Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween

Theatrical Release: October 12, 2018
Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween
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faith
integrity
sex
language
violence
drugs
nudity
other

Synopsis

Halloween comes to life in a comedy adventure based on R.L. Stine’s 400-million-selling series of books.

Dove Review

There’s something magical about books. They’re like portals for a writer’s imagination, letting readers experience new realms that have been crafted with care. Stories may start and expand, but sometimes even those writing them don’t know how they’ll end; bound pages, waiting for an ending. Buddies Sonny and Sam discover such a volume titled Haunted Halloween. It’s by R. L. Stine and written before his other Goosebump books. It also has a lock on the cover, magical capabilities, and an ominous ventriloquist dummy nearby. What’s that? The dummy has a card with a possible incantation on the back?

Words are read, a dummy named Slappy is vitalized, and his wisecracking wickedness sets Halloween ablaze like a burning jack-o-lantern. He wants Haunted Halloween, and thus, the real world, to have the ending he wants, and it probably ain’t pretty.

There’s monsters galore, Halloween adventure, some positive messages, Slappy’s corny jokes (that could make even the most stoic shudder), and that’s about it. The Halloween hullabaloo and who’s-who of creepy characters may be entertaining on some level, but it runs the risk of turning from “How it will end?” to “When will it end?”

There’s definite supernatural activity, including incantations and mention of a “demonic dummy,” but much of it could be interpreted as more fantastic rather than as explicit portrayals of the overtly occult. There’s plenty of rough and tumble mayhem and violence, scary scenes, some language, and other content, so there should be caution. However, for aware and prepared viewers, Dove.org approves Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween for 12+.

The Dove Take: Friends battle an array of scary fiends and Halloween creatures in this celebration of the spooky, with a message about being brave.

Content Description

Faith: None
Integrity: Characters help each other, even when things may be challenging or scary. There is a message about being brave; a girl talks about how she values her family; facing fears may make life less frightening.
Sex: A young couple almost kiss, and she later sees him kiss another girl. A joke involving a cashier (“Thanks for checking me out.”)
Language: G/OMG-7; H-2; “D**n”; “sucks”; “son of a…”; name-calling (“scumbag”; “jerk”); witch is substituted for a rhyming word.
Violence: Fights and mayhem, including some with weapons; a supernatural dummy makes a ladder collapse from under someone who falls and is later seen in a neck brace; a bully threatens to punch someone; scary scenarios, chasing, screaming, etc.
Drugs: Wine at a meal; mention of medication
Nudity: A bully’s pants are dropped repeatedly by supernatural powers, and we see his boxers; shirtless werewolf
Other: Supernatural elements, including incantations; a “demonic dummy” which brings things to life; jump-scares; a character is (apparently) transformed into a dummy; scary scenes; a character sneaks out to a night club and instructs others to deceive her mom; break-in to someone’s house; a character is held hostage with tape over her mouth; some rude and dark humor; talk of littering.

Info

Company: Sony/Columbia
Writer: Rob Lieber, Darren Lemke, (based on the "Goosebumps" books written by) R.L. Stine
Director: Ari Sandel
Genre: Adventure
Runtime: 130 min.
Industry Rating: PG
Reviewer: John P.