Whenever I’m reviewing a film I must consider the audience a film is trying to appeal to. Is Goosebumps 2 trying to target a particular audience? Absolutely, it’s just not the majority of us in the cinema. Goosebumps 2 is a casual romp through some camp horror themes, some humour and just enough adventure to entertain the youngest of audiences. It doesn’t really have enough of any of these qualities to really entertain but it will still be a treat for the kids.
Goosebumps 2 is a sequel to the first film but doesn’t contain any of the characters of the original other than the ventriloquist doll, Slappy, and the author of the titular novels, RL Stine (Jack Black), who is little more than a cameo in the film. So, in essence this is a standalone film which tries to capture the magic and fun that the first 2015 film brought to theatres. In Goosebumps 2, Slappy returns as the main villain after being accidentally released by neighbourhood kids and budding treasure hunters Sonny (Jeremy Ray Taylor) and Sam (Caleel Harris). After realising that the doll is evil, Sonny, Sam and Sonny’s sister, Sarah (Madison Iseman), unsuccessfully try to get rid of Slappy. Slappy escapes and then awakens all the Halloween decorations in town. Filling the streets with all manner of terrors.
Having lost the acting and directorial prowess of the previous film, Goosebumps 2 is lacking in a lot of areas. It certainly has enough meat to keep a very young crowd engaged but it isn’t going to go much further than that. A plus for the film is the creativity in the monster design. Just about every RL Stine monster ever made makes an appearance in this film as well as a bunch of other ingenious and spooky creatures.
A few laughs, a couple of good moments, an excuse to take the kids out and that’s about it.
Goosebumps 2 opened on October 25th. Click here for further information.