Halloweentown Review (1998)

My History With the Film:
I knew very little about Halloweentown prior to watching this film. I’ve seen the DVD and I knew it was a TV movie, but that was about the extent of my knowledge. It wasn’t until the nostalgia for this film kicked in over the past five or six years that I recognized it as something worth seeing. Then when assembling the films that Brandy and I wanted to watch over this Halloween season, she mentioned Halloweentown and I jumped at the opportunity to experience this 90’s Halloween classic.

What The Film Is About (Non-Spoiler):
A group of siblings discover a family secret that leads them to a town where it’s Halloween all year long.

What I Liked About It:
-Debbie Reynolds is amazing and she stole the show in this film as the grandmother. She’s charming in every scene and just eats up the scenery.

-I liked the cast for the most part. Judith Hoag was great as the mother, Joey Zimmerman (Dylan) was probably the funniest part of the film, and Emily Roeske (Sophie) was cute.

-The prosthetic mask were varied and well made. It felt like a lived in town, which is surprisingly for a low budget TV movie. I think if this movie was made in 2019, the CGI would ruin that charming feel.

-The town was great. It was cute, small, and reminded me of the towns in other low budget family friendly spooky movies like Casper A Spirted Beginning or Elvira’s Mistress of the Dark. I love those small towns.

What I Didn’t Like About It:
– Kimberly J. Brown (Marnie) was capable, but a bit annoying at times. She had a touch too much sass for my liking. It was hard to be sympathetic with her when she was constantly running her mouth. Then again, she was thirteen so that was probably the most believable part of the film.

-The ending was quite predictable, but it’s a Disney TV movie from the 90’s. I really can’t complain about that.

Additional Notes:
-The film was shot in St. Helens, Oregon which celebrates the movie with a month long Halloweentown event where they decorate the town like the movie and hold a parade.

-There were three sequels that followed: Halloweentown II: Kalabar’s Revenge (2001), Halloween High (2004), and Return to Halloweentown (2006).

-Judith Hoag missed the premiere of Armageddon because she was filming Halloweentown.

-Benny, the talking skeleton, was a robot.

Rating:
Halloweentown is very much a 90’s family movie. It’s obviously not a horror film, but it has that spooky vibe that I like to celebrate here on the blog. Is it worth a watch? If you have a kids definitely. If you love innocent movies that have that fall vibe? Definitely.

I’d rate it a three out of five and say it’s a rental if you know what you are getting into.

 

 

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