CLOSE
Goosebumps Wikia
Goosebumps Wikia

7 Goosebumps  Books that Would Make Amazing Movies

Goosebumps Wikia
Goosebumps Wikia

By Scott Meslow

Yesterday, at the intersection of nostalgia and the corporate exploitation of that nostalgia, Deadline announced that Sony Pictures is negotiating with director Rob Letterman to work on a film adaptation ofGoosebumps, the kid-lit classic series written by R.L. Stine. If the Goosebumps film actually happens, the screenwriters certainly won't be lacking for material: Between 1992 and 1997, Stine churned out 62 books in the series, with each representing the possibility of a hit film. With 62 books to choose from, which Goosebumps books have the best chance of box-office glory? Reader, beware—you're in for an article about the 7 Goosebumps books that are most ripe for a big-screen adaptation: 

1Say Cheese and Die!

goosebumps.wikia.com

"Greg thinks there is something wrong with the old camera he found. The photos keep turning out...different. When Greg takes a picture of his father's brand-new car, it's wrecked in the photo. And then his dad crashes the car. It's like the camera can tell the future — or worse. Maybe it makes the future!"

Pros: Features a mad scientist named "Spidey." Might be able to get Ryan Gosling to do it again.

Cons: No one remembers Polaroid cameras anymore.

2. Night of the Living Dummy


goosebumps.wikia.com

"When twins Lindy and Kris find a ventriloquist's dummy in a Dumpster, Lindy decides to 'rescue' it, and she names it Slappy. But Kris is green with envy. It's not fair. Why does Lindy get to have all the fun and all the attention? Kris decides to get a dummy of her own. She'll show Lindy. Then weird things begin to happen. Nasty things. Evil things. It can't be the dummy causing all the trouble, can it?"

Pros: Perfectly timed to cash in on America's ventriloquism craze. Gilbert Gottfried would be perfect (and presumably available) to do the voice of the dummy.

Cons: Chucky cornered the market on evil dummy movies decades ago.

3. One Day at HorrorLand


goosebumps.wikia.com

"Werewolf Village. The Doom Slide. The Coffin Cruise. These are just a few of the famous attractions awaiting Luke and Lizzy Morris at HorrorLand, the amusement park where terror comes free with every ticket. Step right up and join the Morris family as they ride each ride — and scream each scream — for the very first time. Because it might also be their last."

Pros: Already spawned a whole separate book series. Could be spun off into actual theme park. 

Cons: Climax centers on the main characters pinching a bunch of monsters. (That might actually be a pro.) 

4. Monster Blood II 


goosebumps.wikia.com

"It's back. Evan Ross can't stop thinking about Monster Blood and what happened last summer. It was so horrible. So terrifying. Too bad Evan's science teacher doesn't believe him. Now he's stuck cleaning out the hamster's cage as punishment for making up stories. Then Evan's friend Andy comes to town, and things go from bad to worse. Because Andy's got a present for Evan. It's green and slimy and it's starting to grow . . . ."

Pros: GIANT HAMSTER. 

Cons: Every scene that doesn't include a giant hamster.

5. The Cuckoo Clock of Doom


goosebumps.wikia.com

"When his father brings home an antique cuckoo clock, Michael is cautioned not to touch it, but he turns back the hands and suddenly he is getting younger by the minute — a year younger, to be exact."

Pros: Incredible title. Everybody loves time travel movies. 

Cons: Basically just a kid-lit version of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

6. A Shocker on Shock Street 


goosebumps.wikia.com

"Erin and her brother Marty love Shock Street horror films — until a tour of the Shocker studio theme park shows them that real life is a whole lot scarier than the movies."

Pros: Monsters include Wolf Girl, Ape Face, and a bunch of giant praying mantises. Main characters turn out to be robots.

Cons: Probably requires a title change. 

7. Chicken, Chicken 


booksathome.in

"Everyone in Goshen Falls knows about weird Vanessa. She dresses all in black. Wears black lipstick. And puts spells on people. At least, that's what they say. Crystal and her brother, Cole, know you can't believe everything you hear. But that was before they made Vanessa mad. Before she whispered that strange warning, 'Chicken chicken.' Because now something really weird has happened. Crystal's lips have turned as hard as a bird's beak. And Cole has started growing ugly white feathers all over his body. . . ."

Pros: Stine's magnum opus. Arguably the greatest novel of the modern era.

Cons: Not applicable.

More from The Week...

The Strange Scandanavian Pronunciations of English Words

*

9 Curious Images of Two-Headed Animals

*

Google to add GIF Search Filter

nextArticle.image_alt|e
George C. Beresford/Getty Images
arrow
literature
12 Facts About Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness
George C. Beresford/Getty Images
George C. Beresford/Getty Images

Joseph Conrad’s 1899 novella about venturing into the moral depths of colonial Africa is among the most frequently analyzed literary works in college curricula.

1. ENGLISH WAS THE AUTHOR’S THIRD LANGUAGE.

It’s impressive enough that Conrad wrote a book that has stayed relevant for more than a century. This achievement seems all the more impressive when considering that he wrote it in English, his third language. Born Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski in 1857, Conrad was a native Polish speaker. French was his second language. He didn’t even know any English—the language of his literary composition—until age 21.

2. HEART OF DARKNESS BEGINS AND ENDS IN THE UK.

Though it recounts Marlow's voyage through Belgian Congo in search of Kurtz and is forever linked to the African continent, Conrad’s novella begins and ends in England. At the story’s conclusion, the “tranquil waterway” that “seemed to lead into the heart of an immense darkness” is none other than the River Thames.

