I remember being a kid with too much energy brimming inside of me to fall asleep. Surely there was something I could do? This is when I first stumbled upon my brother’s pile of Goosebumps books by R. L. Stine. It could have been the start of my fascination with all-things that go bump in the night.
In the sleepy town of Wardenclyffe Sarah Quinn is a busy teenager trying to get the grades for Columbia University. But her mother Kathy is doing double shifts which leaves her in charge of looking after her brother Sonny.
After school is finished Sonny and his best friend Sam start there other job – treasure hunting. They search an abadoned house and find two things – a manuscript and Slappy the Dummy. They find a card in Slappy’s pocket and read the words, ‘Karru Marri Odonna Loma Molonu Karrano.’
At first they are oblivious to their actions but later when they are confronted by the school bullies who try to take their new treasure something stops them by pulling down their trousers and tripping them up. When Sonny gets home Slappy finally reveals his animated-self.
Jeremy Ray Taylor plays a sweet and lovable Sonny and after earning his chops as Ben in IT. His geeky personae and love for Tesla is easily believed and his experimental antics will have you chuckling. After blowing up the science-lab Sonny returns home where he and his sister are both belittled. They insist in was the Dummy’s fault. They try to deactivate Slappy by throwing him in a river which is when Halloween takes a turn towards disaster.
They research Slappy’s origins and find that all the monsters contained within the manuscript (by R. L. Stine) come back to life as happened before in another town.
This quirky film is a great watch for kids; the laughs are consistently provided whilst the tension rises. Slappy’s is an exceptional antagonist of the story; he is creepy and evil but also more than one dimensional, as he implies that he, ‘just wants a family.
This is not a unique take on a horror film by any stretch, and the writers seemed to care less about character development as focus is placed more on visual spectacles of gummy bears combining to make a giant one and sparkling electricity darting across the sky in jaggered forks. But it strikes the right balance of jump scenes and extravagant action that kids will surely love to watch. It’s no where near a classic like ‘Monster House’ not as clever as the first Goosebumps but it’s a sizable treat that will satisfy most sweet tooths.