A young man (Dylan Minnette) reluctantly moves from New York City to a small town and finds that the father (Jack Black) of his pretty teen neighbor (Odeya Rush) is the famous author of the "Goosebumps" series and also an eccentric man tormented by his own imagination. When the young man discovers that creatures from stories are physically imprisoned inside locked manuscripts, he opens the tomes with a friend (Ryan Lee) and releases monsters into the unsuspecting town. Also with Amy Ryan and Jillian Bell. Directed by Rob Letterman. [1:43]
SEX/NUDITY 2 - A teen boy and a teen girl kiss for several seconds as she disappears in a cloud of blue energy. A teen boy sees a teen girl in a hallway where they embrace and kiss for several seconds. A teen girl's boyfriend leaves her during a monster invasion and another young man saves her from a werewolf (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details); she kisses him on the lips twice. A teen boy offers to hold a female classmate's hand if she is frightened; when her hoodie catches on the hand of a statue, he reaches around her neck with both hands to release the garment and they kiss briefly. A woman blows a man a kiss; he catches it, pretends to swallow it, and blows her a kiss, which she catches.
► A man and a woman meet for the first time and stare at each other as if mesmerized; they shake hands, he puts his other hand on top of hers, and she places her second hand on top of his second hand and she giggles.
► A woman at a high school jokingly tells a student assembly that the staff cannot stop "twerking" about the upcoming dance followed by the male principal announces that if any "jazzy butts" are turned to partners at the dance, they will be sent home immediately. A man tells two police officers that he was playing a loud audio file causing one officer to shout, "What–o-phile?" as she draws her handgun, thinking he said or meant "pedophile." A man shouts at his teen daughter who took a walk with a neighbor boy, "Sneaking off at night with strange boys!" and grounds her. A woman talks about a man she liked, saying that his odor was a combination of mint and BO. A young man tells another young man that they should go to a dance together and look for girls to date, but not attend as a date with each other. A male teacher tries to flirt with a female vice principal, smiling and standing close, but she says sternly, "This is not the time." A mother asks her teen son, "Ooooooh, who's Hannah?" with wide eyes and a smile, suggesting that she thinks a romantic relationship has begun and the boy says that she is a classmate. A young man says that he would like to go out with a girl, any girl; he later arrives at a friend's house, thinking girls will be there and is disappointed that no girls show up. A woman says to a man, "You smell good. God! What is that?" He replies, "I rub cilantro all over my body every morning."
VIOLENCE/GORE 4 - Hundreds of monsters invade a town at night and assault a high school: the screen fills with evil gnomes, large buzzing flies, a giant praying mantis in the background that is destroying cars, an abominable snowman, a tall mummy and a werewolf; they all march forward and we can see many zombies, aliens wearing space suits with horizontal cylindrical heads and eyes on each end, a cloud of small vampire bats, glowing white orbs, the evil clown from Stephen King's "It," a scarecrow with a grimacing jack-o-lantern head, a levitating poodle, an African warrior with a spear, and The Blob before we see an army of marching toy robots with laser shooting eyes and their ringleader is a ventriloquist's dummy. End credits feature 2D cartoon still-scenes of a graveyard, a half-buried skeleton, and several monsters from the film.
► A man runs through a fanged devil-face doorway to a funhouse, where a ventriloquist's dummy taunts him as blood-red liquid fills the funhouse and overwhelms it, trapping the man from the neck-down; the substance changes into The Blob and the man escapes, says he must face his demons, and takes a bus onto the road to lure the monsters away from the school; we see a stopped bus and monsters swarming over it, then a human dummy in the driver's seat and a chemical bomb on the floor of the bus that erupts without much noise and throws monsters toward the audience.
► Two teen boys and a teen girl chase an abominable snowman, ending up at an ice rink after passing cars along the street that are seen sitting on sidewalks with their flashers blinking; at the ice rink, the snowman roars and chases the teens, a book slides across the ice, the monster grabs for it, a teen boy slings a hockey stick at the book to make it glide off the ice and the snowman chases them, roaring and slams into a locked gate and wall as the teens escape through it before the snowman shatters it loudly, roaring until a man appears with an open book and the creature disintegrates into a cloud, a tornado, debris and then goes inside the book, which the man locks.
► About a hundred garden gnomes emerge from a book and take up residence in a home kitchen, clinking against each other, snapping their heads back and forth, and brandishing sharp garden tools; several of them emerge from an oven that is full of flames and the gnomes attack a man and three teens and beat them with their tools (no blood is seen) until the people fight back with a shovel and a club and many gnomes shatter on the floor with some loud noise; one teen stuffs a gnome down a disposal and breaks it up and several gnomes tie the man with ropes and drag him to the oven, but the teens push the creatures into the oven, slam the door and the gnomes are seen melting in close-up; the gnomes emerge from the oven and all the broken gnomes reintegrate and reanimate, then chase the humans to the cellar where the people lock the door with a padlock.
