Goosebumps

I watched Goosebumps earlier this week as research for our coming Spring 2016 Hollywood auction (which includes, in addition to Goosebumps props and costumes, items from The Interview and The Walk). The movie stars Jack Black as R.L. Stine.

R.L. Stine, of course, is the ultra-prolific author of horror and children’s literature. His Goosebumps series is extremely popular. He has been referred to as the “Stephen King of children’s literature.” He has a small cameo in Goosebumps the movie, a la Stan Lee, a la Alfred Hitchcock.

Frankly, I thought the movie was well done. I didn’t have any expectations and was rewarded with a slightly above average kids’ flick. If I was eight years old, I would have liked it very much.

But…

That ending.

[WARNING: SPOIL ALERT.]

The movie is about R.L. Stine’s monsters from his books coming to life. Something about a magic typewriter that never really was explained. Zach, a new kid in town, his new best friend, Champ (short for Champion and that’s really the kid’s name, don’t ask), and Stine’s daughter, Hannah, inadvertently release a socialpathic ventriloquist dummy, who for revenge against Stine, unleashes the rest of the monsters to reek havoc on the town of Madison, Delaware.

The plot twist of the movie is that Stine’s daughter, Hannah, is a character in one of Stine’s book that Stine brought to life because he doesn’t want to be alone. So when Zach saves the day by recapturing all the monsters and putting them back inside the books, Hannah had to go too. Zach becomes broken-hearted, because kids…

Anyhow, the final scene of the movie shows that Stine has written another book about Hannah and has released her into the world. Zach sees her at school (she’s now attending the same high school) and they embraced and kissed. Stine lights a fire to the book, thereby destroying it and making Hannah a permanent “character” in real life. Life happily ever after.

What?

The kid falls in love with an imaginary character that for all intents and purposes is made up just for him. What message are we sending to today’s kids??

Other than this minor detail, it was a decent movie.