There have been worse family-friendly Halloween films than "The Curse of Bridge Hollow." Heck, there have even been worse Halloween films starring Marlon Wayans (see 2012's "A Haunted House," or on second thought, don't).
A few mildly scary sequences and maybe a handful of curse words are the worst of what you'll find in "The Curse of Bridge Hollow" (now streaming on Netflix), a film that is not "good" by any means, but one that at least isn't painful to sit through. The bar is high when it comes to Marlon Wayans comedies, I guess.
At least "The Curse of Bridge Hollow" has the good grace to keep itself contained to under 90 minutes. Wayans is Howard, an uptight Dad who is moving his family into a new home in the town of Bridge Hollow. His wife, Emily (Kelly Rowland) and his teenage daughter, Sydney (Priah Ferguson) in tow, they discover right away that this town is OBSESSED (and will later be "possessed") by the Halloween spirit.
Their neighbor (an amusing Rob Riggle) has decked out his entire lawn, and has invented a clever scare for any kiddos reaching in to get candy out of the coffin in his front yard.
Taking a page from nearly every other Halloween film, the family's house is cursed, and there is only one specific day where a special ritual must be performed in order to get rid of the ancient haunts for good. These ghouls begin possessing all of the Halloween decorations in town, and can always be identified by their glowing red eyes.
This movie belongs to Sydney, who befriends some paranormal-loving kids in the town as they try to fight this unspoken evil. But much of her time is spent trying to convince Dad to take a leap away from his rigid science-based beliefs. Not exactly the right sort of message one wants to send in this day-and-age, but OK.
There aren't many laughs, nor are there many scares. But everyone seems to be having a good time. "The Curse of Bridge Hollow" is harmless...not exactly what a Halloween movie aims to be...but it just doesn't do enough to make itself stand-out in any way.
If anything, it is an effective cautionary tale about the dangers of over-doing your home in Halloween decorations, which I guess, is a worthy-enough message that I hope makes a difference.
Genre: Comedy, Family.
Run Time: 1 hour 29 minutes.
Starring: Marlon Wayans, Priah Ferguson, Lauren Lapkus, Kelly Rowland, Nia Vardalos, Rob Riggle, John Michael Higgins.
Directed by Jeff Wadlow ("Fantasy Island," "Kick-Ass 2," "Never Back Down," "Cry Wolf").
"The Curse of Bridge Hollow" is streaming on Netflix as of Friday, October 14th, 2022.
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