Is Goosebumps 2023 safe for kids? Is Goosebumps 2023 OK for children? Read the Goosebumps 2023 Review | Safe for Kids?, an honest parents guide and mom review of the all-new 2023 Disney+ and Hulu live-action Goosebumps TV series, starring Justin Long. No spoilers! #Goosebumps May contain commissioned links.
Goosebumps 2023 Review | Safe for Kids? Parents Guide to Disney+ TV Series
A famous children’s book anthology. A 1995 show. A 2015 Movie franchise.
And now a Disney+ and Hulu series?
I thought I had seen it all, but it’s yet another first for the magical and supposedly family-friendly Disney franchise. Goosebumps, the all-new television series based one of the best-selling kids book series of all time, R. L. Stine’s 62 book horror series for tweens and teens, is coming home for Halloween. But with a TV-14 rating attached – what audience is Goosebumps trying to target?
In This Goosebumps 2023 TV Series Review | Safe for Kids?, I’m breaking down the visuals, the story, a full TV-14 age rating explanation for violence, adult themes and language, and what kids’ age recommendation is suggested to watch in this new 2023 Goosebumps parents guide to the new live action TV show on Disney+. A no-spoiler parent review of the 2023 Goosebumps series, is this a horrifically fun addition to Disney’s repertoire for the spooky season, or just plain horrific?
Visually, Goosebumps 2023 looks like a CW teen show. Dark visuals, CGI technology and lots of gore and creepy undertones, Goosebumps uses creative camera angles, dizzying movements and suspense to amp up the fear factor for the Halloween season. If the 2023 Goosebumps show has anything going for it, it’s certainly better visually than the 1990’s anthology or the early 2010’s movie franchise.
Photosensitivity Warning. For viewers prone to epilepsy and photosensitivity, darkness, lightning strikes, bright light flashes that may be triggering, with more scenes concentrated so far in Goosebumps episodes 1, 2, and 5.
The all-new 2023 Goosebumps is a live action television show that weaves iconic elements of the 90’s pop culture book series in a chilling mystery suspense series set for streaming. Developed by Sony Pictures, Original Film, and Scholastic Entertainment (all of whom previously developed the Goosebumps 2015 and Goosebumps 2 2018 films) and produced by Nicholas Stoller (“Dora and the Lost City of Gold”) and Rob Letterman (“Pokémon Detective Pikachu”).
The Goosebumps series 2023 stars Justin Long (“Dodgeball”) and Rachael Harris (“Diary of a Wimpy Kid”), alongside newcomers Zack Morris (“EastEnders”), Isa Briones (“Star Trek: Picard”), Miles McKenna (“Guilty Party”), Ana Yi Puig (“Gossip Girl”) and Will Price (“The Equalizer”).
Sadly, the new 2023 Goosebumps series is NOT set up as an anthology (to the groans of die-hard Goosebumps fans). This modern day drama/mystery thriller Goosebumps show interpretation uses the same cast throughout the series, drawing on elements from five of the most popular R.L. Stine books including “Say Cheese and Die!” Book #4, “The Haunted Mask” Book #11, “The Cuckoo Clock of Doom” Book #28, “Go Eat Worms!” Book #21, and “Night of the Living Dummy” Book #7.
Built like a mystery within a mystery along with high school drama and a few suspense thriller moments, each Goosebumps episode continues to build off the other as more dots connect, more plot points weave together, more character building occurs, and more spooky supernatural happenings surround a group of high school teens. This series puts a modern day spin on the classic stories with pop culture references, diversity and inclusion efforts, and also includes some subtle nods and Easter Eggs to other Goosebumps books and spin-offs for the fandom.
Goosebumps 2023 TV-14 Rating Explained
Is Goosebumps 2023 safe for kids? I was all excited for a new Goosebumps series until I saw the TV-14 rating attached. With the books targeting 7-12 year old young readers, will the Goosebumps show cater to the same audience? Or is this another Disney+ series that parents should be concerned about? I’ve got three words: undisclosed sexual innuendo.
It’s no secret that I am highly skeptical of all MPAA ratings (um hello, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker not disclosing any language??). And as we know, not all movie and TV age ratings are the same. As a parent, it’s been rather heartbreaking to witness how ratings have shifted over the years with a G-rating no longer an option.
PG ratings now oscillating between Turning Red intense to Christopher Robin calm, and even PG-13/TV-14 age ratings teetering on the edge of R or MA ratings (Moon Knight and Werewolf by Night, I see you!), there’s a wide range between the age of 0-14 years old for parents to consider. Having fully disclosed parent guidelines can help determine if a movie or show is kid friendly – and safe for the whole family to watch together.
