Bringing you honest reviews of recent releases
Jeremy Ray Taylor – Sonny
Madison Iseman – Sarah
Wendi McLendon-Covey – Kathy
Caleel Harris – Sam
Ken Jeong – Mr. Chu
Jack Black – R.L. Stine
Mick Wingert – Slappy (voice)
Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween is just terrible. The first movie outweighs it massively in terms of plot and character effectiveness. At least if one thing stands out from the first one it’s the mix of characters (the guy with the girly scream, the lead female looking a bit like Mila Kunis, etc.) – because this group of kids are just plain dull. God only knows why McLendon-Covey decided to join the cast either, the woman can do so much better – and she has. The final scene where the kids rush to save Kathy is diabolical; how she has to play it is cringeworthy CBBC-style stuff (in fact junior CBBC-style stuff) and added to the performance is possibly the worst makeup I have ever seen to show what has happened to her. Kids should love it, but as a mid-thirties-gets-pissed-off-when-a-film-is-horrendously-tacky cinema goer I found Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween almost unbearable.
The story seems to lose itself halfway through also. Slappy announces his evil plan, but as the movie continues this plot dissolves and you get a shitload of different people and beasts running around the neighbourhood for an hour instead. Like someone announcing they’re about to do something bad – running away – and suddenly the focus is what everyone else is up to. What an utter load of bollocks.
The one thing I cannot fault about this movie though is its use of CGI and props. Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween is positively bursting with imagination and effervescent characters. From the moment a batch of supermarket costumes spin to life you are whacked with wicked witches, spiders the size (literally) of a house, unravelling mummies, naughty gnomes, and bizzarely evil gummy bears. But it’s all visually effective and is sure to keep the children entertained. The screen radiates glossy rainbow colour when the gummy bears appear, which melt into toxic green mist when other beasts surface.. stunning. The entire movie is dripping with crystal clarity. Top marks here.
From Sony Pictures and Scholastic Entertainment comes a dreadful sequel that simply doesn’t deliver the goods. This movie is absolutely no rival for its previous one, and fails massively in plot substance. The quality of its content is fit for straight-to-TV, not cinema. I would urge fans of the first Goosebumps movie to leave it there and pretend this one doesn’t exist.