Goosebumps Books That Would Make Great Movies

For several reasons, RL Stine deserves to be mentioned as a master of horror, but none of his work is more iconic than his Goosebumps book series. Goosebumps may not be particularly gory or dark, but the series proves that children’s books are capable of great horror. Kids are often introduced to horror through Stine’s classics, and these stories still stand up decades later. Once the books became a certified hit, it was only a matter of time before the series was picked up for television.

Premiere in 1995, Goosebumps became a popular anthology series and was a faithful adaptation of the books. Each episode captured the tension and monsters beautifully and the series lasted four seasons because of it. Following a nearly two-decade-long hiatus, Goosebumps made the jump to cinema, starring Jack Black as RL Stine in a Cabin in the Woods-film style. The film was a hit that showcased many of Stine’s bestsellers, but what Goosebumps books would make a great feature film?

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The Haunted Mask Blends Horror and Image Issues

The Haunted Mask is one of the best stories available because of the idea the mask brings to the story. In the book, a bullied girl wears the titular mask for Halloween. As she wears the mask, her personality and habits change and she becomes more monstrous in her actions. Although she is normally timid and shy, the mask molds onto her until she can’t take it off. What starts off as a typical revenge scare turns into something darker and more horrifying as she becomes something she hates.

In a feature-length showcase, the story could lean more into her actions and inner turmoil. The mask could even take on more of a character by changing expressions or having pieces of it slowly rot away, revealing that she’s becoming the mask before the inevitable climax. With the story focused on someone who’s becoming the monster they fear, this would be an interesting twist to see the character start to change and become monstrous. Adding body horror to a compelling personal narrative could reinforce the horror and stay true to the source material.

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The Scarecrow Walks at Midnight Has a New Twist Hiding in Plain Sight

The Scarecrow Walks at Midnight is a story that takes a creepy concept and adds an intriguing twist. The titular scarecrows are inanimate objects brought to life through a spell and now haunt the farm that the protagonists are staying at. As the story unfolds, the extent of the control over the Scarecrows unravels as they attack the occupants. As disturbing as the spell control dynamic is, the strength of the scares comes from the inanimate objects coming to life.

In the film adaptation of The Scarecrow Walks at Mightnight, the scarecrows can play a bigger part by leaning into the Anishinaabe concept of Manitou. Manitou is the fundamental life force that exists in everything and can encompass inanimate objects. What if the spell used to control them angered the Manitou, to which they take control and attack under their own power? It fits the thematic idea of ​​using power for personal gain and could lead to tension as the controller has the power snatched from him. With how often inanimate objects are abused and used, this would be a scary thought.

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Monster Blood Has Several Options for Tension

Goosebumps has several original monsters and concepts, but Monster Blood stands out as one of the best and ended up becoming a subseries in the books. The titular Monster Blood is a sentient blob-like monster that can envelop and devour things to grow. However, if consumed, it will grow the eater to a monstrous size. In the first book, Monster Blood is accidentally released when the protagonists buy it from the store. As the Monster Blood grows more and more, they find themselves unable to contain it as it rampages out of control. All the while, a secret antagonist attempts to attack the kids.

Although the idea of ​​the children buying the monster is interesting, the idea of ​​a witch creating it and controlling it is what makes the story even more interesting. A monster rampaging because of the children’s own doing is fun, but what if the witch transformed throughout the story and sold them the Monster Blood in the first place? Throughout the film, the kids could struggle with the thought that they released the monster, but, in reality, they were manipulated into doing so. This would be both a monster story and a coming-of-age film where the real monster is the person pulling the strings.

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Night of the Living Dummy 2 Can Take Slappy to New Heights

No Goosebumps adaptation can be complete without the main antagonist of the franchise, Slappy the Dummy. Although he was already the antagonist in the Goosebumps film, it should be noted that it wasn’t his story. In Night of the Living Dummy 2, he’s brought into a home where he mentally tortures a child until everyone believes she’s “crazy,” and the only way he will stop is if she agrees to be his slave. Among the scariest and most nefarious of the monsters in the series, Slappy’s motives by far make him the scariest.

In a film adaptation, Slappy needs to take center stage and could even use social media as a means of isolation. The dummy itself can be made creepier by leaning into his origins, where he was made from coffin wood. Slappy’s manipulation and control are the driving force behind his character, and more so, combine his origins with his purpose to be more terrifying. Imagine if Slappy tries to make the young girl into a dummy with coffin wood. The imagery and darkness of the scene write themselves. Slappy as a dummy is creepy enough for a film, but using him in this manner would raise the creep factor to new heights, especially for a kid’s film.

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