Hello, Spongey here.
Well, it’s time to revisit the first DCOM Month. If you haven’t read my HalloweenTown review, please do. Or watch the first movie cuz I don’t want to explain it.
The tale of a girl who found out she was witch and the town full of monsters where it’s Halloween all the time, captured people so much that they made 3 sequels to it.
Here’s the first one…or 2nd one if you will. It was made about 3 years after the first one, and was an even bigger hit. I remember liking it even more than the first one, but let’s see if it truly is.
This, is HalloweenTown II: Kalabar’s Revenge.
The opening credits of the first film called him “Calabar” but here, it’s with a K. I don’t get it.
The movie starts off with Marnie recapping the events of the first film, with the title appearing as she does so. Kind of a lazy to start off compared to the titles of the first one, but okay.
The story proper begins at Marnie’s house, during a Halloween party. If you recall, Grandma Aggie stayed here at the end of the last movie to start Marnie’s witch training. Marnie is still weird though obviously matured.
Mom is still…well Mom while Aggie is still quirky. AS Sophie talks with Aggie about HalloweenTown and such, we see she is most important this time around. Also, last time I said Luke was a troll…he’s actually a goblin. Whoops!
Oh, and Remember how Mom learned to accept the whole witch thing? Well, that goes out the window cuz She’s still not sure. She still wants Marnie to learn thing’s her way and yada yada yada. Like in the first again, I get it, but why reset it so that she hasn’t learned anything?
Marnie still wants to do this cuz it’s her heritage. Also, she wants to spend a year in HalloweenTown for training, which I guess is the problem. Now, I’m okay cuz that’s a pretty big move.
Their conversation is interrupted by some dude named Cal and his dad, Alex. Cal is the new love intr-i mean kid. Of course Alex is cool and mom has the hots for him. So Marnie takes Cal on a tour of the house and they make small talk.
Oh, and the brother Dylan-
…That’s not dylan. That’s a high schooler. It’s only been a year, and Dylan was clearly damn young last time. That has to a new actor.
…Wait, it’s the same guy?! DAMN! Who grows THAT fast in only a year? Even in real life, the actor aged way too fast!
Anyway, he is still nerdy and snarky as well as more mature as he hits on some ladies. But he’s still not into Halloween, so nothing has changed.
So Marnie is feeling rebellious and shows Cal Grandma’s room…her witch room. Yeah, show a stranger a witches room and threaten revealing her secret. Great idea. Sure, he thinks it’s fake but still.
Also, fun fact: This movie is where I learned about the term “Warlock”.After they snark about Aggie’s spell book, Marnie turns back and when she isn’t looking…Cal uses his powers to shrink the book and take it.
DUN. DUN DUN!
I’m glad they got the SHOCKING TWIST out of the way quickly. Cal leaves but the party rages on. But things are not well, as Aggie’s bottomless purse is no longer bottomless. It’s connected to her house in HalloweenTown so they should pop back in and check it out.
Aggie runs it by Mom who agrees to it after some persuasion. Also gives them her head phones…as in walkie talkie’s only they are heads. They always said Aggie gave nice head.
BA DUM CRASH.
Anyway, Marnie and Aggie head out but it seems like the bus is missing. So they have to call up the portal themselves. They arrive home…but all is not well. The whole town is gray and boring, and so are the people.
And everyone seems unaware.
“These are very comfortable sensible shoes. I think I’ll buy some more”
This whole scene is actually pretty creepy. Even Luke has turned dull, though still kind of a dick. Also, he’s human again. Also, he’s played by Arnold from Hey Arnold, at least in two seasons.
“Why are you turning grey?”
“Everybody’s doing it”
Aggie guess is that this is the cause of a spell. The spell is turning everyone into boring humans.
“This is the caricature of humans in HalloweenTown”
This movie has the most fascinating ideas of any of the four films.
So they have to find the exact spell and say it backwards. She calls up Dylan and tells him to get her spell book. My phone rang at this exact moment. It was weird.
Anyway, the Spell book is gone for reasons I already know. Marnie admits she was in Aggie’s room with Cal. Sophie said earlier that she felt someone coming, and thinks it was Cal.
The two try to teleport back home, but the grey spell prevents them from doing so. …And also Cal who pops up-
As a crappy/creepy CGI effect. Yep, he did this spell. He’s a warlock. So this movie pulled the evil boyfriend trope 26 minutes in. I have to say, thanks for doing It quickly instead of dragging it out.
