Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween

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Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween
Goosebumps 2 Haunted Halloween (2018) poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAri Sandel
Screenplay byRob Lieber
Story by
Based onGoosebumps
by R. L. Stine
Produced by
CinematographyBarry Peterson
Edited by
  • David Rennie
  • Keith Brachmann
Music byDominic Lewis[1]
Distributed bySony Pictures Releasing[2]
Release dates
  • October 8, 2018 (2018-10-08) (Culver City)[4]
  • October 12, 2018 (2018-10-12) (United States)
Running time
90 minutes[5]
CountryUnited States
Budget$35 million[6]
Box office$93.3 million[6]

Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween (or simply Goosebumps 2 as marketed on home release)[7] is a 2018 American supernatural horror comedy film directed by Ari Sandel and written by Rob Lieber from a story by Lieber and Darren Lemke. A stand-alone sequel to 2015's Goosebumps, it is based on the children's horror book series of the same name by R. L. Stine. With the exception of Jack Black, who returned as Stine, none of the cast from the previous film returned here. The new cast consists of Wendi McLendon-Covey, Madison Iseman, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Caleel Harris, Chris Parnell, and Ken Jeong. The plot follows two young boys who accidentally release the monsters from the Goosebumps franchise in their town after opening an unpublished Goosebumps manuscript titled Haunted Halloween, causing a wave of destruction on Halloween night. Unlike the previous installment, Village Roadshow Pictures was not involved with the film and it was not presented in 3D.

Development of the film began on September 2015 that Rob Letterman confirmed that he was to return as director for the sequel as Jack Black was set to reprise the role of Stine as Odeya Rush was initially attached to reprise the role of Hannah Stine. However, it was confirmed that the sequel will not feature any of the original cast and Letterman couldn't commit to return due to him busy working on Pokémon: Detective Pikachu so Ari Sandel was hired to direct.

Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween was released in the United States on October 12, 2018 by Sony Pictures Releasing under its Columbia Pictures label. The film received mixed reviews from critics, and grossed $93 million worldwide against its $35 million budget.


Three years after the previous movie, teenager Sarah Quinn lives with her mother, Kathy, and younger brother, Sonny, 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 while his father goes out of town. Sonny and Sam are attempting to start a garbage clean-up business, and are called after school to clean up an abandoned house. Inside, they find a locked manuscript and curious, decide to open it, causing Slappy the Dummy to appear. They had unknowingly brought Slappy to life by speaking magic words found in his pocket. The manuscript is later stolen by a bully named Tommy Madigan.

At home, Sonny is working on his science project, a miniature version of Nikola Tesla's Wardenclyffe Tower. Slappy then reveals that he is 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 Tyler Mitchell (Bryce Cass), but sees him kissing another girl. Slappy later overhears Sarah talking about Tyler and sabotages Sonny's science project. The following day on Halloween, Slappy uses his powers to attack Tyler, and Sonny accidentally damages the school science lab with his sabotaged project. Sarah questions Sonny and Sam about Slappy. The group realizes that Slappy is at fault for everything.

The kids capture Slappy and try to dispose of him in a lake, but he escapes. That night, they find an article online about the events that happened in Madison, Delaware and try to contact R. L. Stine after realizing the book they found was an unpublished Goosebumps manuscript called Haunted Halloween. Stine, now living in a cabin in the woods, hears their message and departs for Wardenclyffe.

Slappy goes to a local drug store and uses his magic to bring Goosebumps character costumes and Halloween decorations to life. He also uses a mask to transform an employee named Walter into a hunchbacked ogre. Slappy travels to the Wardenclyffe tower, and uses it to amplify his magic. Meanwhile, Sarah, Sonny and Sam retrieve the book from Tommy's house while all the town's Halloween decorations come to life. The trio discover that the book can trap the monsters inside. However, the book is stolen and Kathy is kidnapped by the monsters. The kids’ neighbor, Mr. Chu, a Goosebumps fan, helps them craft monster disguises to safely navigate the town.

The kids head for the Wardenclyffe Tower while Stine arrives in town. At the tower, the kids encounter Slappy and Walter and discover that Slappy has turned Kathy into a living dummy. Sonny and Sam overload the reactor while Sarah fights Slappy. She defeats Slappy by kicking him into the electrified coil atop the tower, which blasts him into the sky. Sarah opens the book and combines it with the reactor's energy to drag all the other monsters back into the Haunted Halloween manuscript, while also returning Kathy and Walter to normal. Stine arrives, congratulates the kids for defeating the monsters, and gives Sarah advice for writing her essay.

Sometime later, Kathy and Walter start dating. Sonny wins the science fair and Sarah gets an email saying she got into Columbia University.

Back in Stine's cabin, Slappy appears. He reveals that he has survived and has written a book of his own where Stine is the main character. He then opens his manuscript, sucking Stine inside.


