Goosebumps Review: 90s Teen Horror Throwback

"Goosebumps" returns with a series that old fans and new will enjoy!
"Goosebumps" returns with a series that old fans and new will enjoy!
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When I was growing up, Goosebumps was everywhere around school. I wasn’t interested in being scared while reading, so I never read any of those books. That being said, I’m not entirely unfamiliar with the source material; I had an idea of what I’d be getting into with Goosebumps. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it and it has a real 90s feel to it while being set in the present day (with an awesome soundtrack to go with it).

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GOOSEBUMPS - "Say Cheese and Die!" (Disney/David Astorga) ZACK MORRIS
GOOSEBUMPS – “Say Cheese and Die!” (Disney/David Astorga) ZACK MORRIS

The Plot

The series begins in 1993 (which hurt a little bit) with the introduction of Harold Biddle, a fairly secluded high school student who unfortunately dies in a house fire. Before his death, mysterious things begin happening around the house and it is declared haunted. Thirty years later, we meet a group of high school students who get themselves sucked into the tragedy of Harold Biddle after throwing a party inside the house.

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Also Read: The Fall of the House of Usher Review: Macabre Masterclass

The Critique

I really enjoyed what I’ve seen of the series so far, which is the first five episodes. It has a good balance between the drama, comedy, and horror elements throughout, with pretty good visual effects as well. Even though it’s set in 2023 with plenty of references for Gen Z, it has a real 90s feel that any Millennial watching the series will appreciate. The one critique I can give it is the relationship drama. It goes from one love triangle to another. Hopefully, it becomes resolved by the end of the series but it’s more complicated than it needs to be.

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GOOSEBUMPS - "Cuckoo Clock of Doom" (Disney/David Astorga) ANA YI PUIG
GOOSEBUMPS – “Cuckoo Clock of Doom” (Disney/David Astorga) ANA YI PUIG

The biggest surprise for me performance-wise would have to be Justin Long as Nathan Bratt, an English teacher who moves into the Biddle House. He gave a terrific performance that I don’t want to spoil, but there’s a great duality to his performance you aren’t expecting. The other standout among the adult cast members is Rachael Harris as Nora, which is mainly due to the fact that she has the most screen time among the parents.

The five teenagers were great and had natural chemistry with each other. The leader of the group is Isaiah, played by Zack Morris; he exudes the exact type of charisma you would expect from someone playing the star quarterback. I also appreciated his friendship with James (played by Miles McKenna) and how Isaiah was best friends with someone from the LGBTQ+ community in a way that didn’t feel forced. The female standout was Isa Briones as Margot, Isaiah’s next-door neighbor. She has great chemistry with Zack as well as Will Price as Lucas, which bodes well for one of the many love triangles.

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GOOSEBUMPS - "Reader Beware" (Disney/Katie Yu) ISA BRIONES
GOOSEBUMPS – “Reader Beware” (Disney/Katie Yu) ISA BRIONES

In Conclusion

Overall, Goosebumps is an excellent reboot/reimagining of the classic 90s franchise that you should watch when the first five episodes arrive on Disney+ and Hulu on Friday, October 13th. While the show is a horror comedy, I wouldn’t recommend watching it was any kids under the age of 12; there are some sexual innuendos and cursing that aren’t appropriate for young kids. That being said, teenagers and Millenials will absolutely enjoy it, I can’t wait to see what happens in the second half of the series (and when a certain puppet will make his anticipated appearance)!

Rating: 8/10

8 Out of 10

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Written by Elliott Wishnefsky

Elliott Wishnefsky is a Film/TV Critic for FandomWire and a member of the Critics Choice Association. He's a graduate of Millersville University with a Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education. Elliott is also a content creator for his own brand, Learning at the Movies! Twitter: @Learning_Movies | Facebook/Instagram: @learningatthemovies | TikTok: @learningatthemovies