REVIEW: ‘Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween’ brings spookiness to life, but fails to impress audiences


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The film gives off the perfect feel for Halloween.

Three years after the first adaptation of R.L. Stine’s famous series, the sequel is finally here. Released Friday, Oct. 12, “Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween” puts fans in the Halloween spirit.  

The film follows twelve-year-old Sonny (Jeremy Ray Taylor) and his friend Sam (Caleel Harris) who come across Slappy, a talking ventriloquist’s doll, while cleaning up an old house. When Sonny and Sam bring Slappy home, they discover he holds a power that can destroy their unsuspecting town. In a plan to create his own family and make Halloween “last forever,” Slappy kidnaps Sonny’s mom and makes Halloween costumes, toys and candy come to life.

While the film has its moments, “Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween” does not live up to the quality of the original. The first Goosebumps movie, released in 2015, was engaging and unique. The humor and small scares made it a great family film. Additionally, its cast, including Dylan Minnette from “13 Reasons Why” and Odeya Rush from “The Giver,” made it appealing to a teenage audience.

While the new movie does a great job of entertaining the younger kids, it isn’t as appealing for teenagers. The sets and special effects are extremely cheesy, and the plot is predictable and overused. Unlike the original, “Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween” isn’t laugh-out-loud funny.

The cast, though promising, does not meet expectations. It features Jeremy Ray Taylor, who played Ben in the 2017 version of the classic film “It,” Wendi McLendon-Covey from the family comedy “The Goldbergs,” and Ken Jeong from the recent rom-com “Crazy Rich Asians.” Jack Black was advertised as a major role in the film but he has less than five minutes of screen time. For a movie featuring a cast full of comedians, it is underwhelmingly funny.

Though it lacks quality and a consistent plotline,  “Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween” is so horrible that it is almost enjoyable. It may be the perfect cheesy movie to get people in the mood for Halloween.