The Cromwell family returns in this second film of the Disney Channel saga with a villain who has revenge on his mind.
Having finally accepted herself as a half-witch, half-mortal, Marnie Piper is happy. She has been allowed by her mother Gwen to spend time in both the mortal world and the world of Halloweentown, where her grandmother Aggie lives. Her heroic efforts against Kalabar has caused her to be praised in the latter. However, a plan has been set in motion against the Cromwell family, courtesy of a young warlock named Kal.
Kal is the son of Kalabar, the warlock whose attempt to take over Halloweentown was thwarted by the Cromwell family. Having a taste of revenge, Kal steals Aggie’s spellbook and plans to bring Halloweentown into the mortal world by using his magic to turn mortals into monsters and turn Halloweentown into a world full of gloom. Despite Marnie’s pleas for him to stop, Kal is hellbent. In order to stop him, Marnie must return to Halloweentown and rely on the aid of old friend Luke and his new mentor, Gort, who may have the key to help Marnie and her family stop Kal and see him for who he can be before it’s too late.
The Cromwell family saga continues with their second adventure in which young Marnie once again proves to be the ace needed to thwart another plan to save Halloweentown. However, while the motive of revenge is something seen to death numerous times, the idea of changing two worlds offers something a bit fresh for the motif.
Kimberly J. Brown and Debbie Reynolds return to their signature roles as Marnie and Grandma Aggie, who once again plan to team up to save Halloweentown with now even the mortal world in danger as well. The core cast has returned for this film, even with Phillip Van Dyke making a more extended cameo as the goblin Luke. New cast member Daniel Kountz breaks out as Kal, the son of original villain Kalabar, who uses Marnie to get to her grandmother’s spellbook to cause havoc among both worlds as a means for “making amends” with his defeated father.
Blu Mankuma makes for a welcome addition as Gort, a Halloweentown resident who is the equivalent of a hoarder today, collecting loads of junk and becomes the key to help Marnie and her family stop Kal. The film also makes good use of Peter Wingfield, who plays a golem disguised to be Kal’s “father” to distract Gwen, once again reprised by Judith Hoag. Emily Roeske and Joey Zimmerman have more to do in the film as Marnie’s siblings Sophie and Dylan, who are also half-mortal and half-witch, and it bodes well with the film having a bit more of a dark tone.
Halloweentown II: Kalabar’s Revenge has a bit of a darker tone and is the darkest of the film series, but it still bolds pretty well, bringing something fresh in terms of using the classic revenge motif.
WFG RATING: B
A Disney Channel production. Director: Mary Lambert. Producer: Peter Lhokta. Writers: Jon Cooksey and Ali Marie Matheson; based on the characters created by Paul Bernbaum. Cinematography: Tony Westman. Editing: Sharyn L. Ross.
Cast: Kimberly J. Brown, Debbie Reynolds, Judith Hoag, Joey Zimmerman, Emily Roseke, Daniel Kountz, Peter Wingfield, Phillip Van Dyke, Blu Mankuma.