Four years ago, if you raised an eyebrow at Village Roadshow’s decision to turn R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps into a feature length film, nobody would have blamed you; the series is so spread out in its interests that even united under the horror genre banner, it’s still too spread out to be cohesive. How do you turn Stine’s creation into a movie? Do you adapt a single novel at a time and hope for the best? Or do you go all in with its cavalcade of skeletons, spirits, and haunts?
In between now and then, we’ve learned that the studio opted for the latter option by taking Goosebumps into Tales From the Crypt territory. Think “Korman’s Kalamity”, but perhaps more kid friendly; the film focuses on the efforts of two teens (Dylan Minette and Odeya Rush) to waylay the creations of author Stine (Jack Black), whose tales of terror have begun to inexplicably spring from the page into real life.
If you’re familiar with Stine’s work, you know that he’s developed quite the robust stable of genre monsters since he first began churning out Goosebumps novels in 1992. And if you’ve been waiting with bated breath to see what Village Roadshow has in store for fans of the books, well, wait no longer; the folks at Nerdist have scored a smorgasbord of images depicting ten of the many and sundry villains making the leap from the page to the big screen. (There’s apparently more, based on our trip to the SDCC panel, but they’re being held in the wings for the time being.)
There’s good news to go along with the release of these head shots: they look pretty cool! Chalk that up to the studio’s preference for practical effects over CGI; these nasties look like the real deal precisely because they are (well, within reason at least). Prosthetic makeup beats computer imagery all the time, every time. But you’ll just have to take a gander below and judge for yourself:
Not too shabby at all. In fact, most of them look pretty terrific. Any child of the 90’s who grew up reading Stine’s easy, breezy, and delightfully creepy young adult tomes may thrill at the sight of each baddie; part of the fun here (and likely with the movie itself) is matching them to their book of origin. Some of them, on the other hand, leap out right away. Slappy hails from ‘Night of the Living Dummy’, while the hooded executioner – a figure little seen in modern horror – calls ‘A Night in Terror Tower’ his home.
And from there, it’s an array of serials including ‘The Scarecrow Walks at Midnight’, ‘Attack of the Jack-‘O-Lanterns’, and, well, you’ll have to guess the rest on your own when you’re not busy marveling over the detail to the designs here. Will Goosebumps be the Cabin in the Woods of big screen YA horror adaptations? Doubtless the film won’t be anywhere near as messy as Drew Godard’s, but it’s definitely looking almost as packed.
We haven’t even seen the full monster slate yet! Goosebumps has a ways to go yet before hitting theaters, so possibly maybe we’ll get more previews as we draw closer to release. In the meantime, let these slake your thirst for things that go bump in the night.
Goosebumps hits US theaters on August 7th, 2015.