ZACK TAYLOR IS SO IMPORTANT FOR THE TEENAGERS OUT THERE WHO HAVE A FAMILY MEMBER SUFFERING THROUGH LONGTERM ILLNESSES.
I am so proud of this movie. It means so much to me. The way Zack just wanders around, aimlessly, in the middle of a mine for no reason other than the fact that as long as he doesn’t stop, nothing can catch up to him. More importantly, not his mom’s illness.
Junior year, my mom was diagnosed with cancer. My big plans to go out of state for college minimized to statewide. Days spent with my friends were cut short. Drives to town with my mom became more important because to me, it felt like my time with her had suddenly been split in half. I was angry. I struggled, quietly. I still struggle to open up, to share what I fear most, which is where cancer could possibly take my mom.
My OCD got bad. My relationships became strained. I didn’t wander around mines, I jogged. I ran through forest with my headphones on full blast. I drove the long way home. I made up reasons to go to town. I watched my mom break down. I broke down myself, in privacy, multiple times.
And to see a kid like Zach, the same age as me, going through something so similar? I don’t know. It just gives a validation I haven’t felt. It was realistic. It was true.
“My mom’s the BEST,” he screams, “but she’s sick.” And it clicked to me.
I saw a mirror of myself, a person I’ve been looking to speak with, to help understand, on this screen in front of me, staring at a bonfire, tears in his eyes, admitting something that’s hard to say. My mom is sick. My mom is sick and I love her. My mom is sick and I refuse to lose her. My mom is sick and I’m scared. I’m scared. I’m terrified.
Mr. Zach Taylor, I know you. Mr. Zach Taylor, I am you. Mr. Zach Taylor, thank you.
deedee magno-hall (pearl): everyone’s proud mother. likes + retweets your su fanart if you tag her, compliments everyone, and follows the whole cast & crew. “wife mom blessed voice of pearl”. promotes her musical work a lot.
michaela dietz (amethyst): quirky aunt. says “dude” a lot. talks to deedee and the crew. tweets shit like “i ate a burrito that ate like 4 other burritos. think about it”. honestly, i hear most of her tweets in amethyst’s voice.
estelle (garnet): an Established Artist™. tweets about her music. LOTS of instagram links. occasional memer. usually too busy with other shit to deal with the su fandom.
shelby rabara (peridot): filthy memer. has a peridot header. lots of alien emojis. is in a silent competition with estelle to link the most instagram posts. loves los angeles more than you.
jennifer paz (lapis): mostly tweets & retweets about su. retweets you, retweets your friends, retweets your family. even retweets gif reactions. makes occasional puns and loves every single lapis fan.
kimberly brooks (jasper): used to never tweet, discovered the jasper fandom a few weeks ago. suddenly became deedee-levels of dedicated to liking + retweeting jasper stuff. called a jasper fanart “super hot” once.
zach callison (steven): chill older brother. updates everyone on where he is all the time, which is usually a con somewhere. lets you know when new episodes are on. seems to genuinely like “hanging” with the fandom!
When Zach and Gray had left for Jurassic World, you had told them to be careful, but you hadn’t expected anything to actually go wrong. When reports of the escape started to flow in, you could barely breathe. Your chest was tight, and to make matters worse, Zach wasn’t even picking up his phone, which only served to make you even more nervous. Without thinking about it, you hurried to your best friend’s house, which was conveniently located next door.
After knocking a few times on the door, you were greeted by Zach and Gray’s mom, who quickly ushered you inside. You all sat in silence, waiting for the phone to ring, hoping for someone to call and tell you that the boys were okay. After a few hours (that felt like years), the phone finally rang. You all jumped when the sharp pitch broke through the silence, and you felt your heart start to beat even harder in your chest.
Eventually, Karen announced that both of the boys were okay, along with their Aunt Claire. It felt like a huge weight had been lifted off of you, and you were finally able to breathe again. She gathered you up in a tearful hug, before immediately beginning to look up flights to the island. She promised that she would call as soon as they were back, so that you could see the boys.
A few days later, and you had barely taken your eyes off of the driveway next door, impatiently awaiting the arrival of your best friend. Their Christmas presents sat wrapped by the door, along with your coat, because so help you, the second you saw the Mitchell’s car pull into that driveway, you would be out the door.
