Tag Archives: Jack Black

Goosebumps 2: Not Too Goosebumps?

goosebumps-2-haunted-halloween

Just in time for the Halloween season, R.L. Stine’s most famous (infamous?) creation is back for another go around. ‘Goosebumps: Haunted Halloween’ is for sure a follow up to the 2015 movie.

Or is it?

Having no returning stars beyond the sparsely used Jack Black, who voices Slappy and portrays the on-screen version of Stine, ‘Haunted Halloween’ has some similar beats without most of the rhythm.

Best friends, Sonny and Sam, are out for one think this Fall season: Junk. Seeking to pick up some extra money, they tout themselves as ‘Junk Bros’ a rudimentary trash collection service for neighbors around town. After posting flyers all over the town, they receive one mysterious, un-traced phone call for a junking job. They are told there is no cash for them, but they are welcome to take anything they find interesting.

Arriving at what appears to be an abandoned house, they ultimately find a miasma of random junk, but something does indeed catch their attention: an almost pristine ventriloquist dummy (Guess who?)

slappy

“Karru Marri Odonna Loma Molonu Karrano”

Reading the magic words, like so many before, brings Slappy to life, and he’s out for…family?

While the character is charismatic as ever, there is something absent. Where before he pined for freedom and slaves, of course, he now seeks out a family to call his own. So much so that we see Slappy doing laundry and even bringing a video game to life (what?).

While his powers seem to have expanded, the story here leaves something to be desired.

Fantastic performances all around, the kids and smattering of familiar adults (Ken Jeong as a wacky neighbor, Chris Parnell as a desperate department store employee) are adept at making the best of the content give for some truly amusing, and chilling moments.

While the tone is consistent and the monsters make a much welcomed return, there is a sense that this time around,  the script seems muddled and warped which loses some of the emotional weight and familiarity. Many of the plot points feel mashed together and watered down perhaps through a mill of writers unable to nail the magic of the first.

Kids will be engaged, old fans will surely find some moments to grasp onto, but the bumps don’t quite goose the way they did.

 

Goosebumps Movie Poster: First Look

by Anthony Wetmore (@TheMisterPipes, GhostConch)

Karru Marri Odonna Loma Molonu Karrano. 

You and I are one now, in anticipation of this movie.

If you’re familiar at all with YA horror fiction, you’re certainly aware of the mammoth series penned by R.L. Stine (@RL_Stine), a legend of the lost legend in his own way. Weaving tales of malevolent dummy bent on human slavery, a strange sticky green goo that you best not eat, the danger of piano lessons and even a haunted mask, Stine has manages to capture the minds of children of all ages. The series and the television series it inspired remain a cherished gem in the truly terrifying to this day. 

Now, a stunning twenty-three years later, Goosebumps is coming to the big screen from director Rob Letterman (Shark Tale, Gulliver’s Travels) and they’re bringing all of your favorites for what promises to be a hilariously terrifying ride.

Starring Jack Black (High Fidelity, School of Rock) as the author R.L. Stine amplified as well as Dylan Minnette (Lost, Saving Grace) and Odeya Rush (We Are What We Are, The Odd Life Of Timothy Green) as Zach Cooper and Hannah, the daughter of Stine co-incidentally. Together with R.L., the kids have to find a way to recapture the monsters before it’s too late. Zach accidentally released from Stine’s books, where they’re trapped safely, Thanks Zach! 

Rounding out the cast we have Amy Ryan (The Office, Birdman), Jillian Bell (Workaholics, The Master) and Ryan Lee (Super 8).

The monsters featured are many of the old favorites: The Executioner from A Night In Terror Tower, Slappy (Night of the Living Dummy II), giant praying mantises (A Shocker on Shock St.), and so many others I’d rather not spoil. 

 

Goosebumps haunts theaters October 16, 2015, just in time for the Halloween season, but not soon enough.

Thinking about what this series as meant to me and so many others, I’m happy to see it come around again to entertain and terrify and new generation.

[Poster Image courtesy of: comicbook.com (@ComicBookdotcom)]