The Curse of Bridge Hollow (2022)

The Curse of Bridge Hollow
Director: Jeff Wadlow
Writer: Todd Berger, Robert Rugan, John R. Morey
Cast: Marlon Wayans, Priah Ferguson, Kelly Rowland, John Michael Higgins, Lauren Lapkus, Rob Riggle, Nia Vardalos, Abi Monterey, Holly J. Barrett, Myles Perez, Helen Slayton-Hughes
Seen on: 21.11.2022

Sydney (Priah Ferguson) is less than happy that she has to move with her parents Howard (Marlon Wayans) and Emily (Kelly Rowland) to the small town of Bridge Hollow. But things are looking up a little when she realizes that Bridge Hollow takes Halloween extremely seriously. Howard has never liked Halloween, so Sydney sees it as an opportunity to catch up on lost time – and maybe annoy her father a little. When she stumbles upon an old Halloween decoration in the attic, she inadvertently sets off an old curse that brings all the Halloween decorations in Bridge Hollow to life. Now Sydney and Howard have to put aside their animosities to keep serious harm from the town.

The Curse of Bridge Hollow is a nice Halloween movie for kids, hitting just the right balance between scary and fun to appeal to children. But it is also a little too familiar and frantic to appeal outside of that demographic.

The film poster showing the central characters arranged in front of a full moon and above Halloween decorations bathed in a red glow and red fog.

I don’t usually like the kind of criticisms that pretend that children’s movies can be bad because children don’t know quality anyway, so who the fuck cares. Children have tastes and they deserve good films. So when I say that The Curse of Bridge Hollow will appeal to kids and not much beyond, it is not because it is a bad film. It is simply a film that relies on many, many tropes and depending on how familiar you are with those, it will appeal more or less to you. Kids tend to not have seen that many films yet and so might find a freshness in The Curse of Bridge Hollow that was lacking for me.

It is not a film without charm. Ferguson is wonderful as Sydney with her no-nonsense line delivery that grounds the fantastic elements. Wayans does his thing, that is be loud and fast and have exaggerated facial expressions. You might not like his style, but it is clear what you’re getting and he does it well. Rowland is short-changed in a film that focuses yet again on the father-daughter relationship (at least they didn’t kill off the mom here, but honestly, with the never-ending jokes about her vegan baking, it might have been a relief if they had). A few familiar faces crop up in the supporting cast to do what they always do, and that’s not without joy.

Sydney (Priah Ferguson) and her father Howard (Marlon Wayans) hiding and looking very worried.

The come-to-life Halloween decorations are nicely done overall, especially when they turn to more practical effects and costumes. The clowns are downright creepy, and I say this as someone who is not particularly scared of clowns in general. So, if you’re looking for some kids-friendly horror, you can turn to this film.

But while it is entertaining enough while it lasts, it is not a film that will ultimately stay in your memory for very long or is very likely to become a family favorite.

Howard (Marlon Wayans), Principal Floyd (John Michael Higgins) and Sydney (Priah Ferguson) looking shocked.

Summarizing: it’s fine.

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