Goosebumps (2015)

Score: 5/10

Length: 103

Language: English

Categories: 2000s, 3D, recent, almost-horror, horror comedy, zombie, ghost, clown, monster, vampire, werewolf, animal, Stephen Kingy

I went to see this reincarnation of a gem of sorts from my childhood, expecting a cheesy, pun-filled, Jumanji-esque feature. I wasn’t so looking forward to Jack Black, but he did a pretty great job of toning himself down. The only thing I didn’t find amusing was his slight cartoony voice. Though, as Slappy he was dead-on. I recognized the other characters from The Haunting Hour and The Giver, and they all did and okay job. Packed with monsters from Goosebumps books you’ll remember: The Blob That Ate Everyone, killer bees, a vampire dog, The Shocker on Shock Street‘s praying mantis, the ghost from Ghost Beach, the aliens with their freeze-ray guns, the werewolf from Fever Swamp, and a whole bunch more. It even has some folks you might not quite remember, such as the zombies and the horrific clown. Either way, it left out two of my favorites. Monster Blood would have been overkill with the blob already a main character, but I really missed seeing the sponge from It Came Beneath the Sink. Seeing the pointed-toothed dish scrubber would have been a hilarious twist ending. The story- (a few friends and R. L. Stine try to save the town from the monsters in his books that have come to life)- isn’t too overdone nor too inventive. I know it’s a kids movie and you don’t have to try hard when overcoming the plot holes, but there were so many and they were incredibly easy to find story fixes for. An example: the kids open a book and unleash a snowy monster. When they leave the room, we see another book’s lock snap open (although it was untouched). Later, the teens come back to find the book on the floor, where it opens and Slappy emerges. Now, if the book had just been shown knocked down on the floor, that would have made more sense, as at any time, if any of the books could just open and caused havoc… wouldn’t they!? Or the dummy in the bus scenario. There’s no way that they had the time to make a dummy, put it in the bus, and then the dummy drives the bus?! They could have easily asked someone- anyone- to drive the bus. I loved the teeny cameo of R. L. as the drama teacher, and surprisingly, the nostalgic end credits scene was my favorite part of the movie. It was totally unnecessary for this to be in 3D, as it was just what I like to call “3D effects” and not really 3D with shit flying in your face. Overall, it’s nice to see my favorite retro things come back all fresh and new, but I had low expectations and it didn’t exceed them.

photo credit: http://cdn.hitfix.com

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All Hallow’s Eve (2013)

Score: 4.5/10

Length: 83

Language: English

Categories: 2000s, recent, clown, murderer, monster, alien, supernatural, woods, underground, holiday (Halloween)

A boy gets a video tape in his Halloween candy bag and convinces his babysitter and older sister to watch it. The Debra Messing- look-alike sitter allows the kiddies to sit through the first of the three short films on the tape, and then sends the kids to bed and watches the other two stories by herself. The first is about a clown who kidnaps young women and chains them up underground for a disfigured drooling freak to eat. One of the women escapes and wakes up only to find herself chained to a table and surrounded by “witches” (or weird skin-monsters). The second story has a girl being chased around the house by a charcoal alien, and the third one focuses on the clown, who stalks a girl, gruesomely killing others along the way. At the end, the babysitter finds herself in her own horror film. Each of the stories has its own bit of tension, but none of them are overwhelmingly original or scary. The clown, Art, however, is actually quite terrifying. I noticed the director/ writer also did his own special effects, and I have to say he did a pretty decent job. This is not one of those movies that’s overly memorable- you could probably watch it every year, not quite remembering what happens.

photo credit: http://i.ytimg.com/vi/QiPqBLB5ITI/maxresdefault.jpg