A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this tween-and-teen-targeted horror anthology series is based on R.L. Stine's popular books of the same name. Everything you'd expect from "regular" horror shows (sinister characters, creepy creatures, and spine-tingling suspense) is here -- just on a milder level. Each episode tells a different story; some have included things like plants that entrap passersby and people who transform into monsters. The unpredictability of the storylines, the young characters' frequent anti-social behavior, and the hazy line between fantasy and reality make this show iffy for kids.
What's the story?
Based on the popular books by R. L. Stine, GOOSEBUMPS is a live-action horror series for tweens and teens that originally aired in the mid-1990s. The anthology, which includes adaptations of 43 of the original books, brings many of readers' favorite tales to life. Like most grown-up horror films, Goosebumps takes place in a bizarre reality in which remarkably unusual events happen on a regular basis without really shocking the people involved. In each story/episode, the young character or characters (usually teens) at the center of the madness must figure out how to survive the frightening and often dangerous situations they're forced into.
Is it any good?
The tales run the gamut from creepy to spooky to just plain weird. Curses, mysticism, and paranormal activity are the norm here, and the ever-changing plot makes content difficult to predict. Each story aims to scare its viewers, and heart-pounding suspense is around every corner. In addition, many of the young characters terrorize and play mean jokes on each other, and plots often center on one person seeking revenge on another.
While the books are popular among 8- to 10-year-olds, the scary visuals make the show iffy for tweens, and parents will likely want to give each episode a once-over before giving sensitive young viewers the OK. And while teens can probably handle the scares, they may be turned off by the dated, low-budget film style and overacting that often plagues horror films of all levels.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the appeal of scary stories. Is it ever fun to be frightened by what you read in a book or see on TV shows or at the movies? Why? Families whose tweens are familiar with the Goosebumps books can also discuss how the show compares to them. Which version did you think was more frightening? Why?