At the end of 2015 the first film of Nightmares (Goosebumps), with Jack Black and Dylan Minnette front (and others like Odeya Rush, Amy Ryan and Ryan Lee) in what was nothing more than the big screen adaptation of the eponymous best-seller of R. L. Stine.
Stine became popular by writing a set of novels that tried to mix light horror drama for children and adolescents from a character like Slappy, a doll who came to life after being locked in a book and escaping from his prison between the pages to try to wreak havoc from an army of monstrous creatures. The first movie was acceptable and entertaining and unexpectedly raised more than 150 million dollars internationally. Therefore, it seemed even normal that it will be thought of continuing what is probably going to be a kind of saga that time will tell if it can be consolidated or not.
So now comes, in a complementary way although less ambition and general potential is perceived, its sequel Nightmares 2: Halloween Night. It is not necessary to know the first installment to face this one, but the same trail is followed for those who already know the previous one. The impression of having been worked lighter and less solid is also quickly appreciated. It was Rob Letterman who directed the original film and takes the witness this time in the direction of Ari Sandel (specialized in comedies like The Duff or The first time we saw each other).
If in the first movie a group of monsters put some teenagers in trouble, here we have, more or less, something similar, although with a setting in the middle of the Halloween celebration, which is always attractive.
They return, as a point of common interest and interest, two key and fundamental characters: the ventriloquist dummy Slappy, to which he gives voice in the Spanish version Santiago Segura and the “author” of the possessed novel RL Stine (in the skin of Jack Black). But it is convenient to specify something in this sense. Although as for Black, although it is meritorious that it appears, it is still a kind of trick to get out of the way and fulfill in the film, since the script insists on taking the film to the group of teenage protagonists (the trio formed by Jeremy Ray Taylor, Caleel Harris and Madison Iseman). This implies that neither black appears too much Neither his charisma and always attractive presence in terms of a dose of humor is very evident on this occasion.
Yes, the protagonist is the villain of the function, the previously named Slappy, who only seeks to cause chaos by bringing together a group of monsters whom he treats as minions. And there it appears the greatest joy and appeal of the film: the gathering of a group consisting of a giant yeti, a werewolf, several witches, a giant spider and even a group of evil gummy bears!
The jovial script is too noticeable without much harshness or horror situations anywhere, focusing on the mysterious and letting slappy be the emcee interacting with the boys.
The group of teenagers leads it Madison Isemanas Sarah, a high school senior seeking acceptance to Columbia University. Next to her, her brother Jeremy Ray Taylor, in the character of Sonny, he will live a night of supposed nightmare in the company of his best friend (Caleel Harris like the talkative and always faithful Sam). Their trauma or personal problems don’t matter too much. The film only uses them so that children can see in them a group that will have a bad Halloween night because of this doll that ends up being endearing. It is, in fact, more sympathetic than sinister at times.
Special mention in this case for the actress Wendi McLendon-Covey, whose comedy vision helps to strengthen the family nucleus, as mother of Sarah and Sonny, in a story that seeks to be dark but not too much. It can be fulfilling for children and fans of light suspense but it is also possible that it will lead to significant anger for those who expect to have a bad time with scares or are a fan of the deep and serious plots that sometimes reign in these types of films.
Nightmares 2 does not hide that it seeks to satisfy the family audience that only intends to spend a Halloween party without much depth before the big screen. It is ideal if you just want to see the Slappy doll doing his thing and unleashing madness with his monsters while settling for not seeing much of Jack Black, who barely appears.
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Nightmares 2 Review: Halloween Night