► A giant praying mantis loudly stomps holes in pavement, knocks down buildings and crunches parked cars at night; a close-up of the insect face and a claw fills the screen twice. A giant praying mantis chases a down the street, makes it slide onto its side and catches it, ripping the roof off like a tin can, only to find it empty of people; the giant insect crushes the car. A giant Venus fly trap plant snaps at debris, buildings and cars, eats a tall electric tower and eats through the hallways and lockers of a high school, chasing teens who scream and run. A man sprays deodorant all over his body to hide his scent, but says it did not work as a werewolf chases him, barking and snarling. Two teen boys try to announce a monster invasion at a high school dance, but no one believes them; one boy standing by a window mocks them, saying the bogey man is picking his nose, but then says that he sees a giant praying mantis eating all their cars outside, then they break down the wall and enters causing teen boys and girls, along with high school staff to run through hallways screaming, trying to escape and the monsters chase the people to an abandoned carnival park.
► A werewolf breaks through a heavy metal door closed with a crossbar and approaches a man and three teens, scratching sparks on a semi-truck with his forefeet claws as he passes it; a woman drives up fast in her car and smashes the werewolf into a wall (it disappears off-screen but appears unharmed in the next scene) causing the car's airbag to deploy, startling the woman (she is not harmed). A teen girl gets her hoodie caught on the hand of a statue in a cemetery and another hand comes forward to touch her on the shoulder, then several zombies chase a small group of humans through the cemetery, but they are stopped by a chained gate until three teens squeeze through but a man gets stuck; the teens pull him out to safety and the zombies reach for him, their skin grimy and black, their eyes and lips surrounded by gray splotches and their clothing torn and dirty. In a high school hallway, a young man sees a werewolf and abandons his dance date, leaving her and running away; when the werewolf corners her, another young man jumps on its back and bites it in the neck (no blood) causing the werewolf to drop to all fours, whimper and run away (please see the Sex/Nudity category for more details). A giant praying mantis hits a lighted Ferris wheel in which three teenagers sit in a seat and the wheel breaks free to roll through the woods and it breaks against a tree (the teens are safe).
► A young man destroys several large flies with a club, hitting them to a spot off screen. Two teen boys break into the cellar door of an old house and by flashlight, find a series of bear traps set and laid out across the floor when a cuckoo clock sounds and frightens one boy and the other grabs his shoulder and he yelps; the boys enter the house, hear some creaking and find a bookcase filled with locked books when a teen girl with a baseball bat enters the room and grabs the shoulder of one boy, who yelps and turning on the light, she finds the boys have opened a locked book, which has erupted in light and smoke on the floor; a black viscous liquid filled with debris exudes from the book, forms a tornado and changes into an abominable snowman, roaring and slamming around the room where it sniffs an elk's head on a wall and hits its head on a roof beam, bending it; a teen boy breaks a lamp and the creature smashes the bookcase and slams a boy through a window and wall as it rushes through the wall and down the street (the boy is unhurt). A ventriloquist's dummy opens dozens of books and lets monsters escape from them into a town.
► A ventriloquist's dummy takes over a police station and freezes two officers on duty with a freeze gun; tall aliens wearing dark spacesuits/helmets and obscured faces proceed to freeze the whole town, people, cars, fire trucks and busses and we see upturned vehicles frozen, with icicles. From a parked car a ventriloquist's dummy hands out several books to garden gnomes that put the books in a spiral and light them on fire causing the fire to spread along the spiral and destroy the books in a large bonfire of flames at night.
► A man shouts at three teenagers and puts them in his station wagon, whose license plate reads, "HAUNTED"; he continues to shout as they drive along and throws one of the boy's cell phones out the window after the boy snaps a photo of the man and the man slams on the brakes and shouts about being compared to Stephen King, whom he deplores; he drives on and bumps into a giant praying mantis, which smashes the car's windshield (no one is injured) and the man drives off quickly, mantis in pursuit, but he escapes.
► In a dark auditorium on a dimly lit stage, a ventriloquist's dummy catches a man's hands in a portable manual typewriter and stomps on the cover, causing the man to shout; we see the man with bandanas as bandages on his lands later, but no injury is visible. An invisible boy leaves hand prints on a moving station wagon, somehow runs across the roof and enters the back seat, where he slaps two teen boys in the face (we hear loud slaps). A teen boy returns to a high school class after a monster invasion and we see him wearing a surgical halo on his head and neck, but smiling.
