The iconic Goosebumps book series by R.L. Stine has been adapted into a new TV series on Disney+. The 10-episode season premiered on October 13, 2023 as part of Disney+’s “Hallowstream” and Hulu’s “Huluween” celebrations. Stine’s “Goosebumps” is one of the bestselling book series of all time, with more than 400 million books in print in 32 languages.
Overview of the Series
Stars Justin Long, Rachael Harris, and newcomers Zack Morris, Isa Briones, Miles McKenna, Ana Yi Puig and Will Price.
Developed by Rob Letterman and Nicholas Stoller, who serve as executive producers along with Neal H. Moritz.
Focuses on a group of five high school students investigating the mysterious death of a teen 30 years ago, while also uncovering dark secrets about their parents’ past.
Draws elements from five popular Goosebumps books including “Say Cheese and Die!”, “The Haunted Mask”, “The Cuckoo Clock of Doom”, “Go Eat Worms!” and “Night of the Living Dummy”.
Capturing the Goosebumps Spirit for a New Generation
Abandons the anthology format of the 1990s TV series in favor of an interconnected, serialized storyline.
Retains the creepy atmosphere and imaginative monsters that made the books so iconic.
Updates the stories with modern sensibilities to appeal to today’s teens.
Strikes a balance between honoring nostalgia for the original books while bringing in a new audience.
Early Reviews Praise the Spooky Fun
Critics highlight the humor, strong performances, and faithfulness to the Goosebumps spirit.
The Hollywood Reporter notes the series broadens the appeal to older teens compared to the books.
Some fans wished for more direct adaptations but overall response is positive.
Reviewers recommend it for a fun Halloween watch that adults can also enjoy.
“Say Cheese and Die!” (Episode 1) – This episode adapts the classic Goosebumps book about a camera that predicts misfortune. It kicks off the overarching mystery storyline.
“The Haunted Mask” (Episode 2) – Another famous Goosebumps novel adapted for the show. This episode focuses on a girl named Isabella who finds a creepy mask.
“The Cuckoo Clock of Doom” (Episode 3) – The story of a boy who keeps reliving the same day over and over thanks to a strange cuckoo clock.
“Go Eat Worms!” (Episode 5) – An adaptation of the Goosebumps book about a boy being tormented by worms. This episode ends on a big cliffhanger.
“Night of the Living Dummy” (Episode 6) – Slappy the evil ventriloquist dummy makes his debut in this classic Goosebumps story.
Is It For Kids?
The reboot is not intended for younger audiences. The show is rated TV-PG and contains violence, scary moments, adult themes, and references to extramarital affairs and sexual innuendos. It’s a departure from the original series which was scary, but not too scary. This has legitimate scary themes and images. If your hesitant about your kids watching it I recommend watching it first, then deciding or watching it all together.
With its premiere timed for the Halloween season, the new Goosebumps promises frightful fun for fans both old and new. While staying true to the bizarre and chilling stories that made the books classics, the Disney+ series reimagines the franchise for today’s young adults. Early reviews indicate it captures the spooky spirit that has been scaring and delighting readers for decades.