When Disney released Halloweentown in 1998, it’s safe to say no one imagined how believed the Disney Channel Original Movie would be over twenty years later. It wasn’t a spooky film, and sometimes the acting was subpar, but there was something charming about the film and the inclusion of the iconic Debbie Reynolds as a witch didn’t hurt, either. A town with a supernatural secret. And an evil determined to take over the world if a young girl and her family don’t do something to stop it. Simple enough plot, right? Sure, but it was a charming movie that continues to delight even now. And Netflix’s latest movie, The Curse of Bridge Hollow feels like it could become the streaming giant’s Halloweentown.
The Curse of Bridge Hollow focuses on Sydney and her family as they move from Brooklyn to a small town called Bridge Hollow. It’s a safe small town, which Syd’s mother adores. For Sydney, though, she quickly finds herself enthralled by the town’s love of Halloween, especially as her father has always refused to let the family celebrate it. After hearing a rumor that her new house is hunted, Syd sets out to find the truth and ends up unleashing chaos upon the small little town.
Here’s the thing, there’s nothing super special about The Curse of Bridge Hollow. The plot is simple, the acting is sometimes so-so, and the writing can leave something to be desired. But! It’s a delight that families are sure to eat up. A charming tale of a daughter and her father as they uncover supernatural secrets of their new town? Perhaps it’s not the easiest of sells, especially when that father despises Halloween, but Marlon Wayans and Priah Ferguson are a dynamic duo. The movie’s tone feels reminiscent of Halloweentown, and that’s far from a bad thing. In fact, like that Disney movie, Bridge Hollow isn’t trying to be a masterpiece, it’s simply trying to entertain, and it does so with ease. Those looking for a spooky Halloween title will be disappointed, but those in search of something more light-hearted with an occasional thrill with delight in Bridge Hollow.
The Curse of Bridge Hollow knows what it wants to be and thrives on its willingness to let loose. It doesn’t try to take itself seriously, and it’s a refreshing change of pace. There are some legitimately creepy character designs – let’s just say Clowns – but most of the haunted decorations are family-friendly. Kids will adore this Halloween movie that feels like a classic in the making. It’s far from perfect, but the occasional hiccup is acceptable with a movie that understands how to have fun.
Those with children should definitely give The Curse of Bridge Hollow a watch as Halloween nears.