► A man walks past a trophy case in a school and the typewriter on one of the shelves begins typing; we see a title "Revenge Of the Invisible Boy" and a handprint appears on the glass as we hear a cackling laugh and the man faces the camera in close-up with a wide grimace of fear and terrified eyes. In a home, an author sees a locked book open and a creature from inside it, a ventriloquist's dummy, appears in an armchair where he taunts the man in front of three teenagers; the doll disappears and appears repeatedly around the room, disappears for good, taking a whole bookcase full of books with him, and sits in the author‘s car as he cackles and drives erratically in a few scenes, joking about how he cannot reach the brakes. A teen girl startles a teen boy at night and he yelps as he places trash in an alley bin. Ominous music plays in the background throughout the film. A close-up of a ventriloquist's dummy shows the creature opening its eyes and cackling at the audience.
► Twice, a teen girl begins to glow with a blue light and stars break off her shoulders, hair, and feet and drift away. A teen girl changes to blue-white electricity and flies into a book, which slams shut and locks (please see the Sex/Nudity category for more details).
► A ventriloquist's dummy burns a book so that he will never be captured in it. A man burns a book he wrote so that a girl cannot be trapped inside it; he drops the burning book into a trashcan with an attached lid, which covers the flame. A teen boy watches a newly written book attract and absorb hordes of monsters into it, then he slams it shut and locks it as he and a young man cry over the book as they stand close and a man hangs his head as he places a hand on a shoulder of each boy.
► A teen girl takes a teen boy to the woods and he asks if she is going to kill him; she flips a lever on a power box, illuminating an old carnival grounds and prods him to climb up a Ferris wheel structure and sit in a seat, calling him "scaredy-cat"; once on the structure, the boy asks how they get down and the scene ends.
► A man and his daughter argue loudly behind a shade-covered window at night; a young man sees this, pounds on the front door, the man slams the door in his face and the boy reports to his mother, who calls the police and the man shows the officers that the girl was on a home movie on a screen (the two police officers say that the teen boy needs mental treatment). A man threatens a teen boy to never cross the property line or walk through openings in an old fence, to stay away from his teen daughter, and to stay away from him; in one scene, he sternly warns the boy, "You stay away from here, or something bad will happen to you." We hear that a teen girl is not real and was a character locked inside a book. A woman says that she should call a man she dated once but who never called her back, because she thinks he might be dead. A young man says that he is not current on his tetanus shots and another young man says he is allergic to dust mites. A young man tells a friend that an author simply disappeared one day after writing many horror books. A young man says that his father died and a young woman says that her mother died. A man says that he was diagnosed with allergies. A man scares a woman in a hallway in a high school, says that he thought it was funny and she says that it is not funny. An author says that he was mocked as a child for having allergies that kept him indoors and that neighbor kids threw rocks at him; this caused him to harbor intense anger and loneliness all his life, which he represented as monsters in children's books, hoping to scare people.
► One scene features a close-up of a werewolf's large brown teeth and white globs of sticky saliva, which drip onto a man's face. A man and three teens in a grocery store see a werewolf chewing on large hams from a display case and a teen girl screams. A teen girl licks her fingers and wipes a spot of blood from a teen boy's hairline. A woman opens her door to a poodle, then goes to get a bowl of water for it and it levitates; when she returns she sees the dog at eye level, and holding the bowl at her groin level in close-up she pours the water out in fright (suggesting a proxy for losing bladder control). In two scenes, someone flatulates in a crowd and a man yells, "Who did that?"
► A reclusive man in a dark house wears black clothing and large black-rimmed glasses, has black hair and uses exaggerated facial expressions of surprise, intensity, and anger.
PROFANITY 2 - 1 possible scatological term, 2 anatomical terms, 3 mild obscenities, name-calling (insane, silly, psychopath, scaredy-cat, chump, stupid, dummy, stupid dummy), exclamations (shut-up, jeesh, aw shucks, oh my goodness, oh my gosh, shut your mouth), 10 religious exclamations (e.g. Oh My God, Oh God, My God, God, Thank God). [profanity glossary]
SUBSTANCE USE - Law officers state that a teen boy is on drugs because he must have imagined a father fighting at home with his daughter (we see no drugs).
DISCUSSION TOPICS - Fantasy, imagination, death, grief, loss, anger, loneliness, monsters, families, relationships, friendship, love, danger, courage, teamwork, safety.
MESSAGE - Long-term anger and loneliness can be overcome.