“Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween” a surprising success
By Leslie Lim
My eyes began darting back and forth at the families with screaming kids that surrounded me and fear crept into my heart. As the only person watching ‘Goosebumps 2: A Haunted Halloween’ not under or accompanied with someone under the age of 12, I could definitely feel the curious glances from the parents that surrounded me.
Based on the series of horror novels written by R.L. Stine, and directed by Ari Sandel, ‘Goosebumps 2’ is the sequel to “Goosebumps” and takes place in Wardenclyffe, New York. Following the discovery of an evil ventriloquist doll, Slappy, Sonny, his sister Sarah, and his best friend Sam, must find a way to stop Slappy from destroying their town by making Halloween come to life. Faced with obstacles such as the Abominable Snowman, and flying pumpkins, the three certainly face a fight unlike any other.
As R.L. Stine books held a memorable piece of my childhood, I looked forward to this movie immensely. However, I had extremely low expectations spurred on because of the quite frankly horrible trailer filled with bad C.G.I., and recycled content from the first “Goosebumps” trailer. But, I went into the theater with an open mind, and hoped for the best.
What I received was one of the worst, but best movie experiences of my life. The movie plot was shaky, had immense amounts of plot holes and the C.G.I. was almost laughable. However, combined with cheesy jokes from Ken Jeong who played the Halloween loving next door neighbor, and a surprise appearance from Jack Black as R.L. Stine, it was these same qualities that made the film spectacular.
It definitely hit the nostalgia factor and reminded me of the Goosebumps books I read when I was younger such as the “Bride of the Living Dummy.”
The film was not without faults, nevertheless I enjoyed the sentimentality the film brought with Sonny and his older sister. Compared to the first film, I felt no emotion when the characters were threatened and it did not evoke the same emotional investment as the first film, which made me root for the main characters and their happiness. Due to the fast pace, which didn’t allow the audience to immerse in the characters, and made the plot seem too unrealistic.
‘Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween’ is a must see for those who want to reminisce on characters like Slappy and the Abominable Snowman. With a shoddy plot and slightly ridiculous monster design, the film should not be taken seriously, but enjoyed, as one jumps back into the eclectic world of R.L. Stine.