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Review: Disney+ Original Series ‘Goosebumps’

“Goosebumps,” the chilling new series inspired by R.L. Stine’s worldwide bestselling Scholastic book series, is set to debut across both Disney+ and Hulu on Friday, Oct. 13. From Disney Branded Television and Sony Pictures Television, the 10-part series will launch with a five-episode drop as part of Disney+’s “Hallowstream” and Hulu’s “Huluween” celebrations, with subsequent new episodes streaming weekly. Additionally, the series’ first two episodes will air on Freeform on Oct. 13th, as part of its “31 Nights of Halloween” programming.

Plunging viewers into a world of mystery and suspense, the new “Goosebumps” series follows a group of five high schoolers as they embark on a shadowy and twisted journey to investigate the tragic passing three decades earlier of a teen named Harold Biddle — while also unearthing dark secrets from their parents’ past.

“Goosebumps” stars Justin Long (“Barbarian”) and Rachael Harris (“Lucifer”), alongside newcomers Zack Morris (“EastEnders”), Isa Briones (“Star Trek: Picard”), Miles McKenna (“Guilty Party”), Ana Yi Puig (“Gossip Girl”) and Will Price (“The Equalizer”).

This spoiler free review is based on the first five episodes.  You can view all ten episode titles below:

The titles for the episodes are as follows:

  • EPISODE 101 – Say Cheese and Die!
  • EPISODE 102 – The Haunted Mask
  • EPISODE 103 – The Cuckoo Clock of Doom
  • EPISODE 104 – Go Eat Worms
  • EPISODE 105 – Reader Beware
  • EPISODE 106 – Night of the Living Dummy
  • EPISODE 107 – Give Yourself Goosebumps
  • EPISODE 108 – You Can’t Scare Me
  • EPISODE 109 – Night of the Living Dummy – Part 2
  • EPISODE 110 – Welcome to Horrorland

The first thing viewers who are familiar with the “Goosebumps” franchise might notice is the current series has a more “grown-up” feel to it.  Previous entries that have portrayed the book series were typically geared toward tweens and perhaps deemed more “kiddie.”  Disney’s new take on the franchise definitely appeals to a broader audience and the studios’ decision to launch the show on Disney+, Hulu, and Freeform seems to indicate they are targeting a larger demographic.

With that in mind, fans of Stranger Things will most likely enjoy “Goosebumps” also.  Aside from the central spooky story arc, the series also has dramatic elements woven in that will keep you engaged as well.

The show starts off with a creepy opener and hints that something sinister is lurking about.  Repercussions all seem to stem from one night, as the audience tries to figure out the mystery along with the main cast.  Each individual character has a time to shine in each episode and the chemistry between the core high schoolers is dynamic however it is Justin Long’s performance that really stands out.  Long plays a likable character, Nathan Bratt, a newcomer to the town and the new English teacher at the high school.  Without giving too much away, Long’s scenes are an absolute joy to watch and there are plenty of comical moments mixed in with the scary storylines.  Episode 2 is a favorite.

The chilling score is a huge part of the series immersing us in this haunted realm and there are some great hit songs used throughout the episodes too.

The series is perfect at delivering some spooky vibes just in time for Halloween and a Friday the 13th debut could not be more perfect.  A little more intense than the “Goosebumps” of old but probably won’t keep you up at night with the lights on.  Bottom line: It’s definitely worth your time.

Nicholas Stoller (“The Muppets”) and Rob Letterman (“Pokémon Detective Pikachu”) developed the series and serve as executive producers, alongside Hilary Winston (“Community”), Neal H. Moritz (“Fast & Furious” franchise”), Scholastic Entertainment’s Iole Lucchese (“Clifford the Big Red Dog”), Pavun Shetty (“The Boys”), Conor Welch (“Platonic”), Scholastic Entertainment’s Caitlin Friedman (“Stillwater”), Erin O’Malley (“New Girl”) and Kevin Murphy (“Desperate Housewives”). James Eagan (“DC’s Legends of Tomorrow”) and Nick Adams (“BoJack Horseman”) serve as co-executive producers.

You can check out the trailer for “Goosebumps” below:

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