Based on R. L. Stine’s popular Goosebumps series of books and following the 2015 Goosebumps‘s film, this is a kid-friendly scary film.
Two boys Sonny (Jeramy Ray Taylor) and Sam (Caleel Harris) go into a clean up business after school. The “junk brothers,” as they call themselves, get a job cleaning up an old abandoned mansion.
The house is covered in cobwebs, boarded up and gloomy, but the boys start to work anyway, hoping to find some cool things to keep. They discover a book with a lock and key and an old trunk hidden behind a fireplace. Out of the trunk pops Slappy, an evil ventriloquist’s dummy who is alive and wants to have a family.
As Halloween nears, the kids quickly discover that Slappy is a bad puppet to have around as he intends to bring all of the Halloween characters to life. Mummies, witches, the Headless Horseman and even gummy bears are suddenly wandering around their neighborhood and up to no good.
The boys and Sonny’s older sister Sarah (Madison Iseman) join together to try to end Slappy’s evil reign. Jack Black, who plays author R. L. Stine, appears only at the last ten minutes of the film to help the kids with their enormous task.
Some of the special effects are pretty good, especially Halloween masks that are hung on a store display wall, and evolve into full size monsters. Also, a scene that has little gummy bears that come to life and combine into one giant bear ready to devour the kids, is pretty impressive.
It’s a fun film that gives kids a scare, without being too frightening.