Verdict: A fun kid-friendly adventure that’s the perfect amount of scary.
Goosebumps is undoubtedly one of the most popular children’s book series in the world. The first film adaptation was a roaring success which led to the sequel. And Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween couldn’t have come at a better time. As October ends, it’s a perfect watch for the whole family to get into the Halloween spirit.
What’s Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween About:
Two kids, Sonny (Jeremy Ray Taylor) and Sam (Caleel Harris), decide to start up a business collecting junk to make some money. Their first client gives them the address of a creepy abandoned house. Inside, they find a locked book called Haunted Halloween. This was an unfinished manuscript that R. L. Stine had never finished. The two decide to unlock it without knowing what’s inside. This unleashes the ventriloquist dummy, Slappy, who then goes on to bring Halloween to life. Now, Sonny and Sam, with the help of Sonny’s elder sister, Sarah (Madison Iseman) have to save their town from the dummy.
Our three heroes are all extremely likable, thanks to the wonderful portrayal by the actors, and you’ll root for them to succeed. There is a lot in the film that kids and young adults can relate to. Sonny wants to focus on school and finishing up his science project. Sam wants to accomplish something outside of school. Sarah is a teenager who’s trying to get into an Ivy League college while trying to balance her fun life with her boyfriend. The three of them have diverse personalities but they all have to work together as a team to bring down Slappy.
The best part of the film is the many monsters. When Slappy brings all the Halloween decorations in the town of Wardenclyffe to life, the fun begins. Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween is creepy at times but it’s not that scary because of its outlandish nature and the proper balance of comedy and horror. It’s the right amount of horror, especially for children, who want to enjoy a scary film but not have nightmares about it. There are skeletons, giant-sized gummy bears, and even a spider the size of a house made out of balloons.
The supporting cast is equally good. Sonny and Sarah’s mother, played by Wendi McLendon-Covey does a great job of being a strong parental figure. Ken Jeong plays an over-enthusiastic neighbor who goes all out with his decorations and steals every scene he is in. Jack Black also makes a cameo in the film, reprising his role as R. L. Stine, and even in his short appearance, he’s incredibly funny.
What Could Have Been Better:
Some parts of the film are predictable but it doesn’t take away from the enjoyment of watching the adventure unfold.
Why You Should Watch:
If you’re a fan of the Goosebumps books, you won’t be disappointed by the film as there are even direct references to some of the most famous titles. Even if you’ve never read the books or seen the first film, the story is simple enough to follow. This is one monster mash that will keep you thoroughly entertained.