Evil ventriloquist dummy Slappy is back in the Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween trailer and poster, but his human counterpart (Jack Black as author R.L. Stine) is nowhere to be found. The Goosebumps movie sequel further boasts a brand-new human cast that includes Madison Iseman (who, as it happens, played Black's real world counterpart Beth in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle), as well as IT's Jeremy Ray Taylor and Ken Jeong of The Hangover trilogy and Community fame.
Like its predecessor, Haunted Halloween combines elements from the actual Stine's Goosebumps novels with an all-new plot, this time written by Rob Lieber (Peter Rabbit). The sequel picks up in the small town of Wardenclyffe, where Slappy is resurrected and sets out to unleash the apocalypse on (when else?) Halloween night. It thus falls to Sarah Quinn (Iseman), her brother Sonny (Taylor), and Sonny's BFF Sam (Caleel Harris) to stop Slappy and save the day, all while battling the various supernatural monsters teased in the Haunted Halloween trailer.
Sony has now released the Haunted Halloween trailer online, ahead of its debut in theaters with Sony Animation's Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation this weekend. The studio had a surprisingly difficult time getting its sequel off the ground, even though the first Goosebumps almost tripled its $58 million budget at the worldwide box office and earned perfectly respectable reviews. Along the way, the sequel went through multiple subtitles (Horrorland, Slappy Halloween) and lost original director Rob Letterman, who has since been replaced with Ari Sandel (The DUFF).
Despite the changes in creatives and production delays, Sony has kept a tight grip on its October 2018 release date for the Goosebumps sequel over the past year. The concern is that the studio is rushing Haunted Halloween down the pipeline in an effort to strike while the iron's still hot (or, at least, lukewarm), even if that means the sequel winds up looking and feeling cheaply made compared to the first film. Letterman's Goosebumps was more successful than not in capturing the kooky charm of Stine's source material, but Haunted Halloween might come up short, if the trailer is any indicator.
Fortunately, Goosebumps fans only have to wait a few more months for Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween to arrive, before they can judge the sequel for themselves. Here's to hoping Goosebumps 3 has an easier time coming together, should Haunted Halloween turn out better than expected and become a hit in the process.
Source: Sony Pictures Entertainment
- Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween (2018) release date: Oct 12, 2018