7:00 PM, 30th April, 2016
For most of the 1990s, one name ruled the world of children’s literary fiction: “Goosebumps”. Unabashedly playing off classic horror tropes with fun, wit and imagination, the immensely popular series gave young readers around the world (including yours truly) a reason to put down their Game Boy and pick up a book. Over 400 million books sold and, 20 years later, “Goosebumps” remains today the second most successful children’s book series of all time, behind only some wizard named Harry. And now it’s finally (and somewhat inexplicably) made its way to the big screen!
Rather than a straight-up adaptation of one of the series’ many books, Goosebumps constructs a clever meta-narrative that takes place in a world not unlike our own. The “Goosebumps” books exist as we know them, but the key difference here is that the monsters that lie within their pages are actually real and have been trapped within their manuscripts by none other than R.L. Stine (Black) himself. But when a new-to-town teen moves in next door, strikes up a friendship with Stine’s daughter, and inadvertently releases all manner of horrific creatures upon the world – from ventriloquist dummies to abominable snowmen, werewolves, vengeful gnomes and more – it’s up to Stine and company to get them all back where they belong.
Offering exactly the sort of tongue-in-cheek thrills that made the books such a success, Goosebumps goes beyond a cheap nostalgia cash-in to deliver a wonderfully weird and thoroughly entertaining movie-going experience.
Viewers, beware, you’re in for a scare!
8:53 PM, 30th April, 2016
One of the best known classic romances of all time is Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice”. In it, Mr Darcy and Miss Elizabeth Bennet overcome classism, prejudices and personal pride to find their happily ever after. It is a story that involves drama, love and weddings. Austen’s tale of romance and drama has been adapted for screens both big and small over the years, but weddings, romance and drama aren’t always everyone’s cup of tea. Some people find books and movies like “Pride and Prejudice” to be dull and yawn worthy.
This particular adaption, however, is Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Based on the twisted adaptation by Seth Grahame-Smith, the film combines weddings, romance and drama with zombie-slaying. It follows the plot of Austen’s novel almost exactly, with a few added twists. In this alternate reality, Britain is plagued by the undead, and the five Bennet girls and Mr Darcy are all highly trained and capable zombie slayers, combining the Victorian drama of the original with the bloody violence of the zombie genre.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies still has something for those who get teary eyed at weddings and happy endings; it just adds a whole lot for those who start yawning without a bit of action and adrenalin.