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“Goosebumps” modern makeover misses mark

(Photo courtesy of: IMDB) “The new reboot of ‘Goosebumps’ has arrived on Disney+ and Hulu.”

Riley Fontana
Connector Editor

“Goosebumps” got a modern makeover on Disney+ and Hulu on Oct. 13. Starring Justin Long, the show misses a lot of what “Goosebumps” should be and reads more like a “Haunting Hour” reboot. The show leans harder into the horror aspect, steering away from the campy quality of the book series and it’s intended audience of children. The show is somewhat faithful to both source materials but feels completely new, and not in the best way.

The show is completely different from the original it aims to bring back to life. While each episode still follows a different “Goosebumps” book, there is an overarching plot that connects all the episodes. This season is so far following the ghost of a high schooler who burned to death and is now seeking revenge.

The showwriters also tried their best to modernize the books and original show but overshot how teenagers act by a lot. This leads to a cast of insufferable self-centered characters who allow their friends to get hurt and possibly die. The modern take on these characters really boils them down to stereotypes which includes the jock, the smart hacker, the sassy gay one and the new strict teacher. While the show is still early in its run and there is space for these characters to grow, right now they are insufferable.

The best part of the show so far is the sets, mainly the Biddle house. The Biddle house is an old and slightly burnt house where the main protagonist met his end 30 years ago. This house is exactly what a scary show for kids needs, it has elaborate chandeliers and dusty old furniture. This serves as one of the main sets along with the school. This house not only holds most of the lore for the show it also serves as a pivotal plot point several times.

This show is not the 90’s “Goosebumps” where everything was clearly fake and laughable. This version takes a much harder stance on the horror aspects. It still manages to have a TV-14 rating but it’s definitely not for younger viewers. Due to its marketing on Disney+, which is definitely more for kid and family-friendly content, many people were expecting this “Goosebumps” iteration to not have the horror and slight gore that it does have. Within the first episode alone there is a character who is completely burned and another whose skin melts and sticks to what he holds, all of which is clearly shown on screen.

Overall the new “Goosebumps” has potential, especially if it is renewed for a second season. There are plenty of fans of both the book series and the old show to allow for this show to have multiple seasons. This version seems to be aimed at the now older generation who was raised on the R.L. Stine series and not the middle school audience the first show and books were marketed to. The show has time to get better and introduce more iconic characters from the books.

Overall Grade: C+

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