“Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween,” released on Oct. 12, is overall lazy, with forced slapstick comedy, a “diverse” cast and unnecessary product placement.
It is not fresh and is very similar to it’s 2015 prequel, even though the film is not a continuation to the prequel since it has a different plot and characters. There is a lot of wasted and unused comedy potential in the movie.
Jack Black, coming back to play R.L. Stine, serves as a cameo instead of a supporting character while Ken Jeong is a nerdy Asian neighbor and has barely any lines.
Wendi McLendon-Covey, who plays the mother in the film, acts as a cliche busy mom; and while the child actors tried their best, they couldn’t hold up to the weak script.
Furthermore, the ending is predictable and lacks depth. Sarah, played by Madison Iseman, writes her essay based on the adventure she faced but the narration is cheesy. Black has nothing to do with the ending twist with and it, unfortunately, reassures there will be more “Goosebumps” movies.
Despite these faults, the visual and practical effects in this movie deserve credit. The minute facial features on the puppet are creepy and it makes the movie watchable.
The scene where the children meet their transformed mother is terrifying, with their unique jawlines.
Children horror movies are fun to watch because the comedy and family drama play a stronger role than the actual frights and scares. But, “Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween” fails at that and it makes the movie cliche and forced.
It also seems the film will ultimately lead to an unnecessary, and unasked for sequel.
Rating: 2.5 / 5