Adventure Blu-ray Review

'Goosebumps' Blu-ray Review: Kid-friendly horror-comedy is a monster-mashing good time

January 26, 2016Ben MK

With dozens upon dozens of "Goosebumps" books published and over 400 million copies sold, author R.L. Stine has certainly earned his reputation as the Stephen King of children's fiction. But what if there wasn't anything fictional at all about the ghosts, goblins and monsters that populate his bestselling stories?

That's the premise behind Goosebumps, which casts Jack Black as Stine, a man with an imagination so vivid that he has to keep his original manuscripts under lock and key, for fear of his creations coming to life and running amok in the real world. Of course, despite these precautions, it was always only a matter of time until the monsters from his stories found a way to free themselves from the confines of the printed page — which is exactly what happens when Madison, Delaware's newest residents, teenager Zach Cooper (Dylan Minnette) and his mom (Amy Ryan), move in next door.

When Zach and his friend Champ (Ryan Lee) accidentally let loose the Abominable Snowman of Pasadena into their world, they set into motion a chain of events that leads to all of Stine's monsters, from the Werewolf of Fever Swamp to the Invisible Boy, being unleashed. Now it's up to them, along with Stine and his 16-year-old daughter Hannah (Odeya Rush), to find a way to get all the creatures back into their respective books. To do so, however, they'll have to contend with Stine's most homicidal creation, Slappy the ventriloquist's puppet, a maniacal dummy with a mind all his own.

Directed by Rob Letterman (Monsters vs. Aliens) and written by Darren Lemke (Turbo), Goosebumps takes the Jumanji meets Pokemon approach when it comes to bringing Stine's numerous stories to the big screen, and whether you're new to the author's extensive body of work or someone who grew up reading his books, the strategy works like a charm. In the end, Goosebumps is simply a ton of fun, and it's a movie that's made even better by its enthusiastic performances and entertaining balance of comedy and action, not to mention its menagerie of off-the-wall creatures.

Presentation-wise, Goosebumps is essentially flawless, with the 1080p image boasting scene after scene of crisp detail, vibrant colors and strong contrast levels, all the better for viewing the film's endless parade of PG-rated, computer-generated monstrosities. As for the audio, the movie's Dolby Atmos sound mix is every bit a match for the strength of its picture quality, churning out dialogue and music with crystal-clear fidelity, while spooking audiences with otherworldly sounds like the vicious roars of the Abominable Snowman and the gurgling and bubbling of the Blob that Ate Everything.

Available as both a two-disc 2D Blu-ray package and a three-disc 3D combo pack, both of Sony's releases includes an UltraViolet digital copy, a DVD and the following Blu-ray extras:

  • Cast Blooper Reel (3:08) - Fun and silliness from the set.
  • Alternate Opening (3:28)
  • Deleted Scenes (12:39) - Seven scenes ("First Day of School," "Kitchen Argument," "Shivers at the Police Station," "Lorraine Loses Zach," "Flirting in the Car," "Davidson and Abby" and "Alternate Ending").
  • All About Slappy (4:44) - Slappy himself hosts this tongue-in-cheek featurette all that's about him and the special effects that brought him from the page to the screen.
  • Beginner's Guide to Surviving a Goosebumps Creature (5:47) - Zach and Champ give younger viewers a guide to surviving the movie's lawn gnomes, werewolves, haunted cars, Abominable Snowmen and giant praying mantises.
  • Strange Things are Happening... On-Set (3:30) - Actor Dylan Minnette presents his video diary documenting all the strange and spooky things that happened on-set.
  • Creaturefied! (8:56) - Makeup Department Head Fionagh Cush and Creature Makeup Effect Designer Steve Prouty show audiences how they too can create fake blood and a mummy mask.
  • Cast Screen Test Gallery (7:16) - Four screen tests ("Dylan Minnette and Odeya Rush," "Jack Black, Dylan Minnette & Odeya Rush," "Jack Black and Dylan Minnette 1" and "Jack Black and Dylan Minnette 2").

Goosebumps is available from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment as of January 26th, 2016. The Blu-ray features English Dolby Atmos, French DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, and English and French Dolby Digital 5.1 Descriptive Audio tracks. The film is presented with English, English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles. The total runtime is 1 Hr. 43 Mins.

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