Today’s youngsters haven’t been scared to death nearly enough. With two wars, a recession, and the rise of Spencer Pratt, kids don’t have anything to make them stay up at night. Luckily, a Goosebumps movie should change that.
Columbia bought the rights to the film in 2008 from author R.L. Stine and just hired a screenwriter for the project, Carl Ellsworth (though Larry Karaszewski and Scott Alexander worked on the original draft some time ago). Ellsworth’s previous credits include Disturbia and the stalled Red Dawn remake. The Hollywood Reporter notes that he seems to have found a favorite subject: putting kids in danger. While most of us wish we could scare the crap out of the snot nosed brat down the hall, Ellsworth gets to do it. Lucky jerk.
Goosebumps have sold over 300 million copies worldwide. The only series that has beat those numbers is the Harry Potter franchise and the film adaptations of J.K. Rowling's literary phenomenon have done decently at the box office ($5.4 billion worldwide from 6 films with two more left to go). Stine penned 62 books in the original series so there is plenty of material to draw from (perhaps from my personal favorite title, Say Cheese and Die - Again!).
Children’s horror films are an unusual genre. Goosebumps, the book series managed to be creepy and legitimately scary but still accessible to the younger audience. Finding the same balance on screen will be a challenge. Current horror films (Saw, Hostel, remakes of 80’s slasher films) aren’t appropriate for kids, even though they sneak in and see them because that’s what kids do. So they’ll basically have to step up the gore and frighten the kids, but still make it family friendly enough so the parents will buy tickets. Sounds easy enough.
Source: Hollywood Reporter