Eventually, your mother pried you away from the window long enough to have lunch, but she didn’t push a conversation on you. She had been understanding of your quiet behavior, because she knew that once you saw the boys again, you would be back to your usual self. You had lost your appetite, and after pushing your food around the plate for a while, you heard a car pull into the driveway next door. Without a word, you grabbed the presents and practically ran to meet them.
You couldn’t help but run across your lawn and straight to where everyone was headed into the house. “Zach!” you called, as you saw the familiar brown head of hair shuffle towards the door. He barely had time to turn around before you attacked him with a bone crushing hug. “I was so worried about you.” you whispered into his shoulder, not wanting to ever let him go again.
“Hey,” he said, his voice barely above a whisper, while pulling back far enough to look you in the eyes. “I’m fine. Gray is fine. We’re at home where we belong, and everything is gonna be okay.”
Zach could be a bit girl crazy at times, and he could be mean when he wanted to, but he always knew what to say when you were upset.
“Are you guys going to come inside, or are you just going to stand outside all night?” Gray called from the doorway.
“Hey, little man!” you called, jogging up to the front door and ruffling Gray’s hair. “I’m so glad that you’re okay!” you told him as he led the way to the living room. You all settled into your usual spots on the couch, you in the middle and Zach and Gray on either side of you. “So, I know it’s after Christmas at this point, but I had these before you guys left,” you rambled, handing each of them their box. “And I figured that you guys would still want them.”
Without hesitating, Gray began to rip the wrapping paper off of the box, pulling the lid off to find a dinosaur book that he didn’t already own, and a few new slides for his view-finder that he was obsessed with.
“Y/N, these are awesome!” he exclaimed, throwing his arms around your neck.
“I’m glad that you like them,” you said with a laugh. “I was worried after the park that the dinosaurs may not have been the best choice-”
“No! I love them. I’m going to go look at these right now!” he said, holding up his new slides before running up the stairs to play with his present.
“Well, aren’t you going to open yours?” you laughed, gesturing to the present that Zach was still holding in his lap.
“Oh. Yeah, but let me go get yours.” He said, smiling before running up the stairs and quickly returning with two boxes. “Okay,” he said, plopping down on the couch. “So this big one is from Gray and everyone else. And this one,” he said, handing over the smaller box, “is from me.”
“You didn’t have to-”
“You do this every year.” Zach interrupted. “And every year I tell you that I am always going to get my best friend a gift. So I’m going to stop you right there, and you are going to open these presents.” He said with a smile, pushing the boxes closer to you.
Without another word, you slowly set about opening a new dinosaur book from Gray, and a few bits and pieces from their parents. Zach was growing impatient while waiting for you to open his. He always fidgeted, but when he was frustrated, he bounced his leg up and down like crazy. “I’m getting to it, calm down.” You laughed, giving him a soft shove.
To be honest, you already knew for the most part what he had gotten you. When you were younger, his parents had suggested he get you a charm bracelet for your birthday, and every holiday since, he had gotten you a new charm. You hardly ever took it off, and it was one of your favorite gifts that you had ever received. While they were gone, you had clung to that bracelet like your life depended on it.
Nestled in the box, you found a tiny dinosaur charm for your bracelet. “Are you kidding me?” you looked up at him, trying to hold back a laugh. “You think that I want to remember the time that you were almost killed by dinosaurs?”
“Hear me out,” he laughed. “I came back didn’t I?”
“Well, yeah” you muttered, not willing to meet his eyes, choosing instead to focus on your wrist, where he was fumbling, attempting to put the new charm on your bracelet.
“Hey, listen to me.” Zach said, after finally managing to hook the charm onto your bracelet. “I came back in one piece.” And then he ducked his head so that he was looking you in the eyes. “And I always will.” He whispered, and gently kissed you.
Your brain could hardly process what was happening. Your best friend was kissing you, and the butterflies in your stomach proved a point that you had been trying to deny for a very long time. You really liked your best friend. And judging by the way he was kissing you, he felt the same.
“I um-” you stuttered, leaning your forehead on his. “That was-“
“Does this mean I’m not going to get to go to the movies with you guys anymore?” Gray asked from behind you.
“Maybe not all of the time.” Zach laughed as Gray joined you on the couch.
