Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween

Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween

2018, PG, 90 min. Directed by Ari Sandel. Starring Jeremy Ray Taylor, Caleel Harris, Wendy McLendon-Covey, Madison Iseman, Chris Parnell, Ken Jeong, Jack Black.

REVIEWED By Marc Savlov, Fri., Oct. 12, 2018

Quoth Ministry, “Every day is Halloween,” a maxim that I’ve embraced at least since my kidhood weekends spent watching Monster Movie Matinee every Saturday. This sequel to 2015’s adaptation of author R.L. Stine’s eponymous series of bestselling YA horror-lite novels is great PG-rated fun and flies along faster than a broomstick afire, witches most definitely included. What elevates Haunted Halloween from lesser All Hallows’ fare aimed at the tween set – I’m looking at you, Nickelodeon – is the smart scriptwork from Rob Lieber, which coffin-nails Stine’s spookshow tone without ever feeling silly or, worse, overlong. This is one movie that takes its young protagonists seriously, a carry-over from Stine’s books, while keeping tongue and fangs firmly in cheek.

Best friends Sonny (Taylor, fresh out of the clutches of It) and Sam (Harris) spend their days in the upstate New York hamlet of Wardenclyffe avoiding the usual junior high bullies and dreaming up ways to make some spare cash. Sam’s genius idea is to become junkmen, er, junkboys, cleaning out their neighbors’ attics and then salvaging whatever cool and/or useful items they find. When they get a call from the presumed owner of the local haunted manse, the duo discover a locked book secreted away behind a false wall and break the hasp to see what’s inside. Everybody from Evil Dead’s Ash Williams to Necronomicon scribe Abdul Alhazred to your mom knows that opening moldering tomes found in creepy old houses is a recipe for supernatural disaster, but hey, what’s a kid to do? Cracking the book conjures up Slappy, a malevolent ventriloquist's puppet (voiced by Black) straight out of the Rod Serling Zone. No dummy he, Slappy kidnaps Sonny’s mom (McLendon-Covey) while planning an All Hallows’ Eve apocalypse by bringing every single season-of-the-witch-Walmart aisle yard decoration to hideous life. That’s bad news for anyone living next door to overzealous home-haunter Mr. Chu (Jeong, turning it up to 11 in the zany neighbor role), i.e., Sonny, but terrific for fans of genuinely imaginative CGI creatures, the best of which (no spoiler here) is the size of a house and frankly one of the most original sorcery-sourced, Brobdingnagian behemoths since the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.

Stine’s books aren’t just campfire tales for adolescents; they tend to have historical, dare I say educational, aspects snuck in amongst the shadows, and that’s carried over into Haunted Halloween ingeniously. Wardenclyffe should sound familiar to readers of online humor site The Oatmeal because creator Matthew Inman’s comic raised $1.7 million to help save the town’s most famous landmark, namely Nikola Tesla’s iconic, 187-foot radio tower, which looms over Wardenclyffe to this day. Needless to say, “Tesla’s folly” plays an integral part in the movie.

Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween knows what its target demographic wants but also resonates with adult audiences, thanks to the zippy plot and across-the-board excellent performances from the totally game cast. Just as important, director Sandel and in particular the team at visual effects house Mr. X (The Shape of Water) really capture that crucial small-town Halloween vibe. This isn’t Stranger Things-level horror, although comparisons are bound to be made, nor is it trying to be. Suffice to say that older viewers will leave the theatre thinking of a Goonies-meets-The ‘Burbs-during-The Giant Spider Invasion mash-up, and that sounds like a pretty cool Saturday afternoon Monster Movie Matinee.

Showtimes

Sat., Oct. 20

10:25am, 1:10, 2:55, 6:00, 8:10, 11:25

Sun., Oct. 21

11:45am, 2:55, 6:00, 9:25
AFA 11:45am

Mon., Oct. 22

11:45am, 3:00, 6:00, 9:10

Tue., Oct. 23

12:45, 3:35, 6:00, 9:10
AFA 12:45

Wed., Oct. 24

12:45, 3:35, 6:00, 9:10

Thu., Oct. 25

12:45, 3:35, 7:25, 9:15

Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter Lane

5701 W. Slaughter, 512/861-7060, drafthouse.com/austin/theater/slaughter-lane

Showtimes at this venue are subject to frequent change. Please confirm daily times by phone or website.

Sat., Oct. 20

1:45, 4:15, 6:45, 9:15
AFA 11:00am

Sun., Oct. 21

10:45am, 1:30, 4:00, 6:30, 9:00

Mon., Oct. 22

11:00am, 1:45, 4:15, 6:45, 9:15

Tue., Oct. 23

4:15, 6:45, 9:15
AFA 11:00am, 1:45

Wed., Oct. 24

11:00am, 1:45, 4:15, 6:45, 9:15

Barton Creek Square (AMC)

2901 South Capital of Texas Hwy, 512/306-1991, www.amctheatres.com

Matinee discounts available before 4pm daily. Bring Your Baby matinees the first Tuesday of every month.

