“Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween” is a family friendly horror comedy based on the series of novels by R.L. Stine. Rob Lieber and Darren Lemke came up with the idea for this fairly entertaining cinematic escapade which was directed by Ari Sandel.
A couple of young boys who collect junk as a bit of a start-up business find a dusty old book in a dilapidated abandoned house which brings them into the presence of a mischievous ventriloquist’s doll named Slappy. Slappy possesses a taste for bad puns and some wicked telekinesis. The older sister of one of the junk collectors gets pulled into the chaos when Slappy’s misbehavior starts to go full throttle.
The visual effects were pretty convincing and occasionally had moments of real creativity. Since this movie is aimed at kids and families, the scares were kept at a minimal.
The young actors at the center of this piece were pretty charming and seemed to work well together. There were some scenes such as a weird battle with Gummy Bears that could have been better executed or really left out. There were some genuinely amusing zingers bandied about at times though. Not all of the dialogue landed well, however enough of it did for me to be reasonably entertained by the performances.
The character of R.L. Stine is not ignored either, however I think his involvement in this film is not as significant as the first one. Jack Black was fine if a little hammy. But he’s almost always hammy. Of course, it’s a comedy for kids, so hammy acting is kind of par for the course here. Anyway, I actually think that I have yet to see the first one, so I am curious enough to watch out for it.
The script isn’t great obviously, but the movie ended up being reasonably fun.