Spirit Halloween: The Movie (2022)
November 7, 2022 12:32 PM - Subscribe

When a Spirit Halloween Store opens in a deserted strip mall, three middle school friends who think they've outgrown trick or treating make a dare to spend the night locked inside the store Halloween night. But they soon find out that the store is haunted by an angry evil spirit who has possessed the creepy animatronic characters. The kids will need to embark on a thrilling and spooky adventure in order to survive the night and avoid becoming possessed themselves.

Starring Christopher Lloyd, Rachael Leigh Cook, Donovan Colan, Melissa Reyes, Jaiden Smith (not that Jaden Smith), Dylan Martin Frankel, Marla Gibbs.

Directed by David Poag. Written by Billie Bates.

54% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

Currently available in the US for digital rental. JustWatch listing.
posted by DirtyOldTown (4 comments total)
My guess is that a decent movie was in production but got cancelled and Spirit Halloween: The Movie just appeared in its studio space overnight.

Christopher Lloyd wishes he could go back in time to when he was in good movies.

Rachael Leigh Cook cannot believe this is her career, not on drugs.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:34 PM on November 7, 2022 [2 favorites]

(Those are just jokes. I actually hear it's a semi-worthy addition to pre-teen horror, something you would slot in with say, Halloweentown or Hocus Pocus. The beauty of my kid going full-on horror nerd in the past year is he isn't going to make me watch this.)
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:44 PM on November 7, 2022

This is... not great. It feels like the script was actually written in 1986 and just somehow fell into the hands of the producers who had the Spirit Halloween license. It's a very teen boy-centric story, which makes it feel very out of place in a post-Stranger Things world. Seems like the people behind the scenes learned all the wrong lessons from 80s/Amblin nostalgia media, although it does try to course correct a tiny bit toward the end. I wouldn't necessarily recommend it to anyone, but I also wasn't really mad at it for wasting my time. This is the one time you could say a movie had "Spirit Halloween effects" and it's not really a complaint, it's just a statement of fact.

Lloyd is only on-screen for one scene and is otherwise doing voiceover work, so he probably got a decent little check for not much work. Good for him. Rachael Leigh Cook is in it a little more in a frustrating "worried mom" role. Again, the focus is on the three (mostly annoying) teen boys so everyone else gets pushed to the side. But overall it's certainly better than Spirit Halloween: The Movie could have been. Which is still not saying much.
posted by tomorrowromance at 1:27 PM on November 7, 2022

I have no opinion on the quality of the movie itself, and am unlikely to develop one as I am unlikely to watch it, but this is absolutely brilliant marketing for the store.
posted by jordemort at 2:36 PM on November 7, 2022 [1 favorite]

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