I don’t know if you know this about me or not, but I’m a massive fan of R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps. I read the absolute hell out of the series in middle school and even own a few titles to this day. As you can imagine, I was delighted when I first heard that Sony was planning a big-budget adaptation of Stine’s kid-horror series for the big screen back in 2015.
Not only was the film all set to showcase almost every single monster from Stine’s books, but the monsters were all set to mash to the tune of a big-budget Hollywood production. The fact that the film starred Jack Black meant little to me. In the end, Black had a ball playing Stine, and I had a ball watching him do so, but let’s say a Jack Black-starring Goosebumps movie was not a specific item on my wish-list.
All said and done, the 2015 flick which co-starred Dylan Minnette, Odeya Rush, Jillian Bell, and Amy Ryan ended up being an utter delight, and I have since watched it multiple times with the kiddos and or all by myself. Whatever, I dig the film is all I’m saying here.
And so it makes a bit of sense that I’m excited to check out director Ari Sandel’s upcoming sequel Goosebumps: Haunted Halloween starring Madison Iseman, Ben O’Brien, Caleel Harris, Jeremy Ray Taylor (chubby little Ben from Stephen King’s IT), Wendi McLendon-Covey, Ken Jeong, and Chris Parnell. The new movie centers on “Two boys who face an onslaught from witches, monsters, ghouls and a talking dummy after they discover a mysterious book by author R.L. Stine.”
Goosebumps: Haunted Halloween hit theaters today, and in the spirit of the release, we felt it could be fun to go into our pitch for what Goosebumps 2 should have been. Granted this new film’s plot – about Halloween decorations that come to life – is pretty killer kid-horror good-times, we think our pitch will stand on its own two feet and was more in the spirit of the original movie and book series.
What I mean is the plot about haunted Halloween decorations is excellent, but it could have been the plot to any kid’s horror movie. It’s a strong pitch and could have just been a film called Haunted Halloween, you know? Our angle could only work as a Goosebumps sequel.
Let’s get into it.
The first film featured all of the monsters from Stine’s books getting out into our world and causing a ruckus. Our sequel would flip this plot on its head and have the original films main characters entering the books themselves. Think of it as The Pagemaster but with Stine tales instead of literature’s greats. Haven’t seen The Pagemaster? No worries, if you have little ones, give it a whirl. It’s fun times for a kid’s movie, for sure. Everyone else, no need to see the film. I’ll explain the important aspects as we go.
Anyhow, back to the tale at hand. Our heroes must enter the world of the books to save Stine who has been kidnapped by Slappy and taken hostage somewhere in the Goosebumps Universe – Terror Tower let’s say. They find out they can enter Stine’s magic manuscripts – but here’s the kicker, the books are unmarked, so they don’t know what story they’ll enter next.
The aspect of entering and exiting of the individual books and worlds would be a hoot. You see, the kids can open the books and jump in, right? Well, so can any monster on their heels. Plus, jumping from book to book would make for killer action set-pieces such as falling from a high building and having to land on an open book below. Land on the manuscript, you’re “safe” in another world. Miss the narrow-ass book, and splat! This movie would be awesome.
I’m not one for condoning the use of CGI environments in movies, but in this case, I think it’d be the best way to go. After all, if we’re traveling into the separate worlds of these books, let’s try our best to preserve the art featured on the original covers designed by Tim Jacobus.
Another cool aspect that was left unexplored in the original film is [SPOILERS] Stine’s daughter played by Rush is a creation of Stine’s. So it only makes a bit of sense that, come this film’s final act, Stine is freed and hits upon the idea that he can write whatever skills necessary into his daughter. Think of this plot development like Neo and The Matrix. Stine writes “she’s a master of karate” and boom Rush’s character knows kung-fu.
This pitch is getting a bit silly, but that’s all good considering that we mustn’t forget were writing a kids-horror movie here. Things can get silly – as long as they stay scary as well.
And there you have it, that’s our humble pitch for what Goosebumps 2 should have been. Hell, maybe it will make for a great third entry in the possible trilogy, Goosebumps 3: Pagemasters. Urgh. Terrible title. We’ll work on that.
What did you think of our pitch? Make sure to hit us up and let us know in the comments section or on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram! Until then make sure to clear your calendars as Goosebumps: Haunted Halloween hits theaters this weekend!