Hello, my darling readers!
Let’s talk about the final movie in the Halloweentown franchise, Return to Halloweentown. Shall we?
The Plot (as found on Rotten Tomatoes):
On the eve of Halloweetown’s 1000th anniversary celebration, Witch University student Marnie Piper (Sara Paxton) must enlist the aid of two close friends in order to finally reveal a long-buried secret hidden in an ancient prophecy. Marnie has just won a full scholarship to the prestigious Witch University in Halloweentown, and she’s eager to begin studying up on alchemy, amulets, and magic potions. While Marnie is all set to become Witch University’s most popular coed, the new ban on magic at the school poses something of a problem for the young witch eager to realize her true powers. Later, Marnie discovers an ancient prophecy that holds the key to unlocking a legendary secret. Now, in order to ensure that Halloweentown’s Millennial Celebration goes off without a hitch, Marnie will call on her old friends Ethan (Lucas Grabeel) and Benny the Skeleton in addition to seeking out the wisdom of new pals Professor Periwinkle and Aneesa the Genie. Will Marnie and her friends be able to fend off the evil that threatens to consume Halloweentown, or could it be that this strange and supernatural town has been marked for destruction since the day it was founded?
So, the story isn’t that bad and the movie has it’s moments but there are some huge issues we need to discuss.
First of all, they recast Marnie for no fathomable reason whatsoever. What I gathered from interviews and stuff is that even the original actress Kimberley J. Brown was surprised. It’s not that Sarah Paxton is doing a bad job, but the Halloweentown franchise kind of hinges on Marnie and just recasting her without rhyme or reason is weird, annoying, and pissed of a good amount of fans.
Furthermore, neither grandma Aggie nor Sophie are in this movie which kind of ruins the thing. Those two were some of the best bits in this whole franchise and their absence is definitely noted.
Again, why does everything have to look so freaking cheap? At some point, Paxton has to wear a blond wig that looks like they ordered it from Amazon for 5$. Was that seriously the best they could do?!
Otherwise, the movie was actually pretty darn decent. Had I seen it outside of the franchise context I probably would have liked it better as the absences noted above wouldn’t have come to my attention.
Although Return to Halloweentown is a decent flick, it suffers from the absence of some of its best cast members. If you haven’t seen the other films, you’ll be fine. Otherwise, you’ll probably be annoyed.
Did you watch this film? Let me know in the comments!