  • Madison Iseman as Sarah Quinn, a teenager living in Wardenclyffe, New York
  • Jeremy Ray Taylor as Sonny Quinn, Sarah's brother
  • Caleel Harris as Sam Carter, Sonny's best friend
  • Wendi McLendon-Covey as Kathy Quinn, Sonny and Sarah's mother
  • Chris Parnell as Walter, the manager of the local pharmacy who has a crush on Kathy and is turned into a hunchbacked ogre by a Haunted Mask
  • Ken Jeong as Mr. Chu, the Quinns' neighbor
  • Jack Black (uncredited) as R. L. Stine, the writer of the Goosebumps books[8]
    • The real R. L. Stine cameos as Principal Harrison, the principal of the school that Sonny and Sam attend
  • Mick Wingert as the voice of Slappy the Dummy,[9] a living ventriloquist dummy from the Night of the Living Dummy books. Jack Black previously voiced Slappy in the first film.
    • Avery Lee Jones provides the puppeteer work for Slappy.
  • Bryce Cass as Tyler Mitchell, Sarah's ex-boyfriend.
  • Peyton Wich as Tommy Madigan, a bully who picks on Sonny and Sam
  • Kendrick Cross as Mr. Carter, Sam's father
  • Shari Headley as Mrs. Carter, Sam's mother
  • Courtney Lauren Cummings as Jess, a girl with whom Tyler cheats on Sarah
  • Jessi Goei as Maya, Jess' friend
  • Katharine C. Lumpkin as a monster bride
  • Kent Wagner as an undead pirate
  • Marsha Shackelford as a female cyborg
  • Barry W. Jerald Jr. as a gray alien
  • Sherri Millican as a banshee
  • Scott Millican as a red-haired ghoul
  • Joseph N. Hardin as a vampire
  • Alex T. Hill as a scarecrow
  • Benjamin Bladon as a royal mummy

Calaca ladies portrayed by Iyani Gwendolyn, Cheniqua Litchmore, and Hali J. Ross.

Goblins portrayed by Cody Jenkins and Joe Marri. Mummies portrayed by Mary Tricia Froedge, Robert Hunt, Martin Skyler, Grace Toso, Calvin Wickham, and Taylor Williams.

A scene briefly shows toys of Ryu and Ken from the Street Fighter series using voice clips from the games.


On September 2, 2015, it was reported that a sequel to the film Goosebumps was already in the planning stages, with Sony looking for a screenwriter.[10] On January 17, 2017, a January 26, 2018 release date was set, and Rob Letterman confirmed that he was to return as director for the sequel.[11] On February 6, 2017, it was announced that the film's release date had been delayed to September 21, 2018, taking the date previously held by Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation.[12]

In May 2017, the title was said to be Goosebumps: HorrorLand.[13] At the time, it was also reported that Jack Black would reprise his role as R. L. Stine.[14]

In November 2017, Rob Lieber was tapped to pen the script.[15] In December 2017, Ari Sandel was announced as a director instead of Letterman, due to the latter being busy directing Pokémon: Detective Pikachu for Legendary Entertainment. Variety reported that two scripts had been written: one script in which Black would reprise his role, while the other had Black cut out entirely.[16] In December 2017, the sequel's release date was pushed to October 12, 2018.[17]

The film was later renamed Goosebumps: Slappy's Revenge,[18] and its new leading cast members were set as Madison Iseman, Ben O'Brien, Caleel Harris and Jeremy Ray Taylor (O'Brien did not appear in the finished film).[19] Ken Jeong, Chris Parnell and Wendi McLendon-Covey joined the following month.[20] Filming began on March 7, and in April 2018 the title was renamed again, to Haunted Halloween.[21][22][23]

It was initially stated by Sony representatives that Avery Lee Jones, who puppeteered Slappy in the film, would also voice the character.[24] Jack Black returned for the film as Stine,[8] and it was later reported that Mick Wingert would actually voice Slappy.[25][9]


Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween was released on October 12, 2018. The film's first trailer premiered on July 11, 2018, the international trailer on August 16, 2018, and a third trailer on September 20, 2018.[26] A television spot was released on September 24, 2018, which also confirmed that Jack Black would return for the film.[8] Unlike the first film where it was given RealD 3D screenings, the sequel was not in the format.

Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween was released on DVD and Blu-ray on January 15, 2019.[27]


Box office[edit]

Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween grossed $46.7 million in the United States and Canada, and $46.6 million in other territories, for a total worldwide gross of $93.3 million, against a production budget of $35 million.[6] In the United States and Canada, Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween was released alongside First Man and Bad Times at the El Royale, and was projected to gross $15–21 million from 3,521 theaters in its opening weekend.[28][29]

The film made $4.9 million on its first day, including $750,000 from Thursday night previews, up from $600,000 by the first film. It went on to debut to $15.8 million (down 33% from the first film's opening of $23.6 million), finishing fourth at the box office, behind Venom, A Star Is Born and First Man.[30] The film dropped 38% in its second weekend, to $9.7 million, remaining in fourth.[31]

The film was released in the United Kingdom on October 19, 2018, and opened in third, behind A Star Is Born and Halloween.[32]

