Halloween may be over, but that does not mean that I do not have something to say about ‘Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween’! The first film – based on R. L. Stine’s most beloved books; and starring Jack Black – was a surprise success, both critically and financially, that I am sure a sequel was in demand! The thing about ‘Goosebumps’ was that it worked on its own as a stand-alone flick, but with Halloween on the rise, Sony felt the need to start a potential franchise for families to look forward to this Halloween. However, ‘Haunted Halloween’ turned out to be less successful, which is not surprising, being that nobody asked for it.
Instead of Jack Black, Dylan Minnette, and Odeya Rush, we get a new trio who has to put the monsters back in Stine’s beloved books before all terror breaks loose. This could have been fun, but nothing beats the charm of the first ‘Goosebumps’, even though it was a little juvenile itself. ‘Haunted Halloween’ is more of if ‘Hocus Pocus’ was a ‘Goosebumps’ book, with the elements of Halloween, disbelieving adults, and hell breaking loose. Slappy the dummy returns (though he is not voiced by Jack Black this time around), after two kids (Caleel Harris and Jeremy Ray Taylor) stumble upon Stine’s abandoned house and find a book which the title is named after; the one that Stine never finished, let alone published.
From there, ‘Haunted Halloween’ works as a horror movie for kids, yet that is the only positive thing I really have to say; not that it is a horrible sequel to begin with. Slappy befriends the kids, including a teenage girl (Madison Iseman), only to cause mischief on those who cross them. From then on, everything you expect to happen does, and it is up to the kids to save their town from all the monsters that get released. In conclusion, ‘Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween’ is forgettable and disposable, making the first ‘Goosebumps’ seem better than I gave it credit for.