Sat., Oct. 20

CC/DVS 11:00am, 1:30, 4:00, 6:40, 9:00

Sun., Oct. 21

CC/DVS 11:00am, 1:30, 4:00, 6:40, 9:00

Mon., Oct. 22

CC/DVS 11:00am, 1:30, 4:00, 6:40

Tue., Oct. 23

CC/DVS 11:00am, 1:30, 4:00, 6:40, 9:00

Wed., Oct. 24

CC/DVS 11:00am, 1:30, 4:00, 6:40

Cinemark 20 and XD

N. I-35 & FM 1825, 512/989-8535

Cost for 3-D and XD shows is regular ticket price plus a premium.

Sat., Oct. 20

digital 11:55am, 2:20, 4:50, 7:20, 9:50

Sun., Oct. 21

digital 11:55am, 2:20, 4:50, 7:20, 9:50

Mon., Oct. 22

digital 11:55am, 2:20, 4:50, 7:20, 9:50

Tue., Oct. 23

digital 11:55am, 2:20, 4:50, 7:20, 9:50

Wed., Oct. 24

digital 11:55am, 2:20, 4:50, 7:20, 9:50

Cinemark Cedar Park

1335 E. Whitestone, Cedar Park, 800/326-3264

Call theatre for complete list of movies and showtimes.

Sat., Oct. 20

digital 9:50am, 12:10, 2:40, 5:00, 7:30, 10:00

Sun., Oct. 21

digital 9:50am, 12:10, 2:40, 5:00, 7:30, 10:00

Mon., Oct. 22

digital 12:10, 2:40, 5:00, 7:30, 10:00

Tue., Oct. 23

digital 12:10, 2:40, 5:00, 7:30, 10:00

Wed., Oct. 24

digital 12:10, 2:40, 5:00, 7:30, 10:00

Sat., Oct. 20

digital 11:30am, 2:00, 4:30, 7:00, 9:30

Sun., Oct. 21

digital 11:30am, 2:00, 4:30, 7:00, 9:30

Mon., Oct. 22

digital 11:30am, 2:00, 4:30, 7:00, 9:30

Tue., Oct. 23

digital 11:30am, 2:00, 4:30, 7:00, 9:30

Wed., Oct. 24

digital 11:30am, 2:00, 4:30, 7:00, 9:30

Cinemark Round Rock

4401 N. I-35, Round Rock, 800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium. Call theatre for complete March 26-28 showtimes.

