Sony Pictures has released the first trailer for their follow-up to 2015's Goosebumps which saw Jack Black star as author R.L. Stine in what was ultimately a unique and surprisingly fun take on the children's book series that had seemingly played out long ago. This is the movie that kind of kick-started Black's current run of stealing the show in more family-friendly fare (here's to hoping The House with a Clock in Its Walls doesn't disappoint), but he is nowhere to be seen in this trailer for the sequel subtitled Haunted Halloween. Sony has released this trailer the week that their third Hotel Transylvania movie is dropping in theaters, so it's safe to bet this knows what audience it is playing to and if this official trailer suggests anything it's that this follow-up will be even more kid-friendly and more in the vein of something that might air on the Disney Channel or Nickelodeon than in the multiplexes. That is to say, Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween looks a little cheap and rather corny with some especially bad writing if the jokes that were chosen to be highlighted here are any indication. It's a shame Sony wasn't patient enough to at least wait on Black's schedule to open up as it is his character's ideas that are the catalyst for any action that will take place in this series of movies universe if not Dylan Minnette's (13 Reasons Why) and Odeya Rush's (Lady Bird) undoubtedly now much busier schedules. Unfortunately, Haunted Halloween doesn't even sport the same director as the original film as Rob Letterman dropped out in the course of production and was replaced by Ari Sandel who is fine enough despite his last feature, Netflix's When We First Met, failing to live up to the wit and heart of his debut, The DUFF. Needless to say, Haunted Halloween boasts a brand-new human cast that includes Madison Iseman (who played Black's real world counterpart in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle), as well as IT's Jeremy Ray Taylor. Like the first film, Haunted Halloween combines elements from Stine's actual 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 the ventriloquist dummy is resurrected and sets out to unleash the apocalypse on Halloween night. Sarah (Iseman), her brother Sonny (Taylor), and Sonny's best friend Sam (Caleel Harris) somehow wind-up on an adventure to stop Slappy and save the day. Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween also stars Ken Jeong, Chris Parnell, Wendi McLendon-Covey, and opens on October 12th, 2018.

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