Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween (2018)

I came into this film in an uneasy mood. The original goosebumps movie holds a warm place in my heart and is a film I genuinely enjoyed. I really didn’t want that to be tarnished by a sub-par sequel, as often happens (looking at you Die Hard). These fears were confirmed when I heard that Jack Black is barely any in it, and neither are any of the other characters from the first film. This had all the hallmarks of a terrible sequel, the reviews even said as much. Now I know a lot of the reviews for this are scathing but I liked it. It’s not a film I need to see again but for the time it was on, it was an easy movie to escape into and lose yourself.

I know a lot of the reviews are negative, but I did enjoy this. It was fun. It was a good way to pass the time. To me, a lot of the jokes worked (the IT joke in particular still makes me laugh), and the characters were well-rounded and performed actions which made sense. The script was actually really well done. It’s only 90 minutes long but almost every second counts. The pace is frantic, never letting go for a second, and is all the better for it.

The downsides? It could have been so much better. It’s not as good as the first one, not even close, but it could have been. The potential was there, they just do nothing with it. This is especially noticeable in regards to the cast; Ken Jeong is woefully underused, but when he is in he steals the scene. It is also incredibly similar to the first one in the way the characters have to deal with the menace. A lot of people have said that “it doesn’t continue the story from the first film, this means it awful”, I disagree. As far as I know, the Goosebumps books weren’t connected in terms of characters, so it’s more in the spirit of the films for them to do the same. Okay, this is ruined by the fact the first one was kind of a “greatest hits” of characters from the books, so it kind of screwed up that concept for this one, but my point still stands. To be honest I think it might have worked better as a shared universe where individual characters were built up in their own movies, before all being unleashed in a script similar to the one for the first movie. Ah well.

So yeah, I did enjoy it, I don’t need to see it again, but it was incredibly fun. I mean, I should discuss the ending though. It ends with Slappy the dummy trapping RL Stine in a book. It’s a shocking ending that comes completely out of left field and I really fucking hope that goes somewhere. If they just use that as an excuse to keep him out of future films, then it’s awful. If it sets up the next film, I’m in. If they don’t even mention it, fuck this film.

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