Halloween Is Grinch Night, 1977 – ★★★

A prequel to ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’ made 11 years AFTER that film and despite being known as ‘Halