SPIRIT HALLOWEEN – THE MOVIE (2022)
Starring Donavan Colan, Marissa Reyes, Jaiden J. Smith, Dylan Martin Frankel, Rachael Leigh Cook, Christopher Lloyd, Marla Gibbs, Brad Carter, Billie Roy, Michelle Civile, Donovan Colan, Seth Ingram and Katherine Dudley.
Screenplay by Billie Bates.
Directed by David Poag.
Distributed by Strike Back Studios. 80 minutes. Rated PG-13.
As someone who very much enjoys Halloween, I will never pass up an opportunity to visit the local Halloween store that appears in an empty lot every year. Admittedly, I have spent quite a bit of time at Spirit Halloween stores over the years, so needless to say, I was surprised to see a poster advertising a movie about the store on one of my many trips.
In preparation for this review, I decided to “go in blind” to the movie, avoiding all trailers or synopsizes. This would prove to be a bit of a mistake, seeing as how the horror aspect I expected was nowhere to be seen. Instead, this movie was very clearly geared towards a younger, family friendly audience. There is nothing wrong with this of course, it was just a surprise to me due to the store’s general scare factor and dark themes which are generally fit for a slightly older audience I feel.
The movie starts on Halloween, “a long time ago” when Alex Windsor (Christopher Lloyd) arrives at the Sacred Hearts Home for Wayward Children, to deliver an eviction notice for the owner. He tells her she has 48 hours to vacate the premises before it is demolished. As he turns to leave, with a young girl by her side, the owner seemingly puts a curse on Windsor, killing him almost instantly.
The next scene brings us to present day where our three protagonists – Jake (Donovan Colan), Bo (Jaiden J. Smith) and Carson (Dylan Martin Frankel) are riding their bikes through town and come across an ominously placed Spirit Halloween store in a mostly empty parking lot. They decide that instead of trick or treating this year, this is where they will spend Halloween.
When the night arrives, the boys execute their plan of staying in the store past closing. While initially having fun, they soon begin observing strange happenings around the store, as Alex Windsor’s spirit enacts his revenge.
Using actual animatronics from various Spirit Halloween collections over the years, Windsor successfully terrifies the boys, and Carson’s older sister, Kate (Marissa Reyes) who comes looking for them. Attempting to elude the spirit, they find themselves in the underground catacombs beneath the store, while trying to find a way out.
My final thoughts of the movie lead me to recommend this film, not as a horror movie for the average teen or adult looking for a good scare, but more of a family friendly kids movie that comes with some minor scares and fun for a younger audience.
(Ed. note: In the leadup to the official release of Spirit Halloween: The Movie on October 11, 2022, the film will have special preview screenings at select theaters September 30 to October 6. Check your local listings.)
Copyright ©2022 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: September 30, 2022.