The Real Scariness of my Goosebumps Pre-screening Party

Last March, I was invited to host a pre-screening for “Cinderella,” which was a rather magical experience to see this classic with so many close friends.

Well, this generous movie promotion company contacted me again last week, but this time to host a pre-screening for Goosebumps.

I wasn’t familiar with this series that has sold more than 400 million books worldwide until Bode requested them for his birthday last summer and he has been counting down the days until the movie came out. Well, imagine how popular I was when I told him I was hosting a VIP pre-screening of the movie. Not only could he invite all his friends but they’d get to see it before it was released to the public on Friday. Mother of the Year!

I had 162 seats to fill and the promotion company generously threw in popcorn and a drink to everyone in attendance, not to mention Goosebumps T-shirt and swag giveaways. I only had five days to pull this together so I sent an email to friends first, planning to promote it to the general public the next morning but within a few hours, most of the seats were filled, many of which with friends. I capped it at 148 so I’d have some wiggle room for cancellations and add-ons.

And then I spent five days stressing. What if I didn’t have enough seats to accommodate everyone? What if there weren’t very many people who showed up? I was tweaking the list until the very last minute but amazingly, there were only two families that were no-shows. And then I had several “yes” shows thanks to Bode who didn’t tell me he was inviting several friends from school, which I would have been fine with if I’d had their RSVPs but they just showed up at the theater. Thankfully, there was room–not much but just enough.

The Boys

As for my take on Goosebumps? Delightfully fun and with a PG-rating, it was just scary enough without being over-the-top. However, there were definitely a lot of scary elements because the entire premise of the movie  is about R.L. Stine’s (Jack Black) dangerous creatures coming to life from his books.  I spent the entire time fretting it was traumatizing the younger kiddos. Forget the clown–Slappy, the ventriloquist’s dummy, was creeeeeepy.

I need not have worried because most everyone seemed to have a great time but no one more than Bode’s buddies. If there is a demographic for this movie, it’s 9-year-old boys. His friend Noah raved, “That was the best movie I’ve seen in a looooooong time” and Bode endorsed, “It was so much better than ‘Cinderella.’”

Of course, the true indicator is if anyone had spooky dreams that night. I sure did. I feverishly dreamed I didn’t have enough seats to accommodate everyone.

We all have our nightmares.

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