Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween Movie Review (In Detail)

Spoilers Alert:

After the self-deprecating “Goosebumps” movie from 2015, come along Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween now a quasi-sequel to the big screen. We’ll reveal in our review whether it’s as much fun on a lower budget.

The Plot Summary

Sarah Quinn (Madison Iseman) lives in quiet Wardenclyffe, New York and dreams of going to the prestigious Columbia University soon – but she has no idea how to write her application essay on the topic of fear. Her younger brother Sonny (Jeremy Ray Taylor), in turn, starts a garbage disposal service with his best friend Sam Carter (Caleel Harris). One of their first assignments takes the boys to an empty, dilapidated house, where they find a chest containing a locked book and a key. The two friends open the book – and shortly afterwards a ventriloquist’s dummy appears next to them. As it soon becomes clear, this one calls himself Slappy and is a magical, living creature who uses his abilities to fulfill a long-held wish: he finally wants to have a real family. A wish that brings supernatural, dangerous chaos…

Movie explanation of the ending

In 2015, Sony Pictures brought “Gänsehaut”, a film based on the children’s and young adult horror novels of the same name, to the big screen. RL Stine’s “Goosebumps” works have influenced an entire generation of horror fans since 1992 – and countless non-bookworms also came into contact with Stine’s inventions, after all, they inspired a popular television series. Rob Letterman’s (“Gulliver’s Travels – Something big is coming”) The film bowed to Stine’s work with a mischievous smile: The family film is peppered with references to popular “Goosebumps” stories and even makes author RL Stine one of the central characters – embodied by a great Jack Black, who speaks in a humorous tone also distributed ironic swipes at one or other shortcomings of the “Goosebumps” stories. Accompanied by solid to good reviews, the film grew to a worldwide box office of $150.2 million on a budget of $84 million. An economic gray area: too little to keep going, too much to stop. In this case, Sony decided to give the defendant the benefit of the doubt and stuck to the sequel plans that had already been communicated before the “Goosebumps” theatrical release.

Sarah (Madison Iseman), Sonny (Caleel Harris) and Sam (Jeremy Ray Taylor) are best friends.

So to say. Because “Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween” leaves the cliffhanger of its predecessor behind, as well as the main human characters and the setting. However, “Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween” is not a reboot: the script written by Rob Lieber contains casual allusions to the first part – so it is canon, but so unimportant for the new film that you can watch the sequel without any problems to know the forerunner. But anyone who has already seen the movie from 2015 will experience one or two déjà vu, because the sequel is practically a smaller rehash of the first film: in both parts the ventriloquist’s dummy Slappy is the big villain and in both films there is one rural US town plagued by monsters that magically appear. Last time characters from Goosebumps novels came to life, this time Halloween decorations (including a good handful of Goosebumps merchandise). This is by no means original – although it’s not as if RL Stine had reinvented the wheel time and time again in his over 230 “Goosebumps” books. At least the filmmakers seem to know not to cover themselves with creativity.

Several times, short, perplexed exclamations and statements from the characters plunged into the horror chaos indicate how well-trodden the paths on which this plot follows are. This consistently continues the self-deprecating tone of the first film and is thanks to the casual, fluffy tone of director Ari Sandel (“DUFF – If you don’t have one, you are one”) letting his ensemble make these comments is very charming: the self-irony is not used as a killing argument, but rather half apologetically, half as an opportunity to generate further smiles. In general, “Goosebumps – Scary Halloween” is a family horror comedy that can be accurately described with the adjective “charming”. Or even better: “Cute”. Film fans who find this derogatory would be wrong anyway with the unambitious $35 million production. But if you (not only) want a supernatural film with child-friendly horror elements in October and just want to create a good atmosphere, you should give “Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween” a chance. The young actors romp happily through the turbulent plot and consistently have good comedic timing. And no matter how little quieter material the script may give them (interpersonal conflicts here either have the intensity of a tiny disagreement or are quickly passé), the young actors approach the occasional, character-driven moments in an unaffected manner.

The boys discover the creepy doll Slappy.

As a result, the pace of the film remains consistent – and that may be shallower, but it is also more entertaining than the forced, morally acidic drama that family comedies like “The LEGO Ninjago Movie” force into the rest of their punch lines. By cinematographer Barry Peterson (“Game Night”) Filmed in a routine, autumnal way and edited by David Rennie & Keith Brachmann with the speed of a “Goosebumps” television episode, “Goosebumps – Scary Halloween” also offers a solid mix of CG and practical effects – especially for a film that only sold 35 million cost dollars, which will soon be just change in Hollywood. A well-crafted cameo gives the third act additional speed and for the little ones, this is also a likeable introductory film in the horror genre – Slappy is a funny villain who also knows how to show how dangerous he is. When Slappy threatens one of Sarah’s classmates who is standing on a ladder and he uses his magic to loosen the screws on the ladder, Sandel stages this with gentle suspense: probably no one beyond elementary school will be frightened by this scene, but young, gentle minds can like to be tense as the screws slowly come out and Slappy’s victim stands more and more wobbly on the ladder. But the little ones are still not permanently frightened by this. It is much more likely that they will be hooked by this…

Conclusion: “Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween” doesn’t tell anything new and doesn’t even continue the open storyline of its predecessor. But with a fine pinch of self-irony, family-friendly horror chaos and relaxed situational comedy, it is a thoroughly cute Halloween production for everyone who is not yet confident about “real” horror or who wants something thematically appropriate but relaxed between three psychological terror films and four bloody slashers. want to see fluffy.

“Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween” can be seen in some USA cinemas from October 25, 2018.

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