(2018) (Madison Iseman, Jeremy Ray Taylor) (PG)
- The following is an unedited version of our final review that may contain spelling, grammatical, and/or factual errors. None of our reviewers could attend the Sat. morning press screening, so we had to see the film this evening.
- QUICK TAKE:
- Action/Horror: A high school senior, her younger brother, and his friend try to stop a possessed ventriloquist dummy from turning a wide variety of Halloween decorations and figures into real-life monsters.
- Sarah Quinn (MADISON ISEMAN) is a high school senior who's applying to get into Columbia, but is facing writer's block while trying to pen her essay response to an application question about facing fear. It doesn't help that her boyfriend, Tyler Mitchell (BRYCE CASS), interrupts her, or that her mom, Kathy (WENDI McLENDON-COVEY), tasks her with watching her younger brother, Sonny (JEREMY RAY TAYLOR), and his best friend, Sam Carter (CALEEL HARRIS), while she pulls a double shift at work.
Besides being students where they must contend with Tommy Madigan (PEYTON WICH) and his two fellow bullies, Sonny and Sam have started a side business of removing junk. They get their first gig emptying out a run-down and deserted house and end up finding a secret room that contains a chest inside. They open that but are disappointed to find nothing but a book without any title. Accordingly, they put it back in, but when they turn back around a ventriloquist dummy has appeared in that open chest wearing a card that states its name is Slappy.
It's not long until they realize that Slappy (voice of JACK BLACK) is possessed and can use magic related to anything he sees, such as dispatching the bullies who've been plaguing them. The dummy views them as brothers, but has ulterior motives once they and Sarah -- upon learning about him -- try to ditch him. They also learn something similar happened in the past and realize too late what the dummy is really after. And that's to have a mother -- he eyes Kathy -- and turn ordinary Halloween decorations, figures and such into real-life monsters. Hoping to stop that, the kids try to reach out to R.L. Stein (JACK BLACK) once they realize from their neighbor, Mr. Chu (KEN JEONG), that Slappy is a creation of the author's work that's come to life. From that point on, they do what they can to stop the dummy's nefarious plans as Halloween turns scary for everyone in the town.
- WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
- If they're fans of the first film they probably will.
- WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
- For scary creature action and images, some thematic elements, rude humor and language.
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