• 27 Oct - 02 Nov, 2018
  • Farheen Jawaid
  • Reviews

Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween might not be “the most frightening movie of this Halloween season”, but it is a young-audience, friendly-family entertainer that knows what it is and does what is required from it. If you are expecting it to be frightening or have a laugh-out-loud experience, you are laying expectation to something that this movie does not promise. It’s an out-and-out younger than 12 year old, kiddie adventure with a teeniest bit of spookiness, which is fittingly demographic appropriate.

The story is about the Quinns. Single mother Kathy (Wendi McLendon-Covey) is almost always at work, leaving her daughter Sarah (Madison Iseman) a high school senior in charge of Sonny (Jeremy Ray Taylor). Sonny, being a science-loving kid,only has time for his projects and his best friend Sam (Caleel Harris), who is staying over for the Halloween season.

Sarah, is also busy trying to write the best essay to submit to her favorite college entrance form, so when she has to watch over the boys, she is instead preoccupied with her submission and boyfriend trouble. The boys, left to their own devices, bring an evil ventriloquist doll home with a book that has a lock and a key.

They soon discover it is no ordinary doll – rather it is a live one called Slappy (Mick Wingert), who lures the boys into trusting him, with plans to brings life to all Halloween decoration in the town, wreaking havoc all over.

Goosebumps is based on R.L Stine series of books and characters of the same name. Director Ari Sandel tonally keeps everything jaunty but the story lacks substance. Writers Rob Lieberand Darren Lemke play it safe to the point of becoming too safe, letting the characterisations and the plot suffer. Their combined end result is routine and generic fluff.

Even with all that Goosebumps 2 caters to a young audience who mostly don’t have anything for them in this spooky season. Jack Black also has a small part reprising his role as R.L Stine from the prequel, sneaking in apromise for a sequel. •