Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween, 5.25/10, is a creepy yet child-friendly horror movie that will give your child a few nightmares for sure. There is an abundance of humour, horror, familiar characters and great effects which all in all, brings a whole lot of fun to the film without crossing over into a 12 rating. However, for me,, the main character Mr Slappy – a ventriloquist doll with an evil side – brings a dark eeriness to the film. Although he does so without ever bringing detrimental harm to any character, I believe the psychological thriller aspect that he embraces is far scarier than violence and gore.
Two young friends – Sonny (played by Jeremy Ray Taylor) and Sam (played by Caleel Harris) – are two budding business men on the hunt for treasure. When a mysterious caller replies to one of their adverts, the Junk Bros have a house clearance on their hands. Unfazed by the creepiness of this abandoned house, the boys’ pursuit of riches means they continue on with the job and stumble across a mysterious hidden room. Within that room stands a locked chest and within the locked chest, a locked book. As if these boys needed any more warning signs strongly suggesting against opening the book, they still continue to do so (with a slapped hand to my head). And surprise, surprise – a disturbing-looking doll appears in the chest when their backs are turned. Sonny and Sam decide to take the doll home with them to see if there is any value to the frightening thing. With that decision, their evening is about to take an unexpected turn for the worse. Unbeknown to Sonny and Sam, they have brought the doll to life and by not welcoming the doll to their family, Mr Slappy sets out to seek revenge by bringing all of Halloween to life.
Everything within this film is fit for purpose. The acting is passable for the demographic the film is aiming at and combined with the three main cast members’ like-ability, you do end up routing for their success. The humour, although probably not intentionally written for someone my age, did at times force me to let out a giggle and I will note the younger members of the audience seemed to hook onto the entertainment factor. As I have mentioned numerous times, the villain – Mr Scrappy – actually did give me, a 23-year-old, the creeps. His voice (by Mike Wingert) has a spine-chilling edge that, along with the blank face exterior, really is rather frightening. Overall, my expectations for this movie were exceeded however this was mainly due to the fact they were set relatively low starting out. Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween will be the perfect movie to accompany your Halloween festivities, with humour and fear for all visiting participants.
Entertainment (of its genre): 6.5/10
Overall Rating: 5.25/10