Sat., Oct. 20

digital 12:25, 1:35, 3:05, 4:10, 6:45, 9:20

Sun., Oct. 21

digital 12:25, 1:35, 3:05, 4:10, 6:45, 9:20

Mon., Oct. 22

digital 12:05, 2:25, 4:45, 7:05, 9:25

Tue., Oct. 23

digital 12:05, 2:25, 4:45, 7:05, 9:25

Wed., Oct. 24

digital 12:05, 2:25, 4:45, 7:05, 9:25

Thu., Oct. 25

digital 12:05, 2:25, 4:45, 7:05, 9:25

Cinemark Southpark Meadows

9900 S. I-35, 800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Sat., Oct. 20

digital 10:30am, 12:55, 3:15, 5:45, 8:10, 10:35

Sun., Oct. 21

digital 10:30am, 12:55, 3:15, 5:45, 8:10, 10:35

Mon., Oct. 22

digital 10:30am, 12:55, 3:15, 5:45, 8:10, 10:35

Tue., Oct. 23

digital 10:30am, 12:55, 3:15, 5:45, 8:10, 10:35

Wed., Oct. 24

digital 10:30am, 12:55, 3:15, 5:45, 8:10, 10:35

Cinemark Stone Hill Town Center

18820 Hilltop Commercial Dr., 512/251-0938, www.cinemark.com

Sat., Oct. 20

digital 12:00, 2:30, 5:00, 7:30, 10:00

Sun., Oct. 21

digital 12:00, 2:30, 5:00, 7:30

Mon., Oct. 22

digital 12:00, 2:30, 5:00, 7:30

Tue., Oct. 23

digital 12:00, 2:30, 5:00, 7:30

Wed., Oct. 24

digital 12:00, 2:30, 5:00, 7:30

City Lights Theatre

420 Wolf Ranch Parkway, Georgetown, 512/868-9922

Sat., Oct. 20

10:15am, 1:10, 4:10, 7:00, 9:30

Sun., Oct. 21

1:10, 4:10, 7:00, 9:30

Mon., Oct. 22

1:10, 4:10, 7:00, 9:30

Tue., Oct. 23

1:10, 4:10, 7:00, 9:30

Wed., Oct. 24

1:10, 4:10, 7:00, 9:30

EVO Entertainment

3200 Kyle Crossing, Kyle, 512/523-9009, www.evo-entertainment.com

Sat., Oct. 20

11:20am, 1:45, 4:05, 6:30, 8:45

Sun., Oct. 21

11:20am, 1:45, 4:05, 6:30, 8:45

Mon., Oct. 22

11:20am, 1:45, 4:05, 6:30, 8:45

Tue., Oct. 23

11:20am, 1:45, 4:05, 6:30, 8:45

Wed., Oct. 24

11:20am, 1:45, 4:05, 6:30, 8:45

Flix Brewhouse

2200 S. I-35, Round Rock, 512/244-3549, www.flixbrewhouse.com/round-rock

Sat., Oct. 20

CC 10:15am, 1:30, 4:30, 7:15, 10:30

Sun., Oct. 21

CC 10:15am, 1:30, 4:30, 7:15, 11:15

Mon., Oct. 22

CC 1:30, 4:30, 7:15, 11:15

Tue., Oct. 23

CC 1:30, 4:30, 7:15, 11:15

Wed., Oct. 24

CC 1:30, 4:30, 7:15, 11:15

Thu., Oct. 25

CC 1:30, 4:30, 7:15, 11:15

Galaxy Highland 10

6700 Middle Fiskville, 512/467-7305, www.galaxytheatres.com

No one under 18 will be allowed in the theatre on Friday or Saturday after 7pm without an adult.

Sat., Oct. 20

12:00, 3:15, 6:30, 9:30, 11:55

Sun., Oct. 21

12:00, 3:15, 6:30, 9:30

Mon., Oct. 22

12:00, 3:15, 6:30, 9:30

Tue., Oct. 23

12:00, 3:15, 6:30, 9:30

Wed., Oct. 24

12:00, 3:15, 6:30, 9:30

Thu., Oct. 25

12:00, 3:15, 6:30, 9:30

Gateway Theatre

9700 Stonelake, 512/416-5700

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Sat., Oct. 20

CC/DVS 12:10, 2:30, 5:10, 7:40, 10:15

Sun., Oct. 21

CC/DVS 12:10, 2:30, 5:10, 7:40, 10:15

Mon., Oct. 22

CC/DVS 12:10, 2:30, 5:10, 7:40, 10:15

Tue., Oct. 23

CC/DVS 12:10, 2:30, 5:10, 7:40, 10:15

Wed., Oct. 24

CC/DVS 12:10, 2:30, 5:10, 7:40, 10:15

Hometown Cinemas

120 MLK Jr. Industrial Blvd. W, Lockhart, 512/398-4100, www.hometowncinemas.com

Sat., Oct. 20

12:05, 2:15, 4:15, 7:05, 9:20

Sun., Oct. 21

12:05, 2:15, 4:15, 7:05

Mon., Oct. 22

12:05, 2:15, 4:15, 7:05

Tue., Oct. 23

12:05, 2:15, 4:15, 7:05

Wed., Oct. 24

12:05, 2:15, 4:15, 7:05

Thu., Oct. 25

12:05, 2:15, 4:15, 7:05

iPic Theaters Austin

3225 Amy Donovan Plaza, 512/568-3400, www.ipic.com

Sat., Oct. 20

12:15, 3:00, 6:30, 9:30

Sun., Oct. 21

12:15, 3:00, 6:30, 9:30

Mon., Oct. 22

12:15, 3:00, 6:30, 9:30

Tue., Oct. 23

1:00, 3:45, 10:15

Wed., Oct. 24

1:00, 3:45, 11:15

AMC Lakeline 9

11200 Lakeline Mall Dr., Cedar Park, 512/335-4793

Discounts daily before 6pm.

