Review by Camden Ferrell
When fall comes around, many people know what follows. All around the country as Halloween comes around, thousands of Spirit Halloween stores pop-up. This is a seasonal retailer that has all of your spooky needs, and they’re now getting involved in the movie-producing business. Spirit Halloween: The Movie is a supernatural horror movie that lacks thrills, competence, or truly anything to enjoy.
Jake, Carson, and Bo are three boys on the cusp of adolescence. They are at the weird age where they might start becoming too old for trick or treating. Instead, they decide the night at an abandoned Spirit Halloween store but find this endeavor to be more dangerous than they thought. This is a pretty basic set up for this seasonal-themed horror movie, but the corporate sponsorship and production make it feel less genuine and cheaper.
The script, written by Billie Bates, is full of overly familiar plot beats that are predictable and dull. The dialogue is painfully unnatural and lack any subtlety whatsoever. It’s a combination of the most cliché parts of every cheesy horror movie that came before it, and it doesn’t work. This along with David Poag’s direction make this whole film feel like a mess of unoriginality and tepid “thrills”.
The performances range from awful to forgettable at best. It features some big names like Christopher Lloyd and Rachel Leigh Cook, but they both phone it in for the paycheck with performances that are quite bad. The kids who play the main characters are tasked with carrying this movie, and they just weren’t a good fit. They’re young actors who have potential and can improve, but their chemistry in this film wasn’t convincing or enjoyable.
Even if the movie wasn’t as much of a shameless advertisement as I expected, it still lacks a vision or any personality. It’s as devoid of charm or character as one can expect from a movie produced by a retailer. The movie is also not scary and features some distractingly bad special effects and attempts at tension.
Spirit Halloween: The Movie leaves an awful taste in your mouth but will be forgotten almost instantly with any luck. It has no scares, thrills, and it has nothing that hasn’t already been done better countless times before. Regular audiences and horror fans alike will find little to enjoy in this short movie that feels twice as long as it is.
Spirit Halloween: The Movie is in theaters September 30.