goosebumps 2: haunted halloween
DIRECTOR: Ari Sandel (the duff, when we first met)
STARRING: madison iseman, jeremy ray taylor, caleel Harris, and ken jeong
REVIEWER: lyall carter
While collecting junk one day, best friends Sonny and Sam meet Slappy, a mischievous talking dummy from an unpublished "Goosebumps" book by R.L. Stine. Hoping to start his own family, Slappy kidnaps Sonny's mother and brings all of his ghoulish friends back to life -- just in time for Halloween. As the sleepy town becomes overrun with monsters, witches and other mysterious creatures, Sonny joins forces with his sister, Sam and a kindly neighbor to save Sonny's mom and foil Slappy's plan.
I remember sneaking Goosebumps books out of the library (my mother didn't approve) and reading them under my bedcovers with a torch and where I was both entertained and frightened. Then came Goosebumps (2015) which along with an ounce or two of nostalgia, it was an entertaining family film which proved popular at the box office and with audiences alike which has spawned Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween.
Sonny and Sam are collecting junk one day when they find Slappy, a ventriloquist dummy, who comes to life helping the boys defeat their bullies and help with their science homework. But things take a sinister turn when Slappy tries to make them all into a happy family, awakening a whole crowd of mysterious and scary monsters.
Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween is typical fare for this family fright genre and the story moves along at a great little pace. There is of course plenty of tween angst to be faced and conquered - bullies, homework, odd jobs, and romantic entanglements.
There are funny moments too provided mostly by Mr. Chu (Ken Jeoung) who makes any role, no matter how small, his own and completely memorable. For all of the trailers that announced or showed Jack Black's involvement in this sequel his reprising of the role of R.L. Stine is minimal and appears more on screen as the voice of Slappy.
The CGI can sometimes be a little dodgy at times but overall Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween is a great little family film with frights aplenty.