This Friday, the thirteenth, Disney is bringing back “Goosebumps” for a whole new generation, with a brand new ten-episode live-action series, which will be released around the world on Disney+ and Hulu. The series is inspired by R.L. Stine’s worldwide bestselling book series of the same name and follows a group of five high schoolers as they embark on a shadowy and twisted journey to investigate the tragic passing three decades earlier of a teen named Harold Biddle – while also unearthing dark secrets from their parents’ past.
Disney is going to be releasing five episodes at once to kick start the show-off, with a new episode being released weekly, and I really think this is a great way to get you hooked into the series, though I’d maybe suggest not doing all five episodes in one sitting as I did. But I also think the binge-drop is a great way for the story to get its hooks into you, it certainly has with me, and I definitely want to watch the rest of the series.
One thing I’d like to mention, while I know “Goosebumps” is a very well-known franchise, I’m completely new to it, I’ve never read one of the books, nor watched the original show or films, since they came out I have already in my later teenage years and the books didn’t appeal to me at the time. So, I don’t have any reference points to compare to, if there are Easter Eggs, I’m not going to know them.
The general story of this series, is that these teenagers go to a party, but awaken a ghost, that targets each teenager one by one, due to some mysterious reason from their family’s past. Each kid is impacted in a slightly different way, one can see the future, one becomes unable to feel pain, and one even becomes the ultimate troll (which is very fitting with her antics beforehand).
I had assumed, that this series would be possibly a little childish, but I was very wrong about it. It does have a dark, brooding style. It’s got many of your typical teenage American high school cliques in there, like the quarterback, love triangles, parties, etc, but it treats the teenagers as such, which we’ve seen happen in other shows like “Big Shot” and “Doogie Kamealoha”, which might be because Sony is involved in creating the show. They don’t have that “Goody Two-Shoes” vibe to them, which is refreshing from a teenage high school series on Disney+.
There are some rather disgusting and scary scenes in this series, that tweens and teenagers will enjoy, and I’m sure some will make some adults jump too. I also really enjoyed how there is one continuous storyline throughout the show. There are a few little side storylines along the way, that all build out the characters and their families along the way. I wasn’t so keen on the first few episodes rehashing some of the key moments from the first episode from different points of view, but it served the purpose pretty well, allowing each teenager to be the focus for that specific episode. There are other themes touched upon throughout the show that will impact today’s teenagers, which is important, but it never takes centre stage over the core story, instead, just allowing you to connect with each of the teenagers a little better.
I’m really glad this show is also being released on Hulu in the US too, since it’ll allow the show to reach a larger audience, because it’s easily one of the most enjoyable Disney-branded originals of the year. And I think that’s because this series just seems to understand its viewers that much better, balancing the need to be scary, while also not being gory.
Overall: “Goosebumps” is a refreshing change for Disney+. It’s dark enough that it feels scarier than you’d expect, but not so scary that it’s not suitable for kids. The show is rated for children 12 and over, so if your children are under that, you might want to check out an episode first just in case it is a bit scary for them. I really enjoyed watching the first five episodes of “Goosebumps” and will be returning each week to check out the rest of the season. I went into this series not expecting that much to be honest, but was really entertained by it.
Rating – 4 Out Of 5
The first five episodes of “Goosebumps” will arrive on Disney+ and Hulu on Friday 13th October 2023, with a new episode being released every Friday afterwards.
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Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom.