21st Dec2018

‘Goosebumps 2’ Blu-ray Review

by Jak-Luke Sharp

Stars: Wendi McLendon-Covey, Madison Iseman, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Caleel Harris, Ken Jeong, Chris Parnell, Bryce Cass, Peyton Wich, Shari Headley, Christian Finlayson, Matthew J. Vasquez, Courtney Lauren Cummings, Jessi Goei, Drew Scheid, Tyler Silva | Written by Rob Lieber | Directed by Ari Sandel


Teenager Sarah Quinn (Madison Iseman) lives with her mother Kathy (Wendi McLendon-Covey) and younger brother Sonny (Jeremy Ray Taylor) in Wardenclyffe, New York. Sarah is attempting to get into Columbia University by writing an essay about fear. Kathy agrees to watch Sonny’s friend Sam Carter (Caleel Harris) while his father goes out of town. Sonny and Sam are attempting to start a garbage cleanup business, and are called after school to clean up an abandoned house. Inside, they find a locked manuscript and open it, causing Slappy the Dummy to appear. They unknowingly bring him to life by speaking magic words found in his pocket. The book is later stolen by a bully named Tommy Madigan (Payton Wich). At home, Sonny is working on his science project, a miniature version of Nikola Tesla’s Wardenclyffe Tower. Slappy then reveals he’s alive to Sonny and Sam, and gets their trust by using his magic to do the boy’s chores and homework. Meanwhile, Sarah goes to a party to meet her boyfriend …

Goosebumps 2 or Goosebumps: Haunted Halloween, depending on what territory this has been viewed in, is a docile and humble continuation of the franchise that doesn’t stretch its legs enough within the genre and doesn’t carry much of a continuation from its previous exploits, sadly so.

The colourful and vivid imagination of R.L. Stine is brought to life in a somewhat lukewarm fashion. The feisty angle of genre convention meeting evolution of boundaries of horror that made Goosebumps what it is, isn’t quite captured to a competent extent, unlike the books and TV series of the same name. Ultimately, it’s a sickly ultra-kid-friendly cohesion of sorts that feels sugar coated and redundant of frights and atmosphere. Going as far to state that without certain revelations in its final act, would undoubtedly be found direct to DVD.

It’s clear Sony haven’t, naively or purposely who knows from the studio that brought us The Amazing Spider-Man 2, continued upon the grounds from the previous installment. Not wanting to evolve the franchise nor indulge in what works. Instead, a placid injection of temperamental fun is here that that doesn’t shake the ground nor enlighten or entertain new or previous audiences to the material. Unfortunately signing their own death warrant of a benign franchise that can’t go back and certainly doesn’t want to go forward.

Goosebumps 2 is released, in the US, on DVD, Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD on January 15th 2019.


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