Goosebumps (2015)

Title: Goosebumpsgoosebumps_film_poster
Year: 2015
Director: Rob Letterman
Genre: Fantasy/Adventure
Date Watched: January 28, 2017
Category: A Fantasy

Like most kids growing up in the 90’s I read more than my fair share of Goosebumps books. If it had Camp somewhere in the title then it’s a fair bet I read it starting with The Horror at Camp Jelly-Jam and ending with Ghost Camp. From choose your own adventure stories like The Cuckoo Clock of Doom to classics like Monster Blood.

Understandably I had a lot of expectations for this movie, something that I usually try to avoid. So, feel free to take this review with that knowledge in mind. What I expected going in was a classic Goosebumps scare, a scary campfire story. What I did not expect was an imaginary girl and an author who’s creations have come to life to terrorise a town.

Okay, ignoring the obvious issue of, what on earth is Zach’s mother and aunt thinking not noticing that first he did not return from taking the bins out for several hours and secondly when he was not in his room for the entire night.

I can’t quite pinpoint why I was so disappointed by this movie, maybe because it seemed so similar to a 21st century Jumanji. Maybe because it wasn’t like the books I knew and loved as a child. Maybe it was because it was unclear who it was aimed at, given that it seemed too scary for a child but not scary enough for an adult.

Oddly enough though, this movie further explored what seems to have become a theme for the year for me, words have power. Perhaps this was amplified by the fact that I started reading City of Bones only a few hours earlier where the tagline is ‘All the stories are true’. That is certainly the theme of this book too. While the stories were not true, the creatures became real with R.L Stine’s writing of them. Words are power.

Rating: 2.5/5 stars

A Dream of Ice – Gillian Anderson

a-dream-of-ice-9781471137747_hrTitle: A Dream of Ice (Earthend Saga #2)
Author: Gillian Anderson
Genre: Mystery/Paranormal
Pages: 279
Category: 12. Read a book with a contemporary setting
Format: Paper

Date Started: January 22nd 2017
Date Finished: January 27th 2017

Having enjoyed the first book in this series so much I was somewhat disappointed by the second one. I still enjoyed it but not with he ‘couldn’t put it down’ excitement that I experienced with A Vision of Fire.

What has become clear throughout the books is the very unusual and complex spirituality that Anderson builds on, based at least somewhat on her own personal beliefs. In the first book the main character Dr. Caitlin O’Hara goes through a learning process that involving a vodou priestess and an Iranian priest. She comes to realise that there is something after death, and that the dead are in fact communicating with the living. This is the theme that continues throughout the second book.

A Dream of Ice focuses less on Dr. O’Hara and more on the Explorer’s Club introduced in book 1. The narrative spans from The Explorer’s Club where Flora Davies conducts her work to a remote ice shelf in Antarctica where Mikel discovers the remains of the ancient Galderkhaan civilisation.

Gillian Anderson is certainly not the first to suggest that there may have once been a civilization in Antarctica. In Stargate it was an outpost originally believed to be Atlantis, and within recent weeks it has been the discovery of a dome like shape on the continent that has renewed discussions. Perhaps Galderkhaan is less fiction than it appears to be at first.

If you happen to have picked up the initial book and enjoyed it then I would certainly recommend picking this one up too, with the caveat that many of the themes explored are similar to that of the first book.

Rating: 3/5 stars