In “The Curse of Bridge Hollow,” Howard Gordon (Marlon Wayans), his wife Emily (Kelly Rowland), and their daughter Sydney (Priah Ferguson) move from Brooklyn to a town called Bridge Hollow. The movie was directed by Jeff Wadlow and written by Todd Berger and Robert Rugan. It was based on a story by John R. Morey and Todd Berger. And since they are moving in on Halloween, the town is full of decorations and other things with scary themes. Now, Howard doesn’t like Halloween and Sydney doesn’t want to leave Brooklyn. It looks like Emily is the only one who isn’t too upset about the change. Sydney doesn’t want to become the person her father wants her to be, so she and Howard don’t get along very well. But when the ghost of Stingy Jack comes to haunt the town, they have to put aside their differences and work together to defeat this personification of evil.
Why are there so many signs for Stingy Jack in ‘The Curse Of Bridge Hollow’?
Emily asks Mayor Tammy (Lauren Lapkus) about why everyone in town is so obsessed with Stingy Jack when they run into each other. So, she tells them that, according to an Irish legend, a bad person named Stingy Jack was hanged until he died by the people of Bridge Hollow. She uses her intricately designed sweater to show them what she means. But the Devil felt sorry for Jack and gave him a pumpkin lantern whose flames were made of the fires of hell. And every Halloween, Jack goes back to Bridge Hollow to get back at the people who hurt him by marrying their children. What does that have to do with the Gordons? So, when Sydney goes to the Bridge Hollow cemetery, she meets Mario (Myles Vincent Perez), Ramona (Abi Monterey), and Jamie (Holly J. Barrett). People say that the Gordons moved into the house of Madam Hawthorne, the psychic who beat Stingy Jack.
Sydney is obviously interested in this piece of information. Assuming that Madam Hawthorne’s spirit lives in her house, she uses the Ouija board app to talk to her. Someone or something she doesn’t know leads her to a trunk with a pumpkin-shaped lantern in it. Sydney lights the lantern while she and her dad are fighting about her leaving the science team. This wakes up the ghost of Stingy Jack and lets his magic spread to the other Halloween decorations, bringing them to life. Sydney seems to want to find out what all this strange activity is leading up to, while Howard is more likely to dismiss it as people in the town making up practical magic tricks. In “The Curse of Bridge Hollow,” the main conflict is between someone who believes in the supernatural and someone who doesn’t. Sydney wants to be her own person, but Howard wants her to be the person he couldn’t be. This is another source of conflict.
Stingy Jack can only be stopped by Madam Hawthorne’s spell.
Sydney and Howard go to the Shady Appletree Retirement Home, where Madam Hawthorne’s granddaughter Victoria (Helen Slayton-Hughes) lives, to find out more about Hawthorne and the curse on Bridge Hollow. And the first thing Victoria says is that the lantern is made out of a turnip, not a pumpkin. When Sydney asks her to tell them more, she says that long ago, mystics from all over the world came to that house on a dark and stormy night to meet Josephine Hawthorne. They used her grimoire, which was a book of spells, to call up the spirit of Stingy Jack and stop him from coming to Bridge Hollow every year to cause trouble. But Jack had other ideas. He wanted every night to be Halloween, and he knew he could do that by swapping his soul with someone else’s in the “ever after.” It seems that Jack wanted Josephine’s soul for that reason. But because she put him in his lantern, his plan didn’t work. Now that his lantern is lit again, he has a second chance to make Halloween last forever in Bridge Hollow.
So, Sydney and Howard must find Hawthorne’s grimoire, say the spell, and put Jack’s spirit back in his lantern in order to beat him again. They are forced to take a very complicated but action-packed path to Principal Floyd (John Michael Higgins), who owns the grimoire and lives on Elm Street. This path is full of great SFX, VFX, and stunt work. Yes, there are references to “The Walking Dead,” “Nightmare on Elm Street,” “Killer Clowns from Space,” “Army of Darkness,” “Enter the Dragon,” and more in “The Curse of Bridge Hollow.” But it’s done well, and the movie doesn’t spend too much time on it. If you understand the joke, that’s great. If you can’t figure it out, the movie keeps going. Back to the story, Howard and the kids do find Hawthorne’s grimoire in Floyd’s house. But when the football-themed skeletons attack them outside, the football-themed skeletons burn the page of the book with the spell on it. This means they have to go to Hawthorne’s grave to wake up her spirit and ask her to repeat the spell for them.
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How do Howard and Sydney beat Stingy Jack at the end of “The Curse of Bridge Hollow”?
While Howard and the kids get the spell out of Hawthorne, the Halloween decorations that come to life head to the town fair to bring the statue of Stingy Jack to life. Howard and Sydney figure out that Jack is going to find his lantern and then send a soul to the afterlife so he can take over Bridge Hollow. Since the lantern is at the Gordon/Hawthorne house, where Emily is alone and doesn’t know what’s going on, Howard and Sydney know that Jack will target her. So, they rush to Emily’s aid in the Mayor’s jack-o’-lantern-themed car, since she and the rest of the town are busy fighting the moving decorations. And just as Jack is about to throw Emily into the void, Howard says the spell with all the force he can muster. This scary dream is over. Howard and Sydney lock up Jack’s lantern for good at the end of the movie. When they go up to the attic, they find a lot of other trunks that are probably full of Hawthorne’s secrets.
Howard and Sydney’s fight with Stingy Jack can be seen as a fight between good and evil, and at the end of the day, good will always win. But it’s also about newcomers who come to a town with old traditions and break them right away because they don’t know what will happen if they do. In a horror movie like “Midsommar,” the main characters get brutally punished for doing the same thing. In “The Curse of Bridge Hollow,” on the other hand, the main characters get to make things right because the movie wants to be kid-friendly. If this was a serious movie about a Black family inheriting the secrets of a White spiritualist (who has an estranged granddaughter), it would have had a lot of historical meanings about race and generational trauma. Maybe it’s in the movie’s genes. But since it doesn’t say much about the subject, that interpretation can only mean that a family is tricked into buying a cheap house because it has a history of being haunted. And last but not least, it’s about how the supernatural makes a strong believer in facts and science question his reality.
I don’t think “The Curse of Bridge Hollow” does a great job with the themes that are very clear in its script. Emily had very little to do with the lantern, so it seems strange that Jack chose her as his victim. Sydney would have been the more obvious choice, since she was the one who lit it. Also, I don’t like that Emily went from being a lawyer to a vegan baker. It seems like there’s a comment about how the town’s distance from modern society makes them more likely to believe in ghosts and have small fights with the town next door, which inadvertently feeds the supernatural. But none of that is talked about or noticed in depth. And, of course, Howard’s change from a non-believer to a believer looks way too “simple” because the story is set up to make the fiction weigh more than the facts. But despite all of these problems, the movie is still a lot of fun. It has some of the best special effects, visual effects, stunt work, action direction, and acting I’ve seen in a horror comedy in a long time. It’s clear that Marlon Wayans and Priah Ferguson are having a great time. That’s enough for me to want to watch this Netflix movie.