Review: Goosebumps – Haunted Halloween

Title: Goosebumps: Haunted Halloween
MPAA Rating: PG
Director: Ari Sandel
Starring: Wendi McLendon-Covey, Madison Iseman, Jeremy Ray Taylor
Runtime: 1 hr 30 mins 

What It Is: The sequel to the 2015’s Goosebumps this time it turns out that some nosey children find R.L Stine’s (Jack Black) first book entitled Haunted Halloween. Along with that, they found the always sinister dummy, Slappy. Now Slappy has a plan to make all of the trickery and horror of this first Stine attempt come to life. Sarah (Iseman), and her brother Sonny (Taylor) who started this alongside his buddy Sam (Caleel Harris) must now try to stop this “living dummy” from a neverending cycle of Halloween.

What We Think: This was…not as good as the previous installment. Where the original really sank its teeth into the various stories of Stine this focused on one. The problem was it wasn’t a good enough one. Rob Lieber’s script just didn’t have the same oomph that the previous did. It all felt like a Mr. Pibb version of what was once a really fun and surprising adventure. Having Jack Black back so soon after The House With a Clock in its Walls was probably a mistake…these films were a bit too similar.

Our Grade: C-, Fun enough but sorely lacking this is one that just straddles the “okay” line. Nothing is done here to make the film bad it’s just all very safe and mediocre. I noticed it when watching that it seems like decisions being made just said whats the safest way to get them across. I can recommend this only as a means of entertaining someone’s children for a solid 90 mins. Outside of this maybe play the first film in the series instead or go with something else. Especially for children around 11 or 12. They’ll just laugh at this…ironically.

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