Friday, October 21, 2011

Spooktober: Goosebumps (1995)

Author R. L. Stine introduced a modern day horror franchise in 1992 with the launch of his Goosebumps series of horror stories for youngsters. Three years later, Scholastic, the publisher, entered into a licensing agreement with Fox to adapt the books for television. Goosebumps at one point aired six days a week on Fox, and spent three years as a cornerstone of the network's lineup.

In recent years, Goosebumps has resurfaced on cable. A few years ago, Cartoon Network experimented with live-action programming, and one of the first series picked up was Goosebumps, initially as a Halloween stunt, but the series lingered around a couple of extra months if but for the simple fact that word of mouth had spread that the series had returned and people were interested. Today, cable rights belong to The Hub (formerly Discovery Kids), which is trying to posit itself as a competitor to CN, Nickelodeon, and Disney Channel, leaning more toward the latter pair in terms of diversity of programming.

Now, let's revisit the series opener, "The Haunted Mask".

The Hub is also home to a new series based on some of Stine's other works, The Haunting Hour, which is posited as a primetime series on weekends, and has started its 2nd season. Stine also wrote a similar series for teens, Fear Street, which amazingly has never been picked up for television. Just as odd is the fact that none of Stine's Goosebumps books, despite their popularity, haven't made the transition to feature films. It would surely beat another zillion variations on the tired slasher movie format.....

Rating: B.

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