There’s no rest for the Tenacious as Jack Black finds himself back amongst the spooky goings-on, although this time around, it’s Slappy calling the shots.
When Sonny (Jeremy Ray Taylor) and Sam (Caleel Harris) find a magic book that brings a ventriloquist’s dummy to life, their Halloween horror is only just beginning. The dummy is Slappy – and he has a plan to bring Halloween to life and turn the boys and Sonny’s sister and mother into his very own family.
This sequel to 2016’s “Goosebumps” is a much more straightforward “Goosebumps” tale, although the metatextual touch of R L Stine being a character within the world is maintained through an amusingly late cameo from Jack Black. Instead, the action focusses on the trio of kids and their attempts to contain and eventually thwart Slappy’s plan. Along the way, we get to meet Ken Jeong’s underused neighbour character as well as a whole host of famous Goosebumps monsters.
It rattles along at a fair old pace, riffing on various classic horror iconography from “Halloween” to “Scream” to “It”. It’s all great spoopy fun, though, and while the movie uses the tricks and tropes of conventional horror movies, it consistently pulls its punches so that it never gets too scary.
It keeps things light and entertaining and the three leads are a likeable bunch, taking the sting out of situations and monsters which may have otherwise scared younger moviegoers. I saw it with a group of kids ranging from five to thirteen and every one of them had a blast.
Colourful, action-packed and just the right amount of Spooky, “Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween” brings every kid’s Halloween fantasy to fun-filled life. And if you want to find out what its target audience really thought of the movie, check out The Littlest Craggling’s review of the movie here.