3. THE PROTAGONIST MARLOW IS CONRAD.

The well-traveled Marlow—who appears in other Conrad works, such as Lord Jim—is based on his equally well-traveled creator. In 1890, 32-year-old Conrad sailed the Congo River while serving as second-in-command on a Belgian trading company steamboat. As a career seaman, Conrad explored not only the African continent but also ventured to places ranging from Australia to India to South America.

4. LIKE KURTZ AND MARLOW, CONRAD GOT SICK ON HIS VOYAGE.

Illness claimed Kurtz, an ivory trader who has gone mysteriously insane. It nearly claimed Marlow. And these two characters almost never existed, owing to their creator’s health troubles. Conrad came down with dysentery and malaria in Belgian Congo, and afterwards had to recuperate in the German Hospital, London, before heading to Geneva, Switzerland, to undergo hydrotherapy. Though he survived, Conrad suffered from poor health for many years afterward.

5. THERE HAVE BEEN MANY ALLEGED KURTZES IN REAL LIFE.

The identity of the person on whom Conrad based the story’s antagonist has aroused many a conjecture. Among those suggested as the real Kurtz include a French agent who died on board Conrad’s steamship, a Belgian colonial officer, and Welsh explorer Henry Morton Stanley.

6. COLONIZING WAS ALL THE RAGE WHEN HEART OF DARKNESS APPEARED.

Imperialism—now viewed as misguided, oppressive, and ruthless—was much in vogue when Conrad’s novella hit shelves. The "Scramble for Africa" had seen European powers stake their claims on the majority of the continent. Britain’s Queen Victoria was even portrayed as the colonies' "great white mother." And writing in The New Review in 1897, adventurer Charles de Thierry (who tried and failed to establish his own colony in New Zealand) echoed the imperialistic exuberance of many with his declaration: “Since the wise men saw the star in the East, Christianity has found no nobler expression.”

7. CHINUA ACHEBE WAS NOT A FAN OF THE BOOK.

Even though Conrad was no champion of colonialism, Chinua Achebe—the Nigerian author of Things Fall Apart and other novels—delivered a 1975 lecture called “An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness” that described Conrad as a “thoroughgoing racist” and his ubiquitous short classic as “an offensive and deplorable book.” However, even Achebe credited Conrad for having “condemned the evil of imperial exploitation.” And others have recognized Heart of Darkness as an indictment of the unfairness and barbarity of the colonial system.

8. THE BOOK WASN’T SUCH A BIG DEAL—AT FIRST.

In 1902, three years after its initial serialization in a magazine, Heart of Darkness appeared in a volume with two other Conrad stories. It received the least notice of the three. In fact, not even Conrad himself considered it a major work. And during his lifetime, the story “received no special attention either from readers or from Conrad himself,” writes Gene M. Moore in the introduction to Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness: A Casebook. But Heart of Darkness managed to ascend to immense prominence in the 1950s, after the planet had witnessed “the horror”—Kurtz's last words in the book—of WWII and the ramifications of influential men who so thoroughly indulged their basest instincts.

9. T.S. ELIOT BORROWED AN IMPORTANT LINE.

Though Heart of Darkness wasn’t an immediate sensation, it evidently was on the radar of some in the literary community. The famous line announcing the antagonist’s demise, “Mistah Kurtz—he dead,” serves as the epigraph to the 1925 T.S. Eliot poem “The Hollow Men.”

10. THE STORY INSPIRED APOCALYPSE NOW.

Eighty years after Conrad’s novella debuted, the Francis Ford Coppola film Apocalypse Now hit the big screen. Though heavily influenced by Heart of Darkness, the movie’s setting is not Belgian Congo, but the Vietnam War. And though the antagonist (played by Marlon Brando) is named Kurtz, this particular Kurtz is no ivory trader, but a U.S. military officer who has become mentally unhinged.

11. HEART OF DARKNESS HAS BEEN MADE INTO AN OPERA.

Tarik O'Regan’s Heart of Darkness, an opera in one act, opened in 2011. Premiering at London’s Royal Opera House, it was reportedly the first operatic adaptation of Conrad’s story and heavily inspired by Apocalypse Now.

12. THE BOOK ALSO SPARKED A VIDEO GAME.

In a development not even Conrad’s imagination could have produced, his classic inspired a video game, Spec Ops: The Line, which was released in 2012.

nextArticle.image_alt|e
Dan Bell
arrow
Design
A Cartographer Is Mapping All of the UK’s National Parks, J.R.R. Tolkien-Style
Peak District National Park
Peak District National Park
Dan Bell

Cartographer Dan Bell makes national parks into fantasy lands. Bell, who lives near Lake District National Park in England, is currently on a mission to draw every national park in the UK in the style of the maps in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, Kottke.org reports.

The project began in September 2017, when Bell posted his own hand-drawn version of a Middle Earth map online. He received such a positive response that he decided to apply the fantasy style to real world locations. He has completed 11 out of the UK’s 15 parks so far. Once he finishes, he hopes to tackle the U.S. National Park system, too. (He already has Yellowstone National Park down.)

Bell has done various other maps in the same style, including ones for London and Game of Thrones’s Westeros, and he commissions, in case you have your own special locale that could use the Tolkien treatment. Check out a few of his park maps below.

A close-up of a map for Peak District National Park
Peak District National Park in central England
Dan Bell

A black-and-white illustration of Cairngorms National Park in the style of a 'Lord of the Rings' map.
Cairngorms National Park in Scotland
Dan Bell

A black-and-white illustration of Lake District National Park in the style of a 'Lord of the Rings' map.
Lake District National Park in England
Dan Bell

You can buy prints of the maps here.

[h/t Kottke.org]

All images by Dan Bell

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios