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“Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween” Boo!



Review by John Delia

Perfect for your brave goblins as a pre-Halloween treat the movie Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween takes center stage starting today. The mystery is loaded with adventure and comedy and is perfect for the whole family. However you may want to try and get tickets early for the day and time you want to go as most theaters should be packed with this film being the only PG available for kids.

That said, for the immature youngsters in the family, you may want to hold them close to you as there are some frightening costumers and spooky critters. The best bet would be to show them the trailer to be sure you won’t be spending some time in the theater lobby.

Madison Iseman, Jeremy Ray Taylor and Caleel Harris star in Columbia Pictures’ GOOSEBUMPS 2: HAUNTED HALLOWEEN.

Middle schoolers Sonny Quinn (Jeremy Ray Taylor) and his best friend Sam Carter (Caleel Harris) have a business selling unwanted junk that people may want to discard. One day Sonny gets a call from a person telling him that he can come over and take anything they want from a vacated home. When he and Sam get there they see it’s a rundown spooky place, but it still has promise for a good find. After some time with only a little luck they come upon a mysterious book in a trunk. When they open it a puppet appears. It’s not just any puppet, as it can talk telling them his name is Slappy. They take their find home and soon odd things start happening.

Sonny (Jeremy Ray Taylor, right) and Sam (Caleel Harris) find “Slappy” in an abandoned house in Columbia Pictures’ GOOSEBUMPS 2; HAUNTED HALLOWEEN.

The night of Halloween is finally here and Sonny’s older sister Sarah Quinn (Madison Iseman), a high school senior, has been told to accompany the boys because mom Quinn (Wendi McLendon-Covey) has to work that night at the nursing home. When the trio goes out to trick and treat, weird things start to happen and Slappy is at the bottom of it. Director Ari Sandel brings this little ditty to the screen and he keeps it reasonably short about an hour and a half so the youngsters don’t get bored and the older kids get in just enough laugh time. He moves the story along so all the adventure can get played out with very little lulls in the action. He pokes fun on an adult level to keep moms and dads happy and dumbs it down for even the mature youngest to understand.

Caleel Harris and Jeremy Ray Taylor star in Columbia Pictures’ GOOSEBUMPS 2: HAUNTED HALLOWEEN.

Of course being an R.L. Stine Goosebumps book, the movie will have to be creepy and chilling at times and this one’s no exception. The special effects and CGI really sell the film with so much going on around the actors, that even the most critical moviegoer can enjoy the seamless ogres and witches as if they were real. In fact, they may look a little too real for the very young, especially the feisty animals, scary gummy bears and the many evil sprites. I like the way they work their magic with Slappy, an evil dummy that looks a lot like Charlie McCarthy.

Most of the adults attending will get a kick out of Ken Jeong (The Hangover) as Mr. Chu, the Quinn’s next door neighbor who goes all out decorating his house. It’s a stitch, especially when Slappy slaps a spell on his house and the decorations come alive. If you are going to see the film because Jack Black is back as R.L. Stine, heads up that he’s only in about ten minutes of the film.

Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween has been rated PG for thematic reasons. Be cautious when deciding to allow immature children see the film as it does have some scenes that may be somewhat scary for the timid.

FINAL ANALYSIS: A great Halloween flick for the younger crowd. (For the youngsters I give this 4 out of 5 Stars)

Additional Film Information:
Cast: Wendi McLendon-Covey, Madison Iseman, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Caleel Harris, Chris Parnell, Ken Jeong
Directed by: Ari Sandel
Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Family
MPAA Rating: PG (contains scary scenes, thematic violence)
Running Time: 1 hr. 30 min.
Opening Date: October 12, 2018
Distributed by: Columbia Pictures Corporation
Released in: Standard

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