As with the enjoyable first Goosebumps movie, this Halloween flick for kids is based on the popular RL Stine book series.
In this sequel, best friends Sam (Harris) and Sonny (Taylor) stumble upon a spooky book and a ventriloquist’s dummy in an abandoned house, little knowing that the dummy is Slappy from the original movie, who comes back to life again determined to unleash chaos in the town when he doesn’t get what he wants (which is the rather unreasonable request to live with a human family). It’s up to the boys and Sonny’s older sister (Iseman) to save the day – ideally before Sonny’s mum finds out.
Featuring a brand new cast – Jack Black, who played Stine in the first movie, only pops up briefly here – this is very similar to the first film, delivering mild scares that shouldn’t cause nightmares alongside some humorous moments.
There are some nice CGI tricks as psychopathic gummy bears are on the loose, Halloween costumes are brought to life and a balloon sculpture spider becomes mega-sized, but the movie relies too much on the effects, leaving the plot almost forgotten.
Jack Black’s Stine is sorely missed for most of the movie, and while kids who loved the original will want to take a look, for everyone else this is a mildly diverting but ultimately forgettable sequel.
Is Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
This is a movie about monsters and Halloween, so is not suitable for very young children (it’s worth looking at the trailer to see if you think your child will be scared).
There are some ‘monsters’ in the movie that could frighten younger children.
There are scenes that are meant to be scary as horror characters come to life.
Aimed at older children, this does have moments that may be too tense for the under-10s. Parents should note that there are jump scares, a creepy dummy, the aforementioned gummy bears and balloon spider, as well as quite frightening witches’ costumes, a werewolf and other creatures.
There are also some references to bullying.
If you like this, why not try: