This is definitely my favorite of the Halloweentown movies I have watched so far. Yes, it comes across as a failed TV Show pilot, but I still enjoyed it more than the first two. I can’t believe it took me this long to really appreciate him, but the character of Marnie’s brother named Dylan Piper (Joey Zimmerman) is great.
He has a little bit of a subplot in this, but basically his character exists for the sole purpose of being a smartass in these movies. I like that.
The film opens up with Marnie (Kimberly J. Brown) acting liked she cured cancer or something by opening up the portal between the human world and Halloweentown. Up till now that was only open on Halloween. Now two way travel is possible all the time so that this film doesn’t have to re-hatch the plot of the first two films, but can continue really being about accepting people who are different from yourself. Since it seems all these movies or TV Shows with witches must have a council that the character is dragged before…
They really only exist so that there is some sort of thing on the line if Marnie’s dream of having some kids from Halloweentown attend a human high school fails. In this case, she loses her magic. And of course the deadline is midnight on Halloween. So there’s your setup.
Then since Debbie Reynolds will be damned before she’ll be upstaged by Sabrina, The Teenage Witch, which actually had Coolio in it, she references one of his most famous music videos. She pulls an endless stream of kids out of a VW Bug. For those of you too young to remember. Here’s Coolio’s cover of Fantastic Voyage.
Reynolds also comes with a living purse.
Yeah, screw you lady from Smart Cookies and your purse big enough to hold a severed head. Reynolds purse doubles as an attack dog. Reynolds not only arranged for the kids from Halloweentown, I mean Canada as there cover story says, to attend the school, but she is going to teach there too. Thankfully, they do next to nothing with that because the one scene where she really does that is embarrassingly bad.
There is a special locker through which the kids from Halloweentown can travel that acts as a lounge where they don’t have to wear their human costumes. This is when a short little part caught my ear. I even had to rewind it to make sure I heard it correctly. It’s not emphasized or anything, but it’s a nice little subtle touch. One of the girls talks about an experience she had with two “cheer leaders”. She says it the same way someone who isn’t from the human world would. Something like this isn’t too unusual in a movie with a plot like this, but it’s done with so little emphasis that you could miss it. It’s like when I notice a Hallmark movie that properly fakes a computer screen. Realistically, most of them don’t show the screen long enough for it to really need to be done with authenticity, but it shows they cared enough to get it right. That’s how this felt.
In this one Marnie has a romantic interest again. Or I should say there’s a guy who likes her, but the poor dude keeps getting screwed over by the plot when all he wants is to ask her out. She likes him and everything. She gets her metaphorical erection the moment he shows up, but the plot just keeps getting in the way.
As you can guess, the rest is mostly about acceptance. However, you need a villain. They come in the form of what are called knights. Just imagine one of those last episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise where Peter Weller tries to stop the creation of the Federation just before it’s formation. They want to keep the human world and Halloweentown separate and close the portal forever. This part takes a bit of a backseat to the whole getting along thing and only really pops up so that we can have a confrontation at the end.
This guy is the main baddy and I love this scene where he manifests himself at a Halloween fair the kids are having. Even before it happens, you know instantly that Debbie Reynolds is not going to have any of this man’s shit (excuse my language). And you’re right because she immediately smacks him down with her magic. I loved that.
Ultimately, it comes down to referencing Charmed by having the three Cromwell witches imprison the bad guy inside of a mirror. Then Marnie finally has nothing to get in her way of getting a little, so she takes the guy who has been trying to ask her out for a ride on her broomstick.
I honestly expected this to be worse than the previous two, but I really did enjoy this more. I still have to see the fourth one, but yeah, if you are going to watch these, then feel free to jump right to this one.