For a generation of 90s’ kids, the name R.L. Stine had the power to truly strike fear directly into you. Beyond that, it gave that generation a reason to read. I’m talking of course about Goosebumps. Stine crafted numerous stories throughout not just the original series but its spin offs and other series set in the same vein, such as Fear Street. Goosebumps has been translated to several mediums including television and film that include the 2015 big screen treatment.
Fast forward to 2018 and Stine’s creations are haunting cinemas once again for the pseudo sequel, Haunted Halloween. Haunted Halloween tells the story of two best friends who stumble upon the first manuscript of R.L. Stine. Ultimately at the heart of said manuscript famed series baddie, Slappy the Doll, just wants a family. He'll get it by any means.
The cast is led by rather young adults and there’s nothing wrong with that. Modern properties like Stranger Things and It: Chapter One have taught us talent knows no age. However, some of the deliveries can. For the most part, Halloween feels like a made for television movie. Seems like half of the time, the kids can indeed pull it off on an IT level, then there are other times that feel like Nickelodeon or Disney Channel. Not to mention the CGI elements of the film make it feel like it's in the wrong medium.
Given though the plot does feel semi recycled from its predecessor, the film has a lot of fun moments and genuine laughs. That's something that I really found myself loving about the film. Kim Jeong really steals about every sequence he's in. His fan boy Stine moments are too die for. Lead actor, Jeremy Ray Taylor, turns in another solid performance - proving hes a name to watch out for.
Overall, Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween, is a fun family film that comes equipped with genuine laughs and performances from Kim Jeong & Jeremy Ray Taylor will keep you entertained. However, cheap CGI and some cringe worthy performances make it feel misplaced in its medium. The film does recycle but reinvent the big screen treatment of the beloved series. Even with all of errors, Haunted Halloween is still an enjoyable and entertaining ride from start to finish.