Why is Goosebumps 2023 rated TV-14? In this Goosebumps 2023 Review | Safe for Kids?, this 10-episode mini series streaming show is rated TV-14 for “intense violence and strong coarse language.” With film and TV ratings also unpredictable these days, having fully disclosed parent guidelines can help determine if a movie or television show like Goosebumps is kid friendly. Is Goosebumps 2023 too scary for kids? Is Goosebumps 2023 too intense for kids? Let’s breakdown that TV-14 age rating in this Goosebumps 2023 parents guide.
*Please note that this Goosebumps series review and TV-14 age rating breakdown are for episodes 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 only. I will update this post with reviews of future episodes below as episode embargoes are released.
Violence/Suspense. Relies heavily on horror and supernatural effects and characters, as well as suspenseful moments, mild to moderate jump scares, and creepy, gross, and frightening visuals. Blood and gore are present, including fire burns, open wounds, broken bones, blood pools, intense choking noises and visuals, medical injections, monster-like creatures and supernatural events.
Adult Themes. Death, grief, loss are common themes through the series – but expected with a Goosebumps type of show. However, sexuality, sex and romance also play huge factors as well. Easily blended into the show dialogue (much like the High School Musical the Musical the Series does) and visuals (2 boys kissing scene, for instance in Episode 3), this modern day spin on Goosebumps introduces more gender and sexual inclusivity seen with Disney+ original shows geared towards more mature audiences.
Sexual innuendo is amped up for this TV-14 rated Goosebumps series. Besides visuals of kissing between same sex and opposite sex couples throughout the Goosebumps series, there is one shirtless teen boy scene in Episode 1. There is implied marriage problems and one marital affair with two adults in bed together (nothing seen) in Episode 4. Phrases including words like “sexy,” “made out,” “suck so hard you blow” (including coordinating sounds), “getting freaky,” “having sex,” “sleeping together,” “gay people,” “private parts,” “porno,” and “humping” are all used within the first 5 episodes.
Drinking alcohol, using social media, bullying, trolling, teen partying (Solo cups in hand), implied suicide discussions (may be triggering), and mental health issues (including scenes at a mental hospital/psych ward) are also themes throughout the show as well. Slight themes into witchcraft, supernatural and spooky elements including demons, devil, curses, and being possessed.
Language. Unexpected for a 2023 Goosebumps reboot, this series introduces language throughout each episode, making this series more foul than I had expected. Foul language and swear words include “son of a b!tch,” “d@mn,” “d@mn it,” “H-E-double-hockey-sticks,” “crap,” “sucks,”
Milder insults and bad language include phrases like “jackass,” “moron,’ “idiot,” “stupid,” “dumb,” “I’m screwed,” “freaking,” “freaked out,” “freaky,” “shoot,” “heck,” and “oh my g-d,” along with many sexual innuendo phrases and scenes listed above.
Episode 6 Update | Night of the Living Dummy – 40 minutes. For those who know this Goosebumps icon, it’s finally time for the intro. As the title suggests, it’s creepy dummy time. Those with issues with creepy dolls may have a tough time with this episode. Violence, horror, and suspense are overall very mild for the episode. Adult themes include bullying and multiple sexual innuendo verbal references to being a “virgin” and “slumming it.” Language includes a new “@ss” reference, as well as a few other choice words listed above in previous episodes.
Episode 7 Update | Give Yourself Goosebumps – 37 minutes. Warning, this episode may be triggering for some. This short episode features scenes in a hospital, aka a psychiatric ward. Depictions of drug-induced patients, hospital staff, and people with mental health issues are portrayed throughout the episode. Violence, horror and suspense are overall mild for this episode, one mild jump scare and mild blood of note. Language is on par with previous episodes.
Episode 8 Update | You Can’t Scare Me – 37 minutes. Suspense thriller levels on par with episode 1. Multiple jump scare moments and intense scenes. One verbal reference to “sex thing.” Overall, a more intense episode for Goosebumps 2023.
Episode 9 Update | Night of the Living Dummy Part 2 – 40 minutes. I was fine if Goosebumps series ended at episode 8. But with 2 more episodes to go, I was not feeling this episode. At all. Horror, thriller content on par with what we’ve seen so far. More adult themes including innuendo about “explaining queerness,” “affair,” “nobody is having sex,” and multiple quick, light kissing. But story wise, not my cup of tea.
