We’re not sure how today’s children feel about R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps books, what with all of the horrors that life in 2015 already offers. But we know that ’90s kids loved them more than Micro Machines, Wonder Balls, and whatever else is on those pandering lists of things that only ’90s kids will remember. Still, on paper, a movie based on the Goosebumps series doesn’t seem like it would be enough to hook today’s nostalgia-obsessed ’90s kids. The brand has to remain kid-friendly, and no self-respecting 25-year-old is going to be scared by something that’s kid-friendly.
Luckily, the Goosebumps movie has the sort of clever meta-twist that drives ‘90s kids crazy: One of the main characters is a fictionalized version of R.L. Stine himself, played by Jack Black. Now it’s not just a movie about scary things that aren’t that scary, it’s a movie that winks at the audience while also being about scary things that aren’t that scary. This trailer shows off Black’s take on Stine—who appears to be a creepy weirdo at first, but is later revealed to be a cool dude with an attic full of evil books—as well as Amy Ryan as “Main Kid’s Mom,” Dylan Minnette as “Main Kid,” and Odeya Rush as “R.L. Stine’s daughter.”
Goosebumps will be in theaters on October 16.