Goosebumps The Movie and R.L. Stine’s It Came From Ohio

GoosebumpsMy husband has this thing about dolls, puppets, and clowns. I never really thought much about it till recently when we went to see the Goosebumps movie. Now it all makes sense. In all honesty as a kid I was never crazy about Goosebumps. I read a few here and there. What I did like was The Haunting Hour and Are You Afraid of the Dark. Those were my go to shows anytime I wanted some just on that side of ‘Wtf?’.
Hubby though, he loved all of that as a kid. The shows, the books, everything. So naturally as the large kid adult he is now he still loves it. Over the past year we’ve watched, on our lunch breaks, Are You Afraid of the Dark all the way through. We watched most of The Haunting Hour and even the Goosebumps TV show. When the movie was announced it was thrown on our ‘To Watch’ list and we did.
Criticism I’ve heard, most of it anyway, has been about Jack Black playing R.L. Stine. I’ll admit it had me scratching my head as well, but it worked for me. He amped up the sinister and could add that level of ‘goofy’ that only Jack Black does. I don’t know if you guys know this, but R.L. Stine is a hilarious man, it worked for me! My biggest complaint was the ‘cowardly best friend’ trope. I had a lot of trouble getting past that shrieking, screaming kid. I just don’t jive with those characters, they drive me insane. So during the first half of the movie any time that kid opened his mouth, I flinched. His acting was great – his character was terrible.
After checking out the movie, YALL Fest happened. At YALL Fest I saw R.L. Stine speak a few times, he’s funny and witty, and seems like a nice guy. I picked up his ItCamefromOhio Came From Ohio, the biography he put out a few months ago, and read that last night. The book is written for children but it was a fun look into the life and mind of a man that has terrified kids for ages.
The most interesting part to me about Mr. Stine is that he’s always been writing and can put out so much so fast. He stated at the Opening Keynote that he puts out two books a year now, on average. In his biography he says it takes him about three weeks to do a Goosebumps story, this includes edits. The man is a machine!
He makes being the outside kid, the class clown and maybe the ‘Nerdy’ kid to sound okay and glosses over times when his family had to cut back or move due to money issues. He does a great job of writing his life out and giving kids a sort of lesson on a good attitude in the process. I thought it was a great book, and would be good even for those adults who loved Goosebumps.
I would definitely recommend both of these if you’re looking for something light and interesting on the man who is the mastermind behind the terrors and nightmares of your childhood.


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