#REVIEW: “GOOSEBUMPS 2: HAUNTED HALLOWEEN”
Review by Amanda Gilmore for Mr. Will Wong
When Sonny (Jeremy Ray Taylor) and his best friend Sam (Caleel Harris) accept their first call for their free “pick-up junk” business, they find a secret passage with a chest. When they open it they find a dummy doll named Slappy (Jack Black) inside and innocently bring him to life. Slappy seems decent in the beginning with a clear intention to have a family of his own. However, his wholesome demeanour begins to turn sinister when Sonny’s sister, Sarah (Madison Iseman), finds out the evil within him and attempts to physically destroy him. To seek his revenge on Sonny, Sam and Sarah while also getting the family he demands, he uses his dark powers to summon all of Halloween to life.
R.L Stein’s beloved Horror novels have sold over 350 million copies worldwide, so it comes as no surprise that his novels have been adapted twice for the big screen. This Film is his second adaptation, however, it isn’t directly related to 2015’s Goosebumps. Screenwriter Rob Lieber brings many of Stein’s popular characters to Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween. This creates a lot of nostalgia for fans of the Goosebumps books and 1995 TV Show. The greatest aspect of every Stein novel and the Anthology TV show is the exciting mix of Comedy and Horror. This Film has also accomplished the balance of this. That’s mainly due to Director Ari Sandel who targets the Horror at the younger audiences while the Comedy is aimed at both those young and older. Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween is a family-friendly fun for all.
The Cast revels in the Film’s spooky-fun atmosphere. Jeremy Ray Taylor, who we saw last year in IT, proves that his talent wasn’t a one-time fluke. He’s completely committed to his loveable smart kid character and effortlessly masters the art of acting opposite CGI. Caleel Harris, who has recently appeared in Castle Rock, does a great job and making his character the stand out even though he’s the supporting. Taylor and Harris have a chemistry on-screen that makes us feel like they have been friends their whole lives. Then there is Jack Black who does a fantastic job as the voice of everyone’s love-to-hate dummy doll. He brings an equal amount of amusement and creepiness to this well-known character.
Sony Pictures Canada release GOOSEBUMPS 2: HAUNTED HALLOWEEN on Friday, October 12, 2018.