Critical response[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 47% based on 95 reviews, with an average rating of 5.4/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween offers a handful of treats for very young viewers, but compared to the entertaining original, this sequel is a ding dong to ditch."[33] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 53 out of 100, based on 20 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[34] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale, down from the "A" earned by the first film.[30]

Bilge Ebiri, writing for Vulture, said: "The first Goosebumps movie ... had wit, speed, and an imaginative spirit, throwing all sorts of rampaging, creatively designed ghouls at us. Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween can’t quite make the same claim. It replicates the template and the atmosphere of the original, but it lacks invention and emotional investment", and added: "The movie feels undercooked on every level. True, it’s all meant to be slight and charming and inoffensive — but there’s a way to make this sort of thing work, and Goosebumps 2 doesn’t seem particularly interested in trying to find it."[35]

Ignatiy Vishnevetsky of The A.V. Club gave the film a grade of C, writing: "Though the new Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween gets closer to the spirit of Stine’s bestselling books, it also shares their reliance on formula, recreating the first movie’s monster mash with fewer self-referential gags." He concluded: "though Sandel relies less on exasperating, rubbery digital effects than Rob Letterman, the DreamWorks Animation vet who helmed the original, his direction of the monsters and mayhem is never more than workmanlike, racing joylessly through a shaky plot that barely holds attention."[36]

Writing for The Globe and Mail, Kate Taylor was more positive in her review of the film, giving it a score of 3 stars out of 4 and writing: "With a mere cameo from Jack Black as the reclusive Stine and fewer clever twists in the plot, Goosebumps 2 risks the diminishing-returns scenario that plagues most sequels; what saves it is a climax that is fresh rather than frantic." She concluded: "the safely scary and often amusing formula holds. Meanwhile, the movie’s conclusion includes enough plot about Stine’s fate to suggest Goosebumps 3 will feature more of the elusive Black and that can only be a good thing."[37]


  1. ^ "Dominic Lewis to Score 'Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween'". Film Music Reporter. July 11, 2018. Retrieved July 12, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Film releases". Variety Insight. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  3. ^ Verhoeven, Beatrice; Gonzalez, Umberto (May 22, 2018). "Sony Announces Lord and Miller Animated Comedy 'The Mitchells Vs the Machines' (Exclusive)". TheWrap. Retrieved July 11, 2018. Sony Pictures Animation’s slate for the year includes Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (July 13), Goosebumps: Haunted Halloween (October 12) and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (December 14).
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  9. ^ a b @MickWingert (October 12, 2018). "Mick Wingert on Twitter" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
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  15. ^ Lang, Brent (November 2, 2017). "Sony Taps Rob Lieber To Write Goosebumps 2 Script". Variety. Retrieved December 7, 2017.
  16. ^ Lang, Brent (December 12, 2017). "Ari Sandel Will Direct Goosebumps 2". Variety. Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  17. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (December 28, 2017). "Sony Moves 'Alpha' To Fall, Bumps 'Goosebumps 2' To October". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 29, 2017.
  18. ^ "'Goosebumps: Slappy's Revenge' Plot Details Tease Halloween Night Apocalypse - Bloody Disgusting". January 30, 2018. Retrieved February 7, 2018.
  19. ^ Kroll, Justin (February 22, 2018). "'Goosebumps' Sequel Sets Ensemble Cast". Variety. Retrieved February 22, 2018.
  20. ^ Tyler, Adrienne (March 5, 2018). "Goosebumps 2 Casts Ken Jeong, Chris Parnell, & Wendi McLendon-Covey". Screen Rant. Retrieved March 5, 2018.
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  27. ^ "Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween DVD Release Date January 15, 2019".
  28. ^ Fuster, Jeremy (September 20, 2018). "'First Man' Expected to Launch to $20 Million Box Office Opening". TheWrap. Retrieved September 20, 2018.
  29. ^ Rubin, Rebecca (October 9, 2018). "'First Man' Takes on 'Venom' and 'A Star Is Born' as October Box Office Goes Galactic". Variety. Retrieved October 10, 2018.
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  31. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (October 21, 2018). "'Halloween' Scares Up Second-Best October Opening With $77M+; Best Debut For Blumhouse & Carpenter Canon; Great Launch For Miramax". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved October 23, 2018.
  32. ^ "UK Weekend Box Office 19th October 2018 - 21st October 2018". Retrieved January 27, 2019.
  33. ^ "Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved October 10, 2021.
  34. ^ "Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved October 27, 2018.
  35. ^ Ebiri, Bilge (October 11, 2018). "Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween Lacks the Original's Bite". Vulture. Retrieved July 23, 2021.
  36. ^ Vishnevetsky, Ignatiy (October 10, 2018). "Haunted Halloween rehashes Goosebumps' monster mash". The A.V. Club. Retrieved July 23, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  37. ^ Taylor, Kate (October 11, 2018). "Review: Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween smashes pumpkins, expectations". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved July 23, 2021.

External links[edit]