Director – David Poag (The Story of Nearest Green, Wait…)
Starring – Donovan Colan (Chapemwaite, Moonshine), Dylan Martin Frankel (Raven’s Home, Life & Beth), and Jaiden J, Smith (Two Sentence Horror Stories, Faith Under Fire)
Release Date – 2022
Rating – 3/5
Halloween means a lot to many horror fans. It’s the one time of year where their beloved genre dominates cable programs and theaters. They are able to express themselves by decorating with the creepy and macabre while binging their favorite holiday films. Around the end of August most of us look for that orange banner to appear on vacant or empty building signifying that Spirit Halloween will be soon be opening their door for us to get our fix of Halloween decorations and horror merchandise. The Spirit Halloween store near me is housed in an old K-Mart building which is kind of creepy in it’s own.
Earlier in the year news broke that Spirit would be releasing their own horror film which caught many horror fans by surprise. How the fuck would a Halloween store pull off a horror flick? Regardless, I was open to it and when I received word about reviewing it I couldn’t wait to check it out.
**Spoiler Alert** The film follows three youths who find themselves at the awkward age where they still want to trick or treat and enjoy the scares of Halloween but feel they may be too old for the holiday. When they come across a Spirit Halloween pop up store in an abandoned parking lot they decide to sneak in and spend the night for some holiday scares. However, what they don’t know is that the store is on the site where relentless businessman Alex Windsor (Christopher Lloyd) died. Now he is possessing the Halloween animatronics in the store forcing them to fight for their lives or risk being possessed themselves. **Spoiler Alert**
Spirit Halloween has some fun moments and could be a lot of fun watching with kids as you prepare for the holiday season but it’s not something that will stand out every October like John Carpenter’s Halloween, Trick r’ Treat, and Hocus Pocus. It’s fairly generic, predictable, and oddly enjoyable. Honestly, I really enjoyed it but I don’t see myself watching it again until next year.
The acting in this one is pretty solid. The characters are basic and one dimensional but the cast does a solid job with what they were given. I liked the young cast’s chemistry on screen and how well they worked together with each other.
The story for this one is a haunted house type set up but the haunted mansion that you would find in most other films like it was changed to a Spirit Halloween store for obvious reasons. It does work but the predictability does take some of the fun out of it. It’s Stranger Things by way of Disney but it does find a way to entertain. I could see myself watching this paint by number haunted house flick annually as the leaves start to fall.
Finally we get some fun visual effects and decent make-up effects but don’t expect a bloody flick. The target audience is children so the body count isn’t there for you gorehounds. Overall, Spirit Halloween is fun for a late fall viewing with the family as you prepare to go trick or treating with the kids but it’s not the horror movie us genre fans were hoping for. Regardless, it’s a decent flick that really has that Halloween look and feel. Check it out.