Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween (2018)
Two young friends find a magic book that brings an evil ventriloquist's dummy to life and they must stop him before he destroys their town.
REVIEW: I had no faith in Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween at all, based off the trailers and other reviews. And in some ways I was right.
As a sequel to the previous Goosebumps movie it’s not good at all. It’s not even a sequel so much as a remake. Pretty much exact same story, just with much more of a direct focus on Slappy the Dummy. Also, with Slappy being one of the only actual Goosebumps monster to make an appearance in the movie (most of the rest are brand new monsters created for this movie, The Haunted Mask is really the only other Goosebumps creation to play any role in this. There is the Werewolf and Yeti but they're only on screen for about 5 seconds) it kinda raises the question as to why this movie even exists. It’s a carbon copy of the first, but without all the actual Goosebumps connections.
With that said, if there had been a Goosebumps: Night of the Living Dummy movie, and this was a sequel to that, it would make a bit more sense because, like I said above, there is much more of a direct focus on Slappy himself this go-around and him bringing an army of Halloween decorations to life to overrun the town doesn’t even start happening until about 50 mins into the movie. Before that it’s just Slappy himself causing mischief just like in the Slappy-centric Goosebumps books. Also, this movie is surprisingly legit funny at times and I laughed out loud one multiple occasions.
In addition there’s also a couple genuinely creepy moments during it, again mostly dealing with Slappy, that I could certainly see getting creeped out by as a kid, and even though it annoyed me initially that most of the monsters in this are new creations not taken from the books, I have to admit that their designs were actually really awesome and I ended up loving most of them. That Pumpkin-headed monster was among my favorites, and I don't know if it was just me or not but the Witches reminded me pretty heavily of the Nazgul from Lord of the Rings, especially with their shrieking sounds.
So in short, as an actual sequel to the first movie I don’t like it very much. But as its own stand alone movie based off the Goosebumps property? I actually like it a lot, I just have to view it as a stand-alone Night of the Living Dummy movie as opposed to a sequel to the first Goosebumps movie. Sort of a brand new story set within the Slappy stories of Goosebumps books, just told via movie form instead of as a book.