The Goosebumps cast came together to create something truly special on screen — and season 1 was just the beginning.
Ahead of the Friday, November 17, season 1 finale, stars Isa Briones, Ana Yi Puig, Zack Morris, Miles McKenna and Will Price exclusively opened up to Us Weekly about the impact they hope the show has made so far.
“There’s this beautiful balance of mystery, action, adventure, heart, courage, friendship and familial turmoil. You really get the best of both worlds,” Puig, who plays Isabella, gushed. “You can be any age and find something to love in the show. As much as it is scary, it is moving, and it’s really funny.”
Puig said wrapping up the first chapter of the show elicited quite a strong reaction from cast and crew.
“Everyone who has seen the finale cried because of the relationships that you have formed with these characters and the consequences — the emotional and physical consequences — of these actions. It’s not just this action-packed YA drama,” she added. “It really does follow the development of these children. It just has a beautiful balance of all of those elements.”
Goosebumps — which is based on R.L. Stine‘s popular horror novels — follows five teenagers who must work together after accidentally releasing supernatural forces into their small town. While trying to recapture the evil spirits, the group unlocks secrets of their parents’ pasts.
While reflecting on season 1, McKenna praised Goosebumps for not limiting its storytelling to just horror.
“The core messaging is friendship. On one hand, you’ve got these five central characters battling these antagonistic evils from the Goosebumps lore. But then on the other hand, it’s this personification of real world struggles and fears. Those are two really big things,” McKenna, who plays James, told Us. “One is external and one is internal. And no one would’ve been able to navigate that if they didn’t lean on other people. So, you’ve got all these characters that are very different but are weaved in such a way where they’re able to find strength and find parts of themselves in each other.”
The horror series — which is still awaiting a season 2 renewal — ended on a shocking note with Isaiah’s (Morris) brief but shocking death. Nathan Bratt (Justin Long), meanwhile, had to face how his decisions affected the town as a whole. Before he could figure out his next steps, Nathan realized that he was once again possessed, this time by Kanduu (Chris Geere), who is much more sinister than the first person who took over his body (Harold Biddle, played by Ben Cockell).
Keep scrolling to see the entire main cast break down all of Us‘ burning questions about season 2 story lines, the romance on the show and more:
Their Hopes and Dreams for Season 2
The renewal wait hasn’t stopped the cast from thinking about what they would like to see happen on the show in the future. Price, who plays Lucas, opened up about the potential tone shift that Goosebumps could explore in season 2.
“I’m a big fan of the Steven Spielberg summer horror blockbuster type vibes. Granted, I’m not a writer, but I think there’s a lot of really cool Goosebumps books that take place in the summertime, and it would be kind of fun to explore that element of things,” he shared with Us. “We have a very dark, gloomy and dreary first season, so to switch that up and do a slasher [could be interesting].”
McKenna, meanwhile, joked that he could see James taking over on the football field now that his best friend Isaiah is reconsidering his commitment to the sport.
“I want to see James on the football field. I’ll say it. He’s been a mascot for too long,” McKenna quipped. “I think he can start running and supporting his team and his school. Go, Titans! I think I want to see him without the muscles suit, but with the real muscles.”
As for Isaiah, Morris had many questions about his character’s state of mind after being resurrected, telling Us, “Coming back to life, you have a lot of questions. I don’t know what that spell is going to do for Isaiah. Is he completely fine now? Is he evil? Where does it take him? I genuinely do not know, but I’ll be very, very excited to find out.”
Morris is also curious to see which of Stine’s books will be adapted next.
“There are so many books that we haven’t used in the series yet. So many different monsters, so many different plot lines that we have access to that haven’t yet been included in our version,” he added. “I’m sure there’s a lot that fans of Goosebumps still want to see. As much as we can include in further seasons, I’m sure they’ll enjoy it, and we’ll definitely have fun playing with it.”
Despite not knowing what the future holds for Isabella, Puig was thrilled with her character’s “beautiful journey” so far. “She is this invisible person who desperately tries to connect and she just doesn’t know how. Then she finds a way for people to see her instead of hiding behind her phone and being a bully,” she noted. “The metaphors that we are showing these young adults [is] how important it is to be your authentic self and how you will find genuine friendships and love if you are honest about who you are.”
Puig complimented the show’s film crew — especially costume design — for highlighting Isabella’s journey.
“If you watch from episode one to 10, all of Isabella’s stuff starts off incredibly conservative. It’s very clear her mother’s forcing her to dress this way. It’s skirts and plaid and sweaters. Then by the end, she’s wearing a biker jacket with tight jeans,” Puig recalled. “She’s basically growing into this expressive young person who is fighting for her ability to be completely herself and stop letting people project onto her. … It was a really beautiful beginning to end for her.”
The Future of the Love Square
During season 1, Goosebumps introduced many different potential pairings for both the cast and fans to consider. Margot initially formed a connection with Lucas, but her unspoken bond with Isaiah later created a complication. Isaiah, for his part, found himself interested in Isabella before confronting his feelings for Margot.
Following Margot and Lucas’ emotional split, Price weighed in on the impact that their relationship continues to carry.
