20 October 2018 | Blazehgehg
Takes a while to get going
Conceptually, Halloweentown is a breath of fresh air amidst endless kid-focused "halloween" movies, all of which usually fall in to a few narrow categories (halloween is ending forever, raising the undead, monsters come out for one night and befriend the children, etc.).
The story has a lot of potential, revolving around a secret world of monsters, familial drama about an ancient lineage of witches, and more. Unfortunately, the movie doesn't even run for a full 90 minutes and most of it is spent introducing our characters, their relationships, and showing off Halloweentown itself. It's not until the last 20 minutes that the movie's villain finally gets introduced, and the plot gains some much-needed forward momentum.
Most of the cast is colorful and fun, and the makeup effects for the monsters are great. Most of them are just rubber masks, but for a place called "Halloweentown" it's fitting that the place would look like a costume shop exploded. Not all characters are welcome, though, such as the little brother, Dylan. Dylan is your classic know-it-all, dropping unnecessary factoids in every scene and constantly denying all of the magic and monsters. Nobody in the movie seems to like him, and I personally found him aggressively annoying. It'd be a better movie without him.
It'd also be a better movie with a better soundtrack. The music used throughout the movie is what gives it most of its corny flair. It's bouncy and cartoony in a way that really makes the movie feel cheap.
Overall, it's a good movie for kids. It's more about looking at funny costumes and a silly world where Halloween is forever. Though there is a potential for a deeper story here, the narrative feels more like something that was added out of bare necessity than anything else. And for younger viewers, that's probably good enough.