Swanner: Sonny (Jeremy Ray Taylor) and Sam (Caleel Harris) find a book in an old abandoned house while collecting junk. After they open the book, a creepy ventriloquist’s dummy shows up. The dummy turns out to be Slappy, an evil puppet who wants to make Halloween a nightmare for a small town. Once Sam and Sonny realize Slappy’s evil plan they get Sonny’s sister, Sarah (Madison Iseman) to help save the town.
Based on a Goosebumps book by R.L. Stine, director Ari Sandel and screenwriter Rob Lieber keep up the fun and the scares of Stine’s work. Scary enough to give it some Halloween fun but not too scary to give the intended audience nightmares. The cast is mostly made up of kids and monsters, but they do have a few grown ups: including Wendi McLendon-Covey, Jack Black, Ken Jeong, and Chris Parnell.
As I mentioned, this is a movie made for kids. So, you might find things a bit silly, but I still had fun with the film even as an adult. I will warn you that Slappy is very creepy, and for anyone that finds puppets coming to life as terrifying as I do…just keep breathing, it’s just a movie. Finally, with all the horror films that came out, it’s nice to have this kind of kid friendly fare for the family members that still collect candy every Halloween.
Swanner: 3 stars