“Stop it.” You said, shooting a glare at Zach over Gray’s head. “Of course you can.” You closed your eyes, perfectly content. You had your best friends back, and one of them may be something more. And you were perfectly okay with that.
my debate sweater is the only clean sweater I have and I forgot how much it feels like a tender hug (which I need for tournaments because I get anxious) and I just hope that Zach Woods has a nice comfy sweater that feels like a tender hug from a loved one
I loved the teens. I loved Billy especially because NOTHING WOULD HAVE HAPPENED WITHOUT HIM! Because he found the crystals! And Zach! Who doesn’t question, just acts! and ALL OF THEM making TERRIBLE TEENAGE DECISIONS! REALLY WELL SHOT CAR SCENES AND CAR ACCIDENTS! Kimberly being introduced as the chick who KNOCKED HER BOYFRIENDS TOOTH OUT! Trini needing to be encouraged to join the group SEVENTEEN SEPARATE TIMES and everyone loving each other and everyone working so hard! To learn to morph! the training montage!!! THE TRAINING MONTAGE!!! Billy and Kim and Jason being the MAIN THREE and the fastest friends! Zach’s mom!!! how fuCkING gROSS Rita is! She’s like a goddamn HORROR MOVIE I loved that! BILLY BEING A GODDAMN GENIUS! Kimberly and Trini being girlfriends no one can tell me otherwise I will FIGHT YOU
Was it a movie I saw since August 22nd, 2009: Yes. #381.
1) I’m going to be honest and face the wrath from all my peers: I never got into the old “Goosebumps” TV show. I scared really easily as a child (still do) and the show just freaked me the heck out. However, that doesn’t mean I am unable to appreciate its influence on this film.
2) The relationship between Zach and his mom is refreshingly healthy, a nice change of pace from the usual “ugh mom” teenager stuff we see in movies. Immediately their relationship is established through strong writing, chemistry between actors, and the playfulness between the two of them these feed into.
3) I do love Jillian Bell but damn if her character is not just so (purposefully) painfully awkward.
4) Jack Black as RL Stine.
R.L. Stine is the real life author of the Goosebumps book series as well as a number of other horror themed content directed at younger audiences, fictionalized for this film by Jack Black and company. Black brings a wonderful sense of crazy to the role, not like Joker craze though in that he’s out there but…I don’t know what to compare him too, actually. He just is humorously abrasive and over the top and just fits with the world of the film so well.
Champ [talking about the school dance, after knowing Zach for two minutes]: “Hey, we should go together! Not together together…although that might work.”
7) Hannah and Zach are performed interestingly enough on their own but really shine in their scenes together. Odeya Rush and Dylan Minnette have a fun sense of humor between them and great chemistry. It’s not the cliche “boy meets girl, girl is super hot and boy objectifies her.” They actually like each other as PEOPLE! What a radical idea, right!?
The ferris wheel scene where Zach tells Hannah about his late father is also a really nice moment of honesty between the two that makes you understand that they actually really trust each other.
8) Where this film really shines is in its quirky sense of humor. Black as Stine is a perfect example of this, but also characters like Champ and Madison’s police officers are all fun in their own little ways that adds a nice tone to the film.
9) Honestly, can the “my totally trustworthy kid is saying something weird so I don’t believe them,” trope die already? It’s so lazy.
10) Is this cuckoo clock from a book I don’t know about?
11) This right here is why I was never into the Goosebumps stuff as a kid.
Champ: “These aren’t ‘kids books!’ Kids books help you fall asleep at night, these books will keep you up.”
12) The entire idea of each Goosebumps book holding that book’s main monster is such a clever and interesting idea to me. I think it is one of the plot elements which makes the film work as smoothly as it does.
13) The Abominable Snowman of Pasadena is a great first monster to introduce us to, because it is able to be both fun and - when necessary - threatening to our young protagonists.
14) Ryan Lee as Champ is honestly one of the funniest parts of this film. He has some of the best lines.
Champ [upon viewing the snowman’s scratch marks on the wall]: “Do you see the scratches in the wall?”
Zach [looking at Champ like he’s an idiot]: “Yes.”
Champ: “Okay. Just checking.”
[A soda bottle rolls out of nowhere, Champ screams.]
Zach: “Did you scream?”
Champ: “Don’t judge me.”
15) This may be the funniest part of the whole movie for me.
Zach: You’re him aren’t you? You’re R.L. Stine.
Stine: R, L, who? I don’t know who that is.
Zach: Oh really? Just as well cause his books suck.
Hannah [terrified]: What are you doing?
Zach: I can’t decide which I hate more, ‘Monster Blood’ or 'Go Eat Worms’.
