GOOSEBUMPS 2: HAUNTED HALLOWEEN (PG)
PUTS UP AN AVERAGE FRIGHT, US, 87 MIN
The Goosebumps young adult horror books by R L Stine – of which 231 have been published to date – are the second highest-selling series of all time. ( Harry Potter landed top spot with just the seven volumes, but it’s still an impressive stat.) Even though it was playing to a massive captive audience, the first Goosebumps movie was better than it had to be. Largely because of Jack Black’s sterling efforts in the lead role, playing a fictionalised version of Stine himself. As for
Goosebumps 2, Black is barely in it aside from a movie-saving cameo in the final act. As a result, you can’t help but feel you are watching a franchise going comfortably through the motions. An all-new cast of characters led by teenage junk collectors Sonny (Jeremy Ray Taylor) and Sam (Caleel Harris) are alternately helped and hindered by the antics of demented ventriloquist’s dummy Slappy. He’s hellbent on hitting their home town with a Halloween on spooky steroids, which brings on a hail of garish, scary(ish) special effects. Average.
MADISON ISEMAN, JEREMY RAY TAYLOR AND CALEEL HARRIS IN A SCENE FROM YOUNG ADULT HORROR ADVENTURE GOOSEBUMPS 2: HAUNTED HALLOWEEN.