Sat., Oct. 20

CC/DVS 12:00, 2:45, 5:30, 8:00, 10:40

Sun., Oct. 21

CC/DVS 12:00, 2:45, 5:30, 8:00

Mon., Oct. 22

CC/DVS 1:00, 3:30, 6:00

Tue., Oct. 23

CC/DVS 12:00, 2:45, 5:30, 8:00

Wed., Oct. 24

CC/DVS 1:00, 3:30, 6:00

Metropolitan

901 Little Texas, 512/447-0101

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Sat., Oct. 20

CC/DVS 11:50am, 3:00, 5:15, 7:30, 10:00

Sun., Oct. 21

CC/DVS 11:50am, 2:40, 5:05, 7:30, 10:00

Mon., Oct. 22

CC/DVS 11:50am, 2:40, 5:05, 7:30, 10:00

Tue., Oct. 23

CC/DVS 11:50am, 2:40, 5:05, 7:30, 10:00

Wed., Oct. 24

CC/DVS 11:50am, 2:40, 5:05, 7:30, 10:00

Thu., Oct. 25

CC/DVS 11:50am, 2:40, 5:05, 7:30, 10:00

Moviehouse & Eatery

8300 N. FM 620, Bldg. B, 512/501-3520, www.themoviehouse.com/trails/

Sat., Oct. 20

11:00am, 1:50, 4:45, 7:30, 10:15

Sun., Oct. 21

11:00am, 1:50, 4:45, 7:30, 10:15

Mon., Oct. 22

11:00am, 1:50, 4:45, 7:30, 10:15

Tue., Oct. 23

11:00am, 1:50, 4:45, 7:30, 10:15

Wed., Oct. 24

11:00am, 1:50, 4:45, 7:30, 10:15

Thu., Oct. 25

11:00am, 1:50, 4:45, 7:30, 10:15

Moviehouse & Eatery - Lantana Place

7415 Southwest Parkway, Building 7, 512/572-0770, www.themoviehouse.com/lantana/

Sat., Oct. 20

11:00am, 2:30, 5:30, 8:15, 10:50

Sun., Oct. 21

11:00am, 2:30, 5:30, 8:15, 10:50

Mon., Oct. 22

2:25, 5:30, 8:15, 10:50

Tue., Oct. 23

11:00am, 2:25, 5:30, 8:15, 10:50

Wed., Oct. 24

11:00am, 2:25, 5:30, 8:15, 10:50

Thu., Oct. 25

11:00am, 2:25, 10:50

Schulman Theatres Lost Pines 8

1600 Chestnut St, Bastrop, 512/321-0123, www.schulmantheatres.com

Sat., Oct. 20

10:05am, 1:10, 4:15, 7:20, 10:15

Sun., Oct. 21

10:05am, 1:10, 4:15, 7:20, 10:15

Mon., Oct. 22

10:05am, 1:10, 4:15, 7:20, 10:15

Tue., Oct. 23

10:05am, 1:10, 4:15, 7:20, 10:15

Wed., Oct. 24

10:05am, 1:10, 4:15, 7:20, 10:15

ShowBiz Cinemas 8 Marble Falls

2600 Hwy 281 North, Marble Falls

Call theatre for August 22-23 showtimes.

Sat., Oct. 20

11:30am, 2:00, 4:40, 7:00, 9:30

Sun., Oct. 21

11:30am, 2:00, 4:40, 7:00

Mon., Oct. 22

2:00, 4:40, 7:00

Tue., Oct. 23

2:00, 4:40, 7:00

Wed., Oct. 24

2:00, 4:40, 7:00

Thu., Oct. 25

2:00, 4:40, 7:00

Sky Cinemas

13201 US-290, 512/457-0700, www.skycinemas.com

Sat., Oct. 20

11:10am, 1:25, 4:00, 7:20

Sun., Oct. 21

11:10am, 1:25, 4:00, 7:20

Mon., Oct. 22

11:50am, 2:35, 4:45, 6:20

Tue., Oct. 23

11:50am, 2:35, 4:45, 6:20

Wed., Oct. 24

11:50am, 2:35, 4:45, 6:20

Thu., Oct. 25

11:50am, 2:35, 4:45, 6:20

Starplex 12 San Marcos

1250 Wonder World Drive, San Marcos, 512/805-8000

Sat., Oct. 20

11:40am, 2:10, 4:40, 7:25, 9:50

Sun., Oct. 21

11:40am, 2:10, 4:40, 7:25, 9:50

Mon., Oct. 22

11:45am, 2:15, 4:45, 7:15, 9:45

Tue., Oct. 23

11:45am, 2:15, 4:45, 7:15, 9:45

Wed., Oct. 24

11:45am, 2:15, 4:45, 7:15, 9:45

Thu., Oct. 25

11:45am, 2:15, 4:45, 7:15, 9:45

Westgate 11

4477 S. Lamar, 512/899-2717

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Sat., Oct. 20

CC/DVS 11:15am, 1:30, 3:45, 6:00, 8:15

Sun., Oct. 21

CC/DVS 11:00am, 1:15, 3:30, 8:15, 10:30

Mon., Oct. 22

CC/DVS 11:15am, 1:30, 3:45, 6:00, 8:15

Tue., Oct. 23

CC/DVS 11:15am, 1:30, 3:45, 6:00, 8:15

Wed., Oct. 24

CC/DVS 11:15am, 1:30, 3:45, 6:00, 8:15

Thu., Oct. 25

CC/DVS 11:15am, 1:30, 3:45, 7:05, 9:20

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween, Ari Sandel, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Caleel Harris, Wendy McLendon-Covey, Madison Iseman, Chris Parnell, Ken Jeong, Jack Black

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