I know, I know. I’m a bit behind on watching this sequel to Jack Black’s 2016 Goosebumps and I only remembered that there was a Goosebumps 2 because because I watched it with my four-year-old nephew. Nevertheless, I still counted it as an entertaining experience and a soid addition to the franchise.
Synopsis: Best buddies Sonny (Jeremy Ray Taylor) and Sam (Caleel Harris) stumble upon a hidden chest in an abandoned house and find a locked diary inside it. After unlocking the book and reciting a spell, they unknowingly bring to life Slappy, an evil ventroliquist dummy straight from the pages of R.L. Stine’s unfinished novel. In order to save their town, they must work together with Sunny’s sister Sarah (Madison Iseman) to end the Halloween nightmare once and for all.
I liked that the approach to the sequel was quite consistent with the first movie, and of course, Slappy connected the two movies as the main villain. Goosebumps 2 was scary enough, adventurous enough and entertaining enough for kiddie horror and it ticked all of the boxes of a good popcorn movie.
Like I said, manage your expectations to kiddie level and you wil have fun with the movie. It had great blend of CGI and practical effects which worked well with some physical comedy. It also had a great script that kept things from being too boring. However, iIf you’re gunning for something darker, this one’s not the movie for you.
Goosebumps 2 was not by any stretch of the margin, groundbreaking. It had a pretty standard plot, but the characters were all releateable and likeable, even Slappy. The movie properly channeled the spookiness of the Halloween season but did not go overboard with its antics, and that’s a major plus on my book (pun intended).
While Black Jack played the main role in the first movie, he was relegated to a supporting one this time. But he still voiced Slappy so there’s that. Ken Jeong was also funny in his small role as the neighbor Mr. Chu. My nephew found him pretty hilarious and now says goodbye in Jeong’s signature Byeeeeee! It was a great way for the film to give the spotlight to its main cast and they delivered.
All in all, Goosebumps 2 was a pretty cool kiddie horror that had equal amounts of jump scares and laughs. In terms of film quality though, I would categorize it as better fit for straight to video rather than a mainstream release. Still, the cliffhanger ending hinted at a third part which is fine by me. I’d still go see it.