Champ: I’m so confused
Zach: You see the endings coming from a mile away, its like, stop trying to be Stephen King man…
Stine: [slams on the brakes] Let me tell you something about Steve King. Steve King WISHES he could write like me. And I’ve sold way more books than him, but no one ever talks about THAT!
Everything about it works for me. How easily Zach is able to manipulate Stine, and of course Black’s blow up at the end. It makes me laugh every time.
Slappy is a great villain for a number of reasons. To start, he’s definitely the scariest character from the stories. Even I know who Slappy is and I never watched or read a book. Secondly, those are some great practical effects in an age of digital cinema. It’s simple but totally captivating and you never once feel like you’re watching a prop character. Thirdly is the fact that Jack Black voice Slappy in addition to his portrayal of RL Stine. It creates an interesting duality to the character’s, as Stine did give Slappy his voice when writing him. He’s creepy and a true menace to our heroes.
17) Going to be totally honest: the main reason my mother saw this film with me in theaters was because she has a weird taste for garden gnomes.
I ended up sitting through Gnomeo & Juliet for the same reason.
18) I have so many quips of dialogue in my notes that I loved but I watched this film two or three days ago and still haven’t posted the recap so I’m just going to focus on my favorites.
Zach [after escaping the gnomes]: Why couldn’t you have written stories about rainbows and unicorns!?
Stine: Because that doesn’t sell four hundred million copies.
Champ: Whoa. Domestic?
Stine: No, worldwide. It’s still a very impressive - shut up!
19) I’m assuming there is actually a Goosebumps book about a giant praying mantis out there.
Stine [after encountering a giant praying mantis]: I don’t ever remember writing about a giant praying mantis! [It throws up on the windshield.] Oh…now I remember.
20) The Werewolf of Fever Swamp!
The scene where Stine and company encounter the werewolf in the supermarket scene is a nice addition to the film. It’s able to keep the fun and humor which has been trademark up to this point (especially when Stine is trying to mask his scent) while there are times when the werewolf is a truly threatening and frightening creature. A nice mix of humor and horror, basically.
21) Man, I thought I had WAY more to say about this film but apparently I don’t.
22) The scene where Zach and Stine talk about Hannah and how she’s actually one of his creations (spoiler alert) is an incredibly well done scene from a writing standpoint. It is very honest on both parts, with Stine opening up about his loneliness in a way we have yet to see, while it touches on both his arc and the way Zach is dealing with the loss of his father. In a lot of ways it’s the emotional center of the film.
23) The way Hannah gets so excited just by BEING at a school dance (since she’s pretty much cooped up by Stine all the time) really tells you a lot about her character and is so endearing to watch.
24) All the monsters attacking the school is a scene which I’m sure gives fans of the original Goosebumps stories nerdy joy like when Spider-Man showed up in Civil War for me.
25) Oh Vinnie…
Ken Marnio’s Character (no, I don’t need to know his name) [to Zach’s Mom in a flirty way]: “We’re going to get through this.”
Zach’s Mom: “Not a good time.”
Ken Marino: “Okay.”
26) Man, the duality of Stein and Slappy in the funhouse is some heavy stuff for a Goosebumps movie.
27) Hannah’s goodbye to Zach before all of Stine’s creations (including her) are sucked into the book is actually pretty sad. She KNOWS this is coming and she wants it to happen anyway to save everyone else. She and Zach have a nice parting moment that really touches upon the friendship and chemistry they’ve formed over the past few days, and it even brought tears to the audience’s eyes when I saw it in theaters.
28) Obligatory RL Stine cameo.
Mr. Black: Hello Mr. Stine.
Stine: Hello Mr. Black!
Zach: Uh, who’s that?
Stine: He’s the new drama teacher.
I know it’s probably pretty obvious but I just want to take a second that Jack Black’s character is named after RL Stine and RL Stine’s character is named after Jack Black.
29) I’m glad they brought Hannah back. I want all these guys back in the sequel.
30) I 100% knew they were going to have a cliffhanger ending to this film, because I know a lot of the books end in that way. It’s a trademark of the series! So of course the film had to end that way.
Goosebumps is just a lot of fun, honestly! It’s akin to Jumanji for 2015 in its sense of childlike wonder and adventure but also honest/genuine danger and scares. Black is a kick to watch, the writing is surprisingly three dimensional for what could have been a simple “kids’ movie”, and the humor is spot on. Just a great piece of escapism. If you’re looking for something fun to watch tonight, go put it in.