In the October season of spooks and haunts, there are plenty of opportunities to find some genuine chills in spirit of the holiday with upcoming releases such as this year's horror remakes Halloween and Suspiria. However, for those looking for more family-friendly Halloween scares, Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween could hit the spot. It's a sequel to the 2015 adaptation of the beloved frightening children's book by R.L. Stine, who is portrayed by Jack Black in the movie.
Just before Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween's release tomorrow, reviews have trickled in. CinemaBlend's own Mike Reyes gave an overall good impression in his review considering its intended audience. He found Haunted Halloween to tread lighter than its chilling source material, opting for more of a Hocus Pocus-like comedic approach. In his words:
Since Haunted Halloween looks to be the only major Halloween-themed title this season targeting the whole family, the film does its job of delivering just what one would expect from this sort of release. However, for Entertainment Weekly reviewer Dana Schwartz, the sequel treaded the line of expectation a little too closely, finding it all to similar to the 2015 release. Here's what she said:
Per these reviews, it looks like the new Goosebumps plays it a bit safe plot wise. For audiences who don't put too high expectation on seeing something groundbreaking and are just looking for a good time with the family during the spooky season, Haunted Halloween might do just the trick. Indiewire's Kate Erbland echoes similar the sentiments of other reviewers with these words:
While most critics find something to enjoy in Haunted Halloween, Variety's Owen Gleiberman has more bones to pick with the sequel. The reviewer delivered some harsher lines about the movie, saying that it was all smoke screens and not enough story. In his words:
Overall, early reviews of Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween agree with each other. The movie offers a likable family film with light scares, shies away from twists and turns away from the genre, but it's also not without its issues. Haunted Halloween comes to theaters alongside First Man and Bad Times at the El Royale on October 12.
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Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.