Let me first be honest in fully admitting that yes, I actually did enjoy the first 'Goosebumps' film. It was a neat nostalgic trip for me, as I was a fan of some of the books, and even watched a bit of the show when I was younger. 'Goosebumps' is pretty much in the same realm as 'Are You Afraid of the Dark' for me in that it kinda represents my first little tiptoes into the horror genre. It's family friendly fun, but still kinda genuinely creepy in its own right.
The first film had kids find some of RL Stine's original Goosebumps manuscripts, opening them up, and unleashing a horrible magic on the town, having the books come to life and terrorize everything in sight, lead by none other than Slappy of, perhaps Stine's most famous 'Goosebumps' title, 'Night of the Living Dummy'. It was just a lot of fun for any inner child fanboy of Stine's. However here, we have the sequel, which is quite literally more of the same and, in fact, much weaker than the original.
This time around we have a couple of "loser" kids who have their own junk collecting company (equivalent to something like a lawn mowing business or a snow shoveling business, getting a bit of cash along the way). On one of their jobs, they find a book with scripture that one of the kids reads, and brings Slappy back to life. This time around, Slappy DOES end up being a bit more of the dummy from the books, however, in that at first, he's a little more tame. He's just looking at these guys, Sonny and Sam (Jeremy Ray Taylor and Caleel Harris, respectively) as potential brothers, and wants to be part of a family. Ultimately, it's mentioned that all he wants is a mother, but we sadly never really find out why at all he wants this. It's just kind of an excuse of a plot device that doesn't really go anywhere.
Anyway, sure enough, when Slappy starts going a bit overboard with his obsessions and gets denied, he heads to a Halloween store to bring a bunch of Halloween merch to life and terrorize a town again. So like I say, it's generally the same movie as before.
Jack Black does make his return as the fame author, however this time he's far less a part of things. He's kind of just a crowbarred in cameo here, and at the end of the day, there's no real other purpose for him being there. The film is basically an excuse to grab a few extra dollars, and didn't have the same feel as the original. From my perspective, the first was more something made for nostalgic fans to enjoy, whereas this was more something that had no excuse NOT to go straight to video. It actually has that "straight-to-video" feel to it.
With that last part said, I'll have to conclude that this might still be fun to bring the kids to. However, watching it as a nostalgic fan, it's not entirely worth the cheap Tuesday matinee price of the big screen experience, let alone a full price experience. I'd recommend just waiting for it to be released where you can check it out for free. It's a bit of fun, but it's just not that great altogether.