportunities to let his inner weirdo off the leash, which is one of the times he’s at his best, so that could be fun to watch. Granted this is only a first trailer, so we’ll have to wait and see, but there’s promise to be found.

Goosebumps opens up everywhere on October 16, oddly enough the same day as Steven Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies, which also just dropped a new trailer, and both feature supporting roles from Amy Ryan.

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