SPIRIT HALLOWEEN: THE MOVIE (2022) Reviews of comedy horror plus a clip

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‘Possessing theaters this Fall’
Spirit Halloween: The Movie is a 2022 kid-friendly comedy horror film about teens trapped in a store where the decorations come to life.

Directed by David Poag – making his feature directorial debut – from a screenplay written by Billie Bates. Produced by Noor Ahmed, Michael Hagerty and Shannon Houchins.

The American Strike Back Studios-Hideout Pictures-Particular Crowd co-production stars Christopher Lloyd, Rachael Leigh Cook, Donavan Colan, Dylan Frankel, Jaiden Smith and Marissa Reyes.

Plot synopsis:
When a new Spirit Halloween store appears 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 on Halloween night.


However, they soon find out that the store is haunted by an angry evil spirit who has possessed the creepy animatronic characters. The kids embark on a thrilling and spooky adventure in order to survive the night and avoid becoming possessed themselves.

“If you take off the end credits and the endless production company logos at the beginning, Spirit Halloween: The Movie runs a whopping 72 minutes […] The potential was there for the kind of enjoyment you get walking through the doors of a Spirit Halloween. Unfortunately, writer Billie Bates and director David Poag only put the bare minimum of imagination into their film.” 2/4, The Aisle Seat

“It’s no great shakes, but Spirit Halloween: The Movie is a harmless watch with Halloween spirit. It’s competently made on a technical level and not without a few mildly creepy moments (director Poag clearly loves Sam Raimi’s funhouse brand of horror). A better film is just dying to get out.” C- The Artful Critic

” …Spirit Halloween: The Movie is a fairly surprising and fun affair. The stakes are clear, the threats are menacing yet playful, and the escalation is smoothly handled. It’s far from the best family-friendly horror film you’ll find, but it’s perfect for your tweens to help them get ready for something more adult.” Elements of Madness

Spirit Halloween: The Movie is rather short, lasting about 80 minutes. It is the perfect length for a story such as this. Nowadays, many movies and TV shows feel the need to stretch their lengths for some reason. Spirit Halloween: The Movie goes straight to the point and still manages to create a character arc for its main character and create a nice little adventure that reminds us what Halloween is all about.” 7/10, Fiction Horizon


“This had so much potential to be genuinely scary, but centering the film around a group of middle schoolers and neutering it without any chills was a bad decision. A fart joke about being lactose intolerant doesn’t belong in a Spirit Halloween movie […] Spirit Halloween: The Movie attempts to sprinkle in a touching backstory about Jake’s father along with the true meaning of the holiday, but both attempts fall very flat.” Josh at the Movies

” …the script is just a collection of horror tropes. Jake reads from the “Encyclopedia of Shadows” book his dad left him. A fortune teller animatronic display spooks the kids. The frights are tepid at best […] And the acting is mostly child actors rushing and slurring their lines with director David Poag not taking the time to get a clean take.” 1.5/4, Movie Nation

” …it’s an easy film for kids to enjoy. It’s a fun romp […] and the possessions of the animatronics were actually scarier and more interesting than Willy’s Wonderland. The Thriller-ish song was funky and danceable. The acting was fun and Spirit Halloween: The Movie is just a very easy watch.” Nightmarish Conjurings

Release date:
In the USA, Spirit Halloween: The Movie will be released theatrically on September 30, 2022, and then on DVD and On-Demand (VOD) on October 11, 2022. Rent or buy via Amazon Prime

“One of the reasons I immediately connected with the script is it is very much inspired by some of my favourite kid adventure films growing up from ‘The Goonies,’ ‘Gremlins,’ ‘Monster Squad’ and so many great films made by Amblin Entertainment,” said Noor Ahmed, president of Strike Back.

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