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The Surprising Way R.L. Stine Really Feels About Horror Movies

R.L. Stine has written somewhere north of 300 books (per CNN) and sold more than 400 million over the course of his career (via Irish Times). He's been dubbed the "Stephen King of children's literature," and was even famously portrayed by Jack Black in 2015's big-screen adaptation of "Goosebumps" (in which the author also made a cameo appearance). Clearly, there isn't much in the entertainment realm that R.L. Stine hasn't done.

In a recent interview with BBC News, the beloved children's author took some time to reflect on his literary stardom, dryly noting, "I don't know how I did it. Back in the day I was writing a 'Goosebumps' and a 'Fear Street' book every month." Stine went on to acknowledge the difference between the lighter tone of his original books and the slightly hardcore nature of this year's "Fear Street" film trilogy, saying, "My books were PG-rated. These movies are definitely not." Nonetheless, Stine told his interviewer that, as surprising as it was to see his works adapted in such decidedly adult fashion, the "Fear Street" movies didn't entirely shock him. That's because, according to him, he has a peculiar view of horror movies that'll likely surprise fans of his spooktacular literary legacy.

R.L. Stine doesn't take horror movies too seriously

It turns out that R.L. Stine has a very nonchalant attitude about horror movies. The famed author admitted as much during his interview with BBC News, telling the publication in no uncertain terms that, "I don't get scared from horror movies." Stine further claimed that not only does he not get frightened while watching horror movies, but he typically has a laugh in the process. "There's something missing in my brain. I just find horror very funny," the author said.

Given the unsettling nature of many of Stine's most beloved books, that point of view is a bit surprising, if only because one would think authors who make their living in the horror genre might have some fear of their creepier creations. Notably, the statement isn't totally clear about whether Stine's carefree attitude towards horror is solely restricted to cinematic works, or if it extends to the literary realm as well. Whatever the case, he obviously revels in not taking his chosen genre too seriously. 

That approach is, of course, also quite prevalent in many of his books. It's particularly present in Stine's ongoing, kid-friendly "Goosebumps" series, which finds its central youngsters encountering creepy supernatural creations of all shapes and sizes, all while Stine savvily blends classic thrills and chills with an air of light-hearted humor. As for the "Fear Street" trilogy, well, it's safe to say many Netflix viewers aren't laughing their way through the slasher-centric carnage — even if the man who inspired them is.