Jack Black takes on the role of best-selling children’s author RL Stine, who is best known for his Goosebumps series. In Rob Letterman’s live action-animated film, Stine’s myriad grisly characters come to life and wreak havoc on a small town in America.

Stine and his daughter Hannah (Odeya Rush), lead a reclusive life, protecting a deadly secret in their booby-trapped home until a new boy moves in next door to them and becomes the catalyst for chaos.

Zach (Dylan Minnette) is unhappy when he and his mother move from New York City to the one-horse town Madison.  But things take a turn for the better when he meets Hannah. He’s also befriended by the school nerd, Champ (Ryan Lee). But when Champ accidentally unlocks a Goosebumps book, he releases the scary characters trapped inside. Gradually we see the abominable snowman, the invisible boy, a giant praying mantis and a ventriloquist’s dummy, who masterminds revenge against Stine. It’s up to Zach, Hannah, Champ and Stine to find a way of getting the characters back into the books and saving themselves and the town.

Each of Stine’s characters represents a problem area from his past or is a creation of his own need. This unsubtle story is as much about slaying your inner demons and moving on – which is what Zach must also do – as it is a kiddie film with its share of scares. Many plots points are extraneous, such as Zach’s single aunt who makes blingy accessories and Champ’s geeky status in high school. For the most part, the story sticks to a predictable narrative.