Finale Episode 10 Update | Welcome to Horrorland – 42 minutes. They should have ended the season at episode 8. One of the worst finales I’ve seen for a series in awhile. There was absolutely no need for this nonsense. Moderate violence and gore this episode. Not. A. Fan.
Goosebumps 2023 Age Rating for Kids
With a runtime of 36 to 47 minutes per episode, the Goosebumps 2023 series feels like the right length for a kid friendly television show. However, with strong horror and suspense themes, language, and multiple questionable adult themes throughout each episode, parents should know that this series deals out more than one curveball to consider for kids.
This 2023 Disney+ and Hulu series is most like Stranger Things series meets a CW teen show with a more modern day Moon Knight horror.
The new Disney+ live action series based on the R. L. Stine books will have a total of 10 episodes in the new TV show series.
This 2023 10-episode mini series streaming show on Disney+ and Hulu is rated TV-14 for “intense violence and strong coarse language.“
At least for the first 5-episodes, this television series does not seem to hold any post credit scenes for fans. I wouldn’t be surprised to see end credit scenes for a possible cliffhanger season 2.
Based on my Goosebumps 2023 parents guide and mom review above, this mom movie reviewer would not recommend the new Goosebumps TV series to kids younger than the age of 12-13 years old. This is probably one of the most “adult” like kid show upgrades I’ve seen in awhile.
Considering the full TV-14 rating breakdown above, this parent movie reviewer would not recommend the Goosebumps 2023 TV series to kids younger than the age of 12-13 years old. This Goosebumps 2023 TV-14 rating is pretty spot on and easily comparable to the High School Musical the Musical the Series meets Moon Knight series ratings (SO weird to be putting those two genres together).
Investing in the same characters and weaving iconic Goosebumps moments together, this series is not quite as intense as Doctor Strange 2 or Werewolf By Night. However, this show really kicks up the horror and thrill factor, with suspenseful jump scares, gory visuals and psychological elements (lights, darkness, music, etc.) that can be more intense in some episodes (i.e. episode 1) than others. But for kids looking to dip a toe into a horror-suspense type show, this is a good first step. Creepy, intense but not over-the-top.
Parents need to watch for intense adult themes including sexual innuendo that is NOT disclosed in the MPAA rating, suicide discussions (trigger warning), language and supernatural elements that may be nightmare territory for young, sensitive children.
Spoiler alert. This is NOT the Goosebumps show from our childhood. If you can get past the fact that this is NOT the 1990’s anthology 7-12 year old version of Goosebumps, but a more mature, older cousin, then there’s a chance that you might not hate the show. But if you’re childhood is dead set (pun intended) on a fan-driven Goosebumps anthology reboot – you’d be dead wrong.
As someone who HATES spooky, supernatural thriller kind of entertainment (yes, even those geared for kids), I didn’t HATE this Goosebumps series. Once I got my head around this show NOT being for young kids, it was honestly kind of clever how this modern day take on the Goosebumps books weaves in characters, popular Goosebumps themes, and the overall mysterious story arc in a 10-episode non-anthology TV show.
The real mystery lies in who the new Goosebumps series is trying to attract. Is it a new generation of tweens and teens who watch shows like Stranger Things and CW teen series – but have never read the old school books? Is it nostalgic 1990’s Goosebumps fans? Alienating the key 7-12 year old age range that the book series is known for, this series ends up being a little too hokey for suspense thriller and horror lovers but too scary and adult-themed for little kids.
And perhaps that’s the difference between a Goosebumps series and a Goosebumps “branded” series. Had we toned down the language, violence, and adult themes dial just a little bit, this series could have lived up to it’s original concept – even without the anthology feel. But without embracing the full spooky yet kid-friendly feel, this series will ultimately fall short for hardcore Goosebumps fans. Spooked, maybe. But definitely not shook.
Follow Goosebumps 2023 on social media:
- Website: https://ondisneyplus.disney.com/show/goosebumps
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DisneyPlus/
- Twitter (“X”): https://twitter.com/disneyplus
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/goosebumpsseries/
- #GoosebumpsSeries #DisneyPlus
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Goosebumps, the all-new 10-episode season 1 TV show with a 5 episode television series premiere is streaming exclusively on Disney+ and Hulu starting Friday October 13, 2023 with new episodes every Friday through November 17, 2023. Will your family be watching?
I was invited to screen the episodes 1-8 of the new 2023 Goosebumps television series in exchange for this Goosebumps 2023 Review | Safe for Kids? Parents Guide. All photos courtesy of Disney+. Be sure to follow Raising Whasians for more movie updates, celebrity interviews, entertainment and behind-the-scenes info!