The student newspaper of Nicholls State University

Movie Review: Goosebumps 2

October 15, 2018

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Image © 2018 CTMG, Inc.

Image © 2018 CTMG, Inc.

Image © 2018 CTMG, Inc.

Goosebumps 2, a sequel to the fairly popular Goosebumps that came out in 2015, is a comedy based on the children’s horror novels. It features Jack Black as R.L Stine, the creator of the books.

The plot follows a young boy, Sonny (Jeremy Ray Taylor), his sister Sarah (Madison Iseman) and his friend Sam (Caleel Harris). The boys find a mysterious book in an abandoned house. The book turns out to be a copy of an unfinished goosebumps book. Although the book is unheard of, viewers can expect a familiar face with the return of the ventriloquist dummy “Slappy.”

As one would expect, Slappy causes mayhem in the fictional town of Wardenclyff, N.Y. Slappy’s return becomes even more chaotic when he decides to “bring Halloween to life.”

First things first, college kids are not the demographic for this movie. It isn’t awful, but it tries to get away with a lot of inferences that kids don’t usually notice.

The plot just doesn’t make sense. Slappy wants a family, so he brings Halloween to life. Not only is that a large leap, but bringing Halloween to life doesn’t really make sense. He does it in the movie, and then nothing really happens; he kind of just waits to be stopped.

This movie has an odd obsession with Nikola Tesla. He constructed a giant, electrical tower in the main character’s town hundreds of years ago, which becomes essential to the plot. Sonny’s science project is a Tesla coil that he makes so he can become like Tesla. The movie name-drops Tesla more than the word Halloween.  It comes across as awkward and stops the flow of the movie.

The acting of the main characters in the movie actually holds up pretty well. They feel alive, like they’re a real family fighting the supernatural. The movie also does a good job of establishing the setting of the movie. It’s a small town getting ready for Halloween that is suddenly turned upside down. It’s a charming addition that makes the movie feel comfortable to watch.

The biggest crime of the movie is Jack Black’s role. He isn’t a cameo, but he also doesn’t really have a role either. He shows up at the end of the climax, when the plot has been resolved, talks for a bit, answers Sarah’s question about how to write a college essay, and then leaves. Jack Black’s performance in the first film shined, and it feels like he was sidelined in this movie.

The movie, in all, wasn’t bad but could easily go unwatched. It’s a great movie to bring a younger sibling to so they could get in the mood for Halloween without hearing them scream. However, the first Goosebumps still does a better job of having nostalgia vibes while also presenting itself as a movie welcoming to all fans.

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