Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween (2018)

Director: Ari Sandel

Writer: Rob Lieber (Screenplay) Rob Lieber, Darren Lemke (Story)

Starring: Wendi McLendon-Covey, Madison Iseman, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Caleel Harris, Ken Jeong, Chris Parnell

 

Plot: Two young friends find a magic book that brings a ventriloquist’s dummy to life.


Tagline – Halloween comes to life.

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Not as Fun as it Should Be

 

Story: Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween when college bound Sarah (Iseman) is left to look after her little brother Sonny (Taylor) and his friend Sam (Harris) who have their own business known as the ‘Junk Bros’, the two discover Slappy while on the job and must deal with the psychotic dummy.

The three soon find themselves needing to fight off Slappy and his creations, leading to them needing to uncover the book by R.L. Stine which can stop his reign of terror, bringing to life the creations from the books.

 

Thoughts on Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween

 

Characters – Sarah is the older sister, she is about to head off to college if she can figure out how to write her application letter. She must reluctantly babysit her younger brother and his friend, while dealing with her own personal problems, even if this could bring her the answer she requires. Sonny is the younger brother that gets himself into trouble a lot, when it comes to his creation, along with his best friend Sam. Sam is the wise talking of the two he offers the business, he must help solve the problem of Slappy. Kathy is the single mother forced to work longer hours to make sure her kids have the future, she remains calm through the chaos going on through the film.

PerformancesThe performances are simple enough, the younger stars, Madison Iseman, Jeremy Ray Taylor and Caleel Harris are good for what they have to do, only to not be on the same level of the previous film. Wendi McLendon-Covey gets the basic parent role done without bring too much new to the character.

StoryThe story here sees the creations of R.L. Stine coming to life causing chaos in a city once again. This is where the story falls flat quickly because the story feels like just a remake of the first, the Goosebumps books are an amazing source of stories and maybe instead of just throwing every monster made into one story, we should think about making one of the stories into a movie, or even as an anthology. We try to have some family bonding put into the story and even elements of coming of age, with Sarah needing to decide her future. In the end this story just isn’t that interesting and by the end you won’t have missed much.

Adventure/Comedy/FamilyThe adventure takes the teenagers into a battle that only they can solve, which is basic to say the least, but they must save the town. The comedy is hit or miss without being much laugh out loud material. This plays into the family side of the film because more of the younger audience will be enjoying this one.

SettingsThe film is set in a town which is considered small where the people need to get out of if they are going to make something with their life.

Special EffectsThe effects in this film are good for the most part, the creations all look like they could be in the world.


Scene of the Movie – 
Gummy bear fight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The story not being original.

Final ThoughtsThis is a basic sequel that just copies the original too much, it offers nothing new and is just passable watch for the younger audience.

 

Overall: Simple and not original.

Rating

 

 

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IT (2017)

Director: Andy Muschietti

Writer: Chase Palmer, Cary Fukunaga, Gary Dauberman (Screenplay) Stephen King (Novel)

Starring: Jaeden Leiberher, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard, Chosen Jacobs, Jack Dylan Grazer, Wyatt Oleff, Bill Skarsgard

 

Plot: A group of bullied kids band together when a monster, taking the appearance of a clown, begins hunting children.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Non-Stop Scares

 

Story: It starts in the small town of Derry where children go missing on a frightening high amount of times, with Georgie being the latest victim in the town. When the next summer comes around Georgie’s brother Bill (Lieberher) is still hoping to find answer to what happened to his brother. With the summer vacation starting Bill is joined by the rest of the Loser’s Club Richie (Wolfhard), Eddie (Grazer) and Stanley (Oleff) to investigate.

As the investigate deepens the friends all start getting haunted by Pennywise (Skarsgard) and are joined by the new kid Ben (Taylor), the home schooled Mike (Jacobs) and outsider Beverly (Lillis) as the battle against Pennywise last the summer and the friends learn the value of friendship when trying to overcome their fears.

 

Thoughts on IT

 

Characters – Bill is the leader of the Loser’s Club who has lost his brother to the strange occurrences in the town. He has been trying to figure out the what happened to Georgie for a year and has the support from his friends. Ben is the new kid in town who has been left on the outside with no friends going into the summer but is welcomed into the Loser’s club with their mutual hatred to the school bully. Beverly has been branded a slut at school as rumours spiralled out of control, she has a terrifying home life when the Loser’s club offer her friendship she needed. Mike is home school living on a slaughter needing to learn the trade. I will say Mike is the character we learn the least about of the 7. Richie is the fast talking of the group who can’t help but spit the first words that come to mind out, often used for the comedy in the film. Eddie is member of the group who is paranoid about becoming ill and getting dirty, he is also used a lot for the comedy side of the film. Stanley is the Jewish member of the club that is preparing for his Bar Mitzvah which is going to be the most important part of his summer.

Pennywise is the clown haunting the children of Derry searching for fear in the children so he can feed on it, he knows the children’s biggest fears and becomes them in the most frightening way possible.

PerformanceAll seven of the children give us great performances and you fully believe the chemistry created between them as it could easily be on a par with the Goonies or Stand by Me. Bill Skarsgard has one of the hardest jobs in Hollywood this year and he does deliver as Pennywise bring fear from his character while not destroying the legacy of what Tim Curry brought to this role.

StoryThe story of a small town that seems to have a large number of children going missing and nobody is doing anything about it does seem strange. The kids joining together to solve this mystery is the core of the story though, this brings back the idea of the children needing to entertain themselves during the summer but this time it is a deadly adventure against an enemy that is waiting to kill them. The story bottles down to friendship being the answer to overcoming fears, learning to grow up and understanding the history of their town.

HorrorThis is easily one of the best horror movies of the year, it does feel like we have a scare nearly every 5 minutes and each one plays into a different fear for our characters. If you don’t enjoy a certain moment of fear the next will get you.

SettingsThe small town is a fantastic setting as it helps play into a legend of what happened in the town before to make the strange moments happen now.

Special EffectsThe effects add to the horror immensely here, each horrifying creation comes off legit because of the effects used.

Scene of the Movie – Slide show viewing.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Just why are the cops not doing more to investigate the missing children?

Tagline – You’ll Float Too.

Final ThoughtsWhen we look at horror remakes this could easily be up there as one of the best of all time, it brings new life to an already excellent horror that isn’t afraid to scare as often as possible.

 

Overall: Massively enjoyable horror that is a must watch.

Rating