“You tricked me.”
“You’ll get over it”
So why did he do this?
“You’re Kalabar’s son!”
DUN. DUN. DUN!
“I didn’t know Kalabar had a child”
“He didn’t want people to know”
I can let this forced bit slide for now. So, yeah, it’s the whole “You stopped my dad from killing you , so it’s my turn” thing.
“Cromwell’s dominate no one”
“Then why did you let mortals take charge of the earth?”
Oh yeah, it’s that motivation. Okay, cliché, but it works. Plus, he has a cool voice. Marnie turns his “join me” offer down, but he says the “finale” will go down in the mortal world. Spoiler alert!
The creepy Zordon love child leaves. So now the race is on to stop Cal from taking over the worlds. So they must head to Aggie’s house via Taxi. Which means more Benny…as a dull human? Drat.
Aggie’s house was sadly affected by the spell. Thankfully, there’s another copy of her spell back. The other being in her house. You think it would vanish cuz of the spell, but okay.
One montage later, they can’t find it. But then…Luke turns back to “normal”? Huh? Aggie says the spell may be temporary…which is kind of dumb but okay.
Anyway, the spell book is lost. Which is a good thing. Why?
“Everything’s that lost in both worlds ends up at Gort’s house”
Gort isn’t a weird dude from space here to preach to us. No, he’s the junkman of the universe. W also get a scene back at home, where Cal’s dad invites Mom to a costume party. So who is Cal’s “dad” anyway? Some random guy?
Anyway, Gort’s house is pretty damn clean now, and so is Gort. He says he sold all his crap, and only kept useful books. Which means no Spell book. Also the spell starts affecting Aggie, which means time is short.
“I can’t. The grey spell is draining our powers”
CGI Cal reappears to reveal he pulled some of this to get them to Gort’s house, and he also says his “Dad” is a “science experiment” which answers my question. Marnie turns him down again, so he leaves again.
Aggie revels that she knows of a banned spell that can turn costumed humans into creatures. So his plan is to pull this at the big costume party at midnight.
Back on earth, Dylan saw earlier that a frog popped up after Cal’s dad left, and later he showed up in a frog costume. Sophie thinks this means he is a golem, but of course he doesn’t buy it cuz Mom really likes this guy.
And now back to Halloween Town. Things are pretty grim with Aggie being dullified. Marnie needs a way to get out of the spell without breaking it. Cuz spells have backdoors like computers do with hackers or whatever.
Cal put a spell on the house so they won’t leave, but Marnie finds a loophole..
Didn’t I already review Minutemen?
Aggie gives Marnie the time travel spell. After she does so, she turns 100 percent dull and starts sorting socks with Gort. It’s hilarious.
So Marnie and Luke try out the spell and go back to 5 minutes ago, where their past selves don’t see them. She tries it again and ends up with cavemen. Before nick cage can get her, Marnie…ends up in some place with Cal, and Luke is gone.
Cal is one step ahead, isn’t he? He acts all creepy before leaving without explanation. Marnie ignores this and goes back to Gort’s house, a few years ago. And Luke is there, making that list bit pointless.
Non-boring Gort is gross, of course. Marnie tries to get him off their backs by saying Aggie said some nice things about him.
“That’s very sweet…I hate it when people are sweet!”
Ah, one of those guys, eh?
Marnie then tells him about the horrible future his house will go under. He takes it well.
So he decides to help look for the spell book. Remember, Aggie lost it years ago, so it’s here. Eventually, Gort says Kalabar bought it from him. Wah wah. Wait, why didn’t Kalabar show them that fact in the last movie? Whatever.
“Cal must have had Grandma’s other spell book all along. And the only reason he took it out of our house was-“
‘to stop you from undoing the spell”
I must say, the plot is well thought out, and these are some really good turns going on here.
Dylan and Sophie show up at the costume party cuz of the whole Cal’s dad thing. Mom is not happy that they are here, but Sophie tries to explain what is going on. Mom doesn’t buy it even though Aggie’s word is usually right.
But whatever, back to Gort’s house. Luke remembers how the spell wore off for him. Earlier, Marnie told Aggie something other than “spell” to snap Aggie out of it for a moment to write the time travel spell. Luke thinks this is the key to undoing the grey spell.
