It is a truth universally acknowledged that no one, no one, does Halloween like Slappy, a fact backed up by the new poster and trailer for GOOSEBUMPS 2: HAUNTED HALLOWEEN. The October-set fright-fest continues the idea from the original that the works of prolific horror author R.L. Stine can come to life.
This go-around in the Stine-verse is lacking the Jack Black of the original, but the film did add budding horror star Jeremy Ray Taylor to the mix. Taylor, of course, broke out as portly town historian Ben Hanscom in IT last year. And the actor doesn’t seem to be the only thing GOOSEBUMPS 2 is borrowing from its more adult-oriented horrors-come-to-life cousin; that dusty abandoned R.L. Stine house in the trailer is a dead ringer for the house on Neibolt Street from IT.
But maybe I’m just nitpicking. I don’t want anyone to think I’m not hyped just because this movie is about children doing battle with homicidal gummy bears, murderous ventriloquist dummies, and other horrors dreamt up by a children’s author in the mid-1990’s. To be fair, this is all based on a series of books you forgot to return to your middle school library decades ago, but the first film—which was directed by Rob Letterman and starred Dylan Minnette alongside Black—had a werewolf-tornado’s worth of charm working for it, and was a surprisingly good if harmless little lite-horror romp. Director Ari Sandel is taking over for the sequel—from a script by Rob Lieber—but the trailer seems to be promising more of the same.
GOOSEBUMPS 2: HAUNTED HALLOWEEN also stars Ken Jeong, Chris Parnell, and Wendi McLendon-Covey and is set to hit theaters October 12.