Ken Marino was cast today in Sony's Goosebumps movie, which will star Jack Black as author R.L. Stine and, from the bare-bones plot description, will see his most famous creation Slappy the living dummy unleash a bunch of monsters on a school. Fine, I'm sure that'll be a perfectly solid homage, perhaps enough to pique the interest of a hoard of Millennials.
But what the world has really needed for years is a slew of theatrical Goosebumps adaptations, working from the best, most demented works in Stine's vast library (don't talk to me about that low-budget TV show). Like anyone else born in the mid to late '80s, I basically learned to read with Goosebumps—and I certainly learned the art of the ridiculous last-chapter plot twist (in that way, they really were the Twilight Zone for a new generation). Here's five pitches ready-made for great working directors:
Welcome to Dead House
The first-ever Goosebumps book is just straight-up terrifying if you're an upper middle class family looking to move anywhere quaint. The premise is devastatingly simple: a family moves to a new home, and the brother and sister realize everyone else who lives there is dead, and once a year, they feast on the energy of the living fools who move into the empty property. That's it. They're chased by zombies for the rest of the book. Small town America overrun with death, luring in victims with a demonic real estate agent? The key is keeping everything realistic and low-key. I'd love to see that in the hands of mumblecore legend Joe Swanberg.