The Nostalgia of Goosebumps

By Kerwin Holmes, Jr.

 

Man, was that movie something.  Sorry, I’m a Goosebumps fan at heart.  From Fox Kids, to the books, to now this movie, you can surely say that I am satisfied with my experience.

So first off, this movie wasn’t at the top of my radar when I first heard about it.  I mean, I read Goosebumps books when I was a lot younger…and I’m not a lot younger anymore.  That being said, somehow, this guy came to watch this movie.

And…

this movie is a great activity for anybody trying to reconnect to the old feels of going to the library, checking out a scary book specifically made for your eyes to see, and reading the misfortunes of teenagers encountering their wildest nightmares.

I mean really, even as I write this, the feeling of nostalgia from the memories the movie caused hasn’t rubbed off.

Whoa, I’m even having deep philosophic thoughts about why that is.

I realize that maybe Goosebumps books were so popular among us young kids because the stories to us embodied the world that we were entering into.  Being an adult is scary, but becoming one is even scarier– and don’t even get me started with how it feels getting closer to becoming an adult.  It’s a slow guillotine, my friends.  As children, we are usually shielded from a lot of the responsibility and general cruddy-ness of life that adults face by nature.  And for a lot of our lives, we don’t even realize that the shield is doomed to lift from us…until we realize that there is a grade beyond the 5th grade…and then after that, adult life.  It’s sorta much like the statement that preachers say on Sundays whenever the deacons and pew members get a bit dicey: “It is appointed to man once to die, and then the judgment.”

Heck, both of those truths begin to make sense to us kids around the same age.  And they both suck.

That being said, Goosebumps does not lose its appeal to the younger crowd or the youth in you.  The movie shows a teenage dude, recently relocated to a new neighborhood, who must struggle to become accustomed to an entirely new environment.  (Most of the film centers around high school, but really high school, middle school, elementary school, the corporate world; we all know that they are all basically the same.)  What’s even more troubling is that the dude is not a teacher’s kid (which generally works out in school), but rather than that, he’s the new principal’s kid.  And trust and believe, his mom is not too keen on pop culture, or the fact that she accepted a job and relocated her entire life at a school that has a high turnover rate for her position.  (Eew.)  The dude is immediately the odd one out, which makes him prime pickings for the top and bottom of the social totem pole.  And…there is also the strange next-door neighbor to the left with his hot daughter.  Yep, this is a typical teenage film.

And it is a family film!  The slapstick comedy is conservative and the flow of action is pretty solid.  The entire movie actually makes sense as the plot unfolds, and Jack Black does a great job balancing his positive quirkiness with the seriousness of portraying a distinguished horror-story fiction writer…and also the overly protective dad of the girl-next-door.

I’m not even going to go into the details of this movie because I really want you to see it.  Maybe I’m just high on nostalgia.  But so what.  If this film can make a guy like me become so high on his own nostalgia after reading these books years ago, and also make me feel positive enough to make a blog post that isn’t even a real movie review just for you guys to go see it…

Then you should go see it.  And maybe read the books.

P.S. Slappy the Dummy was my favorite villain in the series.  Just saying.

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