Goosebumps 2 : Haunted Halloween Review

Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween

When best friends Sonny (Jeremy Ray Taylor) and Sam (Caleel Harris) find a hidden room, in a spooky old house, they think they have just stumbled upon a treasure. This is exactly they were hoping for when they started a junk removal business. But those hopes are quickly dashed as they discover what they really have found is an unreleased and unfinished R.L. Stine novel. The book is locked so they unlock it hoping to find a treasure map or some money but alas it is just a book by an author they have never heard of. Disappointed they return to the rest of the items they found and is surprised to see a ventriloquist dummy sitting next to the book. In the pocket of the dummy is a card that says its name is Slappy (voiced by Jack Black). Unknowingly these two friends have now unleashed a malicious that is about to unleash a bevy of monsters on their home town. Now they, with the help of Sonny’s older sister Sarah (Madison Iseman), have to try to stop Slappy from destroying their town and maybe even the world, especially before Sonny and Sarah’s mom (Wendy McLendon-Covey) finds out.
This film is a follow up to the 2015 Goosebumps, all based on the popular children’s horror fiction novels of the same name by author R.L. Stine. The book series, over 60 novels, and the films are all geared to bring horror to a younger audience.

Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween is a lighthearted horror film. This will probably do well with a young audience but doesn’t really go beyond that. I thought for the genre the cast did okay. Ken Jeong as the wacky neighbor was very over the top but in a fun way. Even though Jack Black is the voice of Slappy his R.L. Stine character was mostly missing from the film. The story is predictable. The film is full of cheesy one liners, some good, some bad and some so bad they might be good. Also if you are looking for a well put together plot with streamlined scenes this is not the film. At one point the three teens are being helped by Jeong’s character but the scene cuts and the kids are alone with no mention of their neighbor. I thought that the Slappy character was definitely creepy at times and could be nightmare inducing but the rest of the monsters were more cartoon like that really scary.

Of films made for young audiences this I have seen recently this is not one of the better films. I would say that it had a few moments but really lacked a clear message and cohesive story. I think it would be something young audience would enjoy but not go back to as often as other films that have come out recently. Renting or streaming would be the way to go for this film not worth the ticket price for the theaters for me.

2 out of 5