The October release of The Curse of Bridge Hollow on Netflix is appropriate. The autumnal feelings and joyful yet spooky sentiments that are normally associated with a kid-friendly version of Halloween serve as their basis. Due to this, any tendency to view things critically is diminished, and the impulse to simply go with the flow and have fun is high. Unfortunately, The Curse of Bridge Hollow has many problems that make it difficult to simply enjoy the holiday pleasures.
The plot of The Curse of Bridge Hollow is not unique. Howard Gordon (Marlon Wayans), an overbearing but ultimately loving science teacher, struggles to empathize with Sydney, his moderately rebellious adolescent daughter (Priah Ferguson). When a “recommended” course of action conflicts with personal preference — self-defense classes and small-town life supplant ballet and a reluctance to change area codes – conflicts develop.
The most recent conflict is a result of Sydney's belief in the supernatural. After discovering the town's overtly sinister history, she attempts to warn her father of impending danger. However, Howard has trouble believing in supernatural occurrences. Even after seeing numerous Halloween decorations come to life, he feels there must be a rational explanation. Chaos ensues.
Netflix has been in the horror genre for some years, but for this year's original Halloween offerings, the streaming service has squarely targeted younger consumers.
The Curse of Bridge Hollow has debuted ahead of Wendell & Wild later this month, with Stranger Things star Priah Ferguson in her first leading role. After her family moves to the little village of Bridge Hollow, she portrays Sydney, who unwittingly awakens an ancient spirit.
In a twist on the Stingy Jack legend, this figure was killed by the inhabitants of Bridge Hollow centuries ago, but the Devil gave him a lantern so he might return every Halloween to seek vengeance. As Stingy Jack brings Halloween decorations to life, Sydney and her Halloween-hating father Howard (Marlon Wayans) band together to save the town from Stingy Jack.
The Curse of Bridge Hollow is a family-friendly horror comedy with overtones of the Goosebumps film. It combines light scares with humorous quips. It is intended mainly for younger kids, but it was created by horror lovers, so there are plenty of references for the adults watching.
It helps that director Jeff Wadlow keeps the action moving quickly. Stingy Jack begins causing havoc at the 20-minute mark, and what follows is a series of gruesome set pieces interspersed with information dumps to keep the plot moving. Although none of it is really novel, it is entertainingly executed.
When it comes to undead Halloween décor, Wadlow prioritizes humor over fright, unless you have a fear of clowns. If you're not a fan of Marlon Wayans, you may find his broad humor here to be too cheesy, but there's no doubting his dedication to the film's sillier moments.