This thriller stars Emily Osment, Brittany Curran, Cody Linley, Alex Winzenread, and Tobin Bell. The story is about a family that just relocated to a new town and everyone is having to readjust. Cassie, played by Emily Osment, is the main character who is a girl in middle school with a different sense of style trying to fit in and make new friends. Because of her choice in clothes and interests the popular girl and drama queen Priscilla, played by Brittany Curran, singles Cassie out. While at home Cassie’s little brother Max, played by Alex Winzenread, is the typical annoying little sibling who is in constant need of attention. It’s Halloween and Cassie’s favorite time of year and she is stuck with having to babysit her little brother while her parents go to a party. Everything changes when she reads the book to her brother that she purchased in the shady Halloween store.
The film opens with some creepy instrumental music and sinister looking decorations and costumes that I liked as this set the tone very well. There were so many visual details about this movie that I liked such as the props, set design, decorations, and costumes throughout the movie. Another visual cue I caught was product placement and sponsors like Deer Park, Papa John’s Pizza, and Smiley Cookies. Each time these were shown in the film the labels were clearly visible. This did succeed in making me crave some Papa John’s Pizza but I was not bothered by it.
The movie was filmed in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania and the neighborhoods, buildings, and towns looked quaint and picturesque. This all added to the visual appeal of the movie. It made me want to visit this place in person. Each set was also visually appealing like the Halloween store and Cassie’s room.
At Cassie’s school for the Halloween dance, they crown someone as Pumpkin Queen. This is a great idea and wish that we had this when I was in school. The costumes during the Halloween dance were neat and unique like the Fortune Teller Booth and Kissing Booth. There is a large tiered Pumpkin cake at the dance that looked amazing.
I believe the actors for the film were great choices. Tobin Bell makes a very creepy stranger and owner of the Halloween store. He squints his eyes in such a way that sends shivers down my spine and adds to the eerie factor. Brittany Curran played the evil popular girl in a convincing way. Michael Dickson was the Papa John’s Pizza delivery guy and I felt the most sympathy for him because of his character’s situation. He had to work on Halloween, he was just trying to do his job, and he got kidnapped by a monster in the process.
The monster in the film is overly slimy and disgusting looking. The detailed work on it was convincing. Like in most of the thrillers, horror/scary stories the parents are ignorant and oblivious to the real situation at hand. And of course they are the ones responsible for starting the terror of the monster all over again.
I was able to sympathize with Emily Osment in how she portrayed Cassie as the frustrated older sister. I liked this character the most because she was clever and a quick thinker and I like the Goth look and style that they gave her. She carries around several books during the film and one of them is 50 Horror Masterpieces, which is a book I would like to find for myself. [ I was not able to catch the name of the author or publisher.]
The film is good for all ages although the monsters might be too scary for little kids. I recommend it to anyone looking for a little thrill, a Halloween movie, or something that is an overall feel good movie. I have added this film to my personal collection because it meets pretty much all of my requirements for a good movie. I do wish that the end credits would have kept with the spooky cliffhanger ending though. Instead it ends with Emily Osment singing a pop song. The music with lyrics and singing throughout the movie is not a strong point but did not detract from the film however.