Saturday, October 10, 2015

Double, Double, Toil and Trouble

Director - Stuart Margolin (Quantum Leap)
Starring - Mary-Kate Olsen (Full House), Ashley Olsen (Full House), and Cloris Leachman (My Boyfriend's Back)
Release Date - 1993
Genre - Horror/Comedy
Format - DVD (Personal Collection)

Rating (out of 5):
     We are now fully in October with Halloween quickly approaching.  October is an exciting month for me.  I celebrate my birthday during this month and we also have Halloween to look forward to.  This holiday is full of folklore, stories, traditions, and most importantly, candy.  I watch horror movies everyday.  Hell, sometimes I watch two or three a day so for me horror is not just something to do every October but it is a way of life.  I'm not saying that to show off or brag but I do watch horror movies daily and my reviews show this.  However, when October approaches I want to watch Halloween oriented films regardless if they are horror movies intended for adults and gorehounds or cute Halloween fun filled films for children.  This is a crusade that I recently started on Facebook.  I want to bring Halloween films back to October and not just horror movies in general.  The first film I grabbed was the 1993 children's film Double, Double, Toil and Trouble starring the Olsen twins.  Several horror fans raised hell about this on Facebook saying it was stupid to watch this and so on.  What is so stupid about watching a Halloween movie in October?  Not a damn thing!  This was one I had not seen before but my wife is a fan so I tossed the DVD in and enjoyed.
     The film follows twins Kelly and Lynn Farmer who live with their parents with Halloween approaching.  Their father's business is not doing the best and they are about to lose their home so their parents swallow their pride and visit their hateful old aunt that lives alone in a mansion.  They go inside to speak with her and leave the girls in the car for fear their aunt will not take kindly to having them in the home.  The girls leave the car and find a caretaker digging a grave where he tells them a story about their aunt and how she once had a twin sister but used magic to lock her in a mirror.  She has until Halloween to keep her in the mirror before it becomes permanent.  The two sister wait until Halloween to sneak away from their parents and enlist the help of a well spoken homeless man and a party clown to help rescue their nice aunt, vanquish their evil aunt, and save their home before it's too late. 
     Now, before I continue I want to address all those assholes that want to comment below.  I know nothing I say will stop you but I feel the urge to address a few things.  You are right, this is not a horror movie and it does star two spoiled brats that prevents a solid story from being better.  You, too, are right.  This is a big budgeted film that was considered main stream at the time of release.  I typically focus on indie horror but with Halloween approaching I wanted a Halloween film and this film satisfied that wanting.  The film was a fun Halloween film intended for children that just does not get mentioned anymore.  Sure, I could toss in American Guinea Pig or something like it but I want something that will put me in the Halloween spirit and this film did the job.  The acting in this one is not the best but decent considering the film's main stars were only 6 or 7 when the film was shot.  They have a hard time not looking at the camera but for the most part they do a decent job.  With that being said, the film would have worked better if the film followed older siblings with more experience and maturity.  I also really enjoyed Cloris Leachman's performance.  She does great in her dual role as the nice aunt and the witch.  Her role as a witch is amazing and made me wish the film focused more on that character than it did.  She was absolutely amazing.  The film has an amazing supporting cast as well with great performances from Wayne Robson (known as the old man from Wrong Turn), Meshach Taylor (Mr. Wright in Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide), and horror icon Phil Fondacaro who is known for his roles in Tales from the Crypt: Bordello of Blood, Phantasm II, Ghoulies II, The Garbage Pail Kids Movie, and so many more.  This film has one hell of a cast.  The story for this one is one that has been in several television shows and films during the 70s, 80s, and 90s focusing on a child or group of children that have to do something to avoid a great catastrophe by a certain time (i.e. Monster Squad).  This story was not that original but it did incorporate a great deal of Halloween into it which was really fun and made up for the originality.  Finally, the film does not have any kill scenes due to the fact that it was made for children but that didn't stop it from capturing some great atmosphere and tension.  The film has some great atmosphere and is able to capture that dark house vibe perfectly.  This is another reason we had more focus on the evil aunt than what we were given.  Overall, Double, Double, Toil and Trouble is a pretty fun Halloween film intended for children. This will be one of the first Halloween films I show my daughter when she is old enough to fully understand the holiday...right after Ernest Scared Stupid of course.  If you are looking for a simple Halloween film then be sure to grab this one.  I definitely had some fun with this one.  

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