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