I just finished watching Goosebumps, and wow is there some stuff going on there. This movie works on so many levels it’s kinda scary.
First off, there’s the obvious meta-fiction with R.L.Stine. They even take the chance for some extra meta-humor with Stine (expertly played by Jack Black) forgetting writing about the giant praying mantis from one of my childhood favorites, A Shocker on Shock Street, and then again when Stine gets upset after being mockingly compared to Stephen King.
But that’s just the first level. Besides that, there is some serious stuff going on here, disguised as digestible, understandable bits for the young teenage audience it’s marketed for. Which is weird; I would’ve thought the movie would appeal more to the nostalgia market, but I guess they’re aiming at bringing a new generation of fans in. That, or… Goosebumps is helping to further the pedophilia agenda by showing these kids wondering off on their own and even kissing on screen. And how do we know they’re kids? The main character specifically takes the time to tell his mother he’d live on his own if only he were 18, within the first few minutes of the movie! This is an idea I was just exposed to a couple days ago when listening to Lenon Honor on Freeman Fly’s podcast.
Several times the characters literally refer to Stine’s monsters as “demons”. Not only that, but Stine, when typing on his very special “magical” typewriter, literally creates these demons out of his own imagination. Real life alchemy, if you will. Using the imagination and the will and a little bit of magic to summon demons into the world.
I’d look up all the actual references to the ways this presents a dumbed down, teenage-friendly initiation to Crowlean magick, but I think that’s something everyone should research for themselves. (Which is a way for me to push my laziness on to you. Sorry.) One particular thing that stuck out to me was when the dummy leads the lawn gnomes to burn all of Stine’s books and unleash Hell into this dimension, they are burnt in a spiral. This is very synchronistic for me because one topic I am just beginning to research is the Sacred Spiral, which seems to be a positive symbol ancient shamanic peoples have used throughout history.
Also, I’m not smart enough on Jungian archetypes, but it sure feels like each of these monster/demons in the film represent something….
It’s pretty weird how the police are portrayed in this film too, isn’t it? They come across as comically incompetent. Could this be more of the recent apparent agenda to push an anti-police mindset on the populace through the media today? It seems to me like there has been a recent big push on stories of white cops gunning down unarmed black teens…. If you want to know how the average innocent black man feels about police today, see Trevor Noah’s recent stand-up comedy.
He began the set by mimicking the whoops of the audience — woo hoo! — a.k.a. “the sound of white happiness,” which he likened to the sound of a police siren. He then shared a story about explaining to a white friend why black people have an innate fear of police, “because you wake up every day knowing that there’s a chance that day may end with you in jail. You don’t plan anything sinister, you may not even have a record. But you know there’s a chance as a black person you may go to jail.”
Talking about his own experience being pulled over by police, Noah observed: “you know what’s crazy, is I don’t know how not to die. That’s the thing that freaks me out right now—I don’t know how not to die.” Saying he felt “there was a time when black people and police had an unspoken agreement,” now he notes that “every time I turn on the news another black person’s being killed for seemingly fewer and fewer reasonable reasons. It just doesn’t make sense.”
He then turned one-by-one to the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, Eric Garner and Walter Scott to illustrate the random, absurd reasons that police have used to justify the taking of black lives.
Mimicking news commentators, he said: “You see them on the news be like, who was this young boy Trayvon Martin, who was he and why was he wearing a hoodie? What was he doing in that neighborhood wearing a hoodie?”
“Every day I look in the mirror and think, good job,” he concludes. “And I thought I was getting everything right, I really did. Until one day I turned on the news and there’s Walter Scott, running away from a policeman, he gets shot five times in the back. Running away.”