We remember many experiences from our younger days fondly, like that small food place you always ate at with your family, or our favourite books and novels. Ruining a fond memory of yours or anyone’s is plain cruel, Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween does just that.
Goosebumps is originally a series of horror books for young teens and it mustered up enormous success. Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween is the sequel to the first Goosebumps film released in 2015. The film follows Sam (Caleel Harris) and Sonny (Jeremy Ray Taylor) who stumble into an abandoned house and find a creepy dummy and a locked-up book. As the pair take the dummy home, they discover it has a name “Slappy”, it can talk and even has super powers. At first, they befriend Slappy but soon find out Slappy has evil intentions. To save their town, Sonny, Sam, and Sonny’s sister Sarah (Madison Iseman) must face Slappy and all the monsters he brings to life.
Silly? You have no idea.
The film has evil talking pumpkins, vicious gummy bears, and a giant spider made out of balloons. The problem with this is that young teens these days will not be scared or even interested in such silly ventures. Adults who used to read Goosebumps as children will also be disappointed as the books did not speak silliness to them but rather spookiness, mystery, and intrigue.
Whether the film intends to be scary at all is debatable; if the film is meant for young children and the makers do not want the children to have nightmares then the film succeeded. However, if the film was meant for anyone above the age of 7 (if not less) then the film is not at all scary and does not do any justice to the genre of the Goosebumps book series.
The film also tries to be funny but sadly only rarely succeeds; shoving in comedians like Ken Jeong and Chris Parnell does not mean you automatically have a funny film. There were a few moments that could be considered comedic, in a middle-school-comedy kind of way but, for the effort the film puts in to be funny, it definitely does not succeed.
Another main issue with the film was that the characters were cliché and did not stand out at all. So were the performances of the actors who played them; Jeremy Ray Taylor and Caleel Harris put the effort into their performances but unfortunately their roles were written to be as cliché as possible which left their performances mediocre. Madison Iseman left a better impression but still couldn’t escape the constrictions of the script.
If you read the Goosebumps books as a kid, then an official warning to you: do not watch this.