“I think that my favorite part about the Margot and Lucas relationship is that it very much feels to me like being a high schooler,” Price explained to Us. “It’s that first moment when you feel seen by another person. It’s not overwhelming but it’s that first moment when you’re like, ‘Oh, I can trust someone with these emotions and these feelings. They make me feel good about myself.’ Even if they weren’t together, I don’t think that would dissipate. But after the events [of] the first season, maybe everyone needs to take a beat and do some work on themselves.”
Morris, meanwhile, can see the appeal of every fictional couple from the show.
“Talking about the Isaiah and Margot situation, I’m sure a lot of people can relate to having someone where there’s always been a little something there that has not been spoken about. But yet you kind of know it, but you kind of don’t know it,” he said. “Whether that is explored further, who knows.”
Isaiah’s bond with Margot, however, doesn’t negate the chemistry between him and Isabella. “The Isabella love triangle is a new romance, is a new feeling, and it’s kind of figuring things out for the first time,” Morris continued. “I’m going to say, ‘Give the people what they want.’”
Briones and Puig had their own thoughts about an underrated couple.
“I am not Team Margot and Isaiah. I’m not Team Margot and Lucas. I’m not Team Isaiah and Isabella. I’m Team Margot and Isabella. That is the team. That is what we’ve been fighting for. And jokes aside, I wish we had more scenes together,” Briones told Us. “If, fingers crossed, there is a season 2, I’m going to go to the writers and be like, ‘You have to make us best friends, because it doesn’t make sense. We have to be.’”
Ahead of season 2, Briones is hoping to see the show explore a genuine female friendship, adding, “We need these girls to just be like, ‘No, we stand with each other. We are together and these boys need to figure it out.’”
Puig couldn’t help but agree, telling Us, “Personally as Isabella, I ship Isabella and Isaiah. I also ship Margot and Lucas. However, as Ana, I ship Isabella and Margot. I’m not kidding, I really do think their intellect and their shared similarities and experiences would just make the most no-bulls–t relationship. They would be so happy.”
Which ‘Goosebumps’ Stories Are Still Left to Explore
Stine has been releasing books since 1992, with a total of 240 books debuting over the years. While discussing their favorite titles, Morris pointed out how many “different variations” of Slappy the Dummy stories there were in the series. Prince and McKenna, meanwhile, are holding out hope for the TV take on The Werewolf of Fever Swamp.
How the Cast’s Real-Life Friendship Inspired the Show
As Goosebumps released new episodes, viewers were quick to gush over the found family aspect of the series. According to the cast, they let their off-screen friendship fuel their acting.
“I truly feel like they put liquid luck in this casting process or something because these are some of the best friends I have ever had. I respect them with every ounce of my being,” Puig shared with Us. “I honestly feel like our relationship outside of the show is why the show relationships worked. We didn’t get closer after filming more scenes. That was almost informing what we were filming.”
McKenna was on the same page about how “fortunate” he felt on set.
“We all are very different and we all work so well together. But we spent so long on set and in between that we’d all be in the same trailer hanging out in between shots,” he recalled. “We spent so much time growing together as artists, but then we spent so much time growing together as individuals and spending six months in a new country together. I am really lucky to have found friendship in everyone for so many reasons.”
Seeing the Response to the Show
For the cast, it was a pleasure to see the outpouring of support for the series.
“Goosebumps has been a part of so many people’s childhoods. People have grown up with the [original] show. So, it is something you have to deal with very delicately, and there’s a responsibility that comes with that,” Morris said. “As a collective, we wanted to do the material justice. So, to get a good response from the people who know and love the book series or who love the TV show is really heartwarming for us.”
McKenna also discussed getting to see the creative ways fans have shown their appreciation. “There’s so many TikTok edits of, specifically, the Isaiah and James friendship or with Isabella and James. We had very few moments together compared to how much time we spend together as people,” he explained to Us. “So, we’re like, ‘Oh, my God, everyone gets it. Everyone understands how we feel and how positive our friendship really is.’ For there to even be fans of things that we’ve created, I think is really special.”
What Makes the Show Stand Out
Price opened up about how Goosebumps pulled off showing authentic teenage experiences.
“People today — high schoolers especially — have a really fantastic vocabulary to talk about the way that they’re feeling. The show does a really excellent job of not minimizing when someone is feeling something. Being a young person today, I feel like we’re very emotionally intelligent and a lot of times are able to talk about emotions better than our parents, which I think the show really touches on as well,” he noted. “Aside from all of the horror elements, something that our show really does an excellent job of is showing that you have to process things and you have to move through things.”
Briones found herself thrilled by the way Goosebumps focused on the story’s emotional beats.
“When you first meet everyone, there are stereotypes that we fit into. It is amazing what the writers have done, because they made sure that those stereotypes existed, but then also broke them down throughout the show,” she told Us. “That’s what I think makes people love this show so much right now is how it is representing a much wider variety of life.”
She concluded: “Also it just hits on so many topical themes. … Obviously, it is through the lens of horror and it can be silly at times. But the show also asks, ‘What trauma do I inherit from the people before me?’ I think that’s one of the central themes of the show, and it’s very captivating.”