Anyone who bought a costume or decoration from the Spirit Halloween store will get a chuckle out of the fact this company wanted to produce one big commercial. It’s appropriately titled, Spirit Halloween The Movie. If that idea isn’t scary enough to convince people to shop at their stores, then I don’t know what will.
This work may get viewers wanting to look for those costumes and items seen in the motion picture to wear or place in their front yard. As much as I love the season and looking at what others can set up, there’s a difference between comic versus supernatural frights; the only way to understand this film is to accept that they’re venturing into one of those carnival style haunted houses often set up for this season, and it has every trick in the book to disorient you.
After a few shrieks and jump scares, the adrenaline is pumping and it’ll be time to move on to the next thrill ride. Here, you’re following what three boys–Jake (Donovan Colan), Bo (Jaiden J. Smith), and Carson (Dylan Franke)–are up for the All Hallow’s Eve Night, and who they face is the spirit of Alec Windsor (Christopher Lloyd) as he possesses various Spirit Halloween products in an attempt to give the boys more than a few grey hairs.
Back when he was alive, he tried to banish some American gypsies camping on his land, but they cursed him. Back in the future, that’s where the Spirit Halloween store gets built. As for whether his remains lay where he fell dead, I suspect that’s because no developer in the later decades knew what happened, hence whatever gets built here would always be haunted.
To be fair, Lloyd’s certainly had fun being bad. He’s this film’s saving grace, and I’m fairly sure he was channelling Uncle Fester (The Addams Family) in one moment, Judge Doom (Who Framed Roger Rabbit) in another and perhaps Commander Kruge (Star Trek III: The Search For Spock) too.
Rachael Leigh Cook (Josie And The Pussycats) is a mom to the boys. I really wanted to see more of her, and all she got was a fleeting role which could’ve been expanded on, had this been a series designed in the same vein as Netflix’s Stranger Things. However, it’s doubtful it can last for a full season. I can imagine each haunted item being let loose and the lads have to go recover each since they’re the ones who mistakingly unleashed the djinni in a bottle. It’s possible to offer a kid friendlier version of Friday the 13th the TV Series.
Overall, as long as expectations are low for this film, it’s enjoyable. It’s rare to get that carnival thrill ride translated properly into film. Spirit Halloween The Movie ranks right up there with Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park. That may have been where the bar was set since where else can one hang the costume once the night is over? It has to be put away somewhere so the concept can be recycled at a later date.
3 Stars out of 5