“I think I called it a trap, I said “Something to get us out of this trap, a spell or a charm”
Long story short, the word they are looking for Is “apart”. Which is “trapa” backwards. Trapa makes Gort normal, while apart makes him human. For an evil spell, that’s pretty simple, but whatever.
So they have to get back to the present…but they look the time travel spell. Anything lost in Gort’s house is gone forever. But of course.
Gort sounds like yoda with a cold.
Marnie forget the spell, so they are sort of fucked. There’s a scene back on earth where Sophie pulls up a fly in front of Cal’s dad…who then eats it.
Now Mom buys it. Of course Cal’s dad is pretty much fucked, and admits it. Mom then turns him into frogs out of anger. So Cal’s “dad” was easily defeated…huh.
So Mom calls up Marnie but sadly long distance doesn’t count in time travel. Back at Gort’s h says he has a timeline a wizard lost once. It’s pretty much a closet with a nonsteller blackhole looking thing.
So they get on Manie’s fancy broom and fly to the present. The green screen isn’t too awful, thank god. But Cal is about to unleash his spell back on earth at the party…
Marnie and Luke pop up back at Gort’s place in the present. She un-dulls Aggie. With Aggie back in tow, they try to get through the portal…but it closes right at midnight. It’s too late. Wah wah wah wah WAAAAAAH!
The humans have turned into their costumes, thanks to Cal. I really love moments like this where all seems lost. In a sequel, that’s really welcome.
“We’re gonna be stuck here for a year in mortal world time!”
Aggie’s plan is to wait. Yeah ,cal won’t have taken over by then. Marnie blames herself, in a sort of interesting moment. But Marnie gets an idea to open the portal themselves. After all ,the portal was first made by magic, and Cromwell magic is pretty damn good.
So she calls up Sophie and Dylan to help create the portal. Even Luke joins in, as he says he now believes anything is possible. . So through the power of…power they all team up and summon a portal to the mortal world.
I love these team up moments. They even topped the first one with sheer awesome! Cal is shocked, as most villains are when this kind of thing happens. They three arrive home to Mom. Sophie, and Dylan.
Cal is not pleased by this, and hams it up. Marnie tells him to fuck off. She pleads with him to give it up but being a villain, he doesn’t.
“Don’t let your father’s hate decide for you”
Marnie says she isn’t afraid of no warlock. She asks for Aggie’s Spell book back. . Kal produces vines and takes both spell books in an attempt to prove his own superiority. But by the power of…power, Marnie takes them booth…and Cal is sent away.
That…makes no sense. She just takes the books and somehow the vines take him away? What a climax!
“He’ll be back”
“We’ll be waiting for him”
He never shows up the other sequels. So much for that.
Aggie reserves the spell. All the humans just brush it off as …something. Mom is also safe and back to normal. Marnie says she can never stop Aggie and mom from fighting but at least Marnie has proved that witch craft aint’ all bad. Mom says the kids can visit Halloween when they want since they can go back and forth all they want.
They address that issue in the next movie, but I’ll say that for Halloween. So Marnie and the others pop up back to HalloweenTown to make it…well not dull. Long story short, they do so.
AGGIE: So this world wide web I’ve heard about…does it involve spiders?
If you’re into that sort of thing, yes.
And…then it just kind of ends as it backs up from HalloweenTown. No real conclusion this time around. The fire movie even did this a bit better. But ah well, it still works, even with the anti-climax. The movie is about an hour 19 minutes when the credits roll, and it’s time well spent.
As far as a sequels go, this one was pretty good. It takes everything that made the first HalloweenTown good and makes it even better. The mythology is expanded, the characters do more, and the stakes are raises.
Granted, it has its share of clichés, but some are done quickly or even well. Cal is a decent villain, who hams it up and has a passable motivation The new characters’ like Gort, are great and I just love the concepts, like the time travel stuff.
We really see how Marnie grows and becomes more powerful. She’s put in bigger situations and I like to see her get out of them. Aggie is given less to do, but for good reason. Luke is a bit useless but he has his moments.
Dylan and Sophie do more than I covered, but I do wish they entered the plot more. But I do like Sophie’s extended role. Though Cal’s dad kind of…vanishes at the end. The climax is the only big thing that bugged me.
Aside from that, I love the semi-darker tone, the higher stakes, and how they expanded everything. This is a near perfect sequel for what it is. It serves as a good sequel, while also standing on it’s own. It’s great fun and best seen right after the first one.
Only two more to go..