In line with the Hollywood attitude that “any recognizable logo might as well be a feature film,” comes news today that the Spirit Halloween chain of temporary costume stores will be the subject of its own feature-length family horror film. Titled Spirit Halloween, naturally, the flick is reportedly intended as an Amblin-style teen adventure throwback ‘ala The Goonies or The Monster Squad, about a group of kids who get trapped in a haunted Spirit Halloween location overnight. It’s hard to know what to expect in terms of tone exactly, but we’re assuming this would be more in the realm of something like Goosebumps than the likes of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. As the synopsis reads:
“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 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 embark on a thrilling and spooky adventure in order to survive the night and avoid becoming possessed themselves.”
Of course, the real question here is whether there’s any cultural cache at all in the Spirit Halloween brand of all things, as a line of cheap, understaffed and haphazardly constructed temporary stores that are primarily visited by those without the patience or talent to make their own costumes. Most Spirits, in fact, tend to be housed inside larger, disused stores than they even require, resulting in the interior boundaries of the average Spirit being ringed with fake walls—our closest local location this past year didn’t even boast a public bathroom, in fact. Frankly, as a location for a feature film it has a certain air of patheticness to it, but that’s not terribly surprising in an era where everything from Play-Doh to Barbie is deemed worthy of feature film status.
The Spirit Halloween movie will reportedly star weathered Back to the Future star Christopher Lloyd, who has “creepy general manager” written all over him. The film will also star ‘90s heartthrob Rachel Leigh Cook and actress Marla Gibbs, alongside a cats of relative newcomers as its teen protagonists: Donavan Colan, Dylan Frankel, Jaiden Smith and Marissa Reyes. The film is the feature directorial debut of filmmaker David Poag, and was written by Billie Bates. Production has reportedly already wrapped, with an October 2022 release (naturally) being targeted. We’ll see in a few months if the trailer lives up to our initial misgivings.