Few could have foreseen the modern live-action take on Goosebumps (2016) being so much fun, but with a cast of new faces headlined by the always entertaining Jack Black, perhaps we should have done!
A film that made our reviewer Katie Doyle “laugh more than the children” [full review here], Goosebumps has a bit of everything for people of all ages. And sure, the effects are hokey and some of the themes are a bit too immature for a film night with adult friends expecting something a little more composed for the night’s comedy relief slot, but as far as family entertainment goes, Goosebumps is hardly lacking.
Campy effects, an IP we all recognise and Jack Black in the lead role gift this film a little more than a lot of its modern contemporaries and therefore make it a credible entry onto our top 10 list.
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‘Casper the Friendly Ghost’ was a cartoon chomping at the bit for a revolution in visual effects that would warrant the iconic character’s arrival in live-action, and in 1995 we got that via Universal Pictures, Amblin Entertainment, director Brad Silberling (City of Angels; A Series of Unfortunate Events ) and an all star cast.
Highly respected actor (and the legendary speech giving President from Independence Day) Bill Pullman plays a single father experimenting with technologies that he hopes will bring him back into contact with his recently deceased wife (Amy Brenneman). He and his daughter, played by Addams Family alum Christina Ricci, move into a house haunted by Casper and his three uncles, making for a movie that wraps incredibly deep themes regarding loss and moving on inside some outlandish and downright bonkers comedy.
Former Monty Python Eric Idle acts as lackey to the lead villain played by Raging Bull’s Cathy Moriarty too, which about sums it up. This is a fun film for the kids that’ll keep any adult’s attention through cameos, story twists and its absolute absurdity. A true 90s Halloween family classic, if ever there was such a thing.
6. Corpse Bride
Oscar-nominated stop-motion animation Corpse Bride is a movie evolved from the dark and gothic sensibilities of Tim Burton (Batman; Edward Scissorhands).
Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter star as a couple separated by the small barrier that is life – that being that one is alive and one is dead – and must transcend all the rules of the universe to be with one another for eternity. There are shenanigans akin to some of Burton’s better earlier works, but the general gist is that this is a beautifully animated film with real heart and an eye for detail; a film that can be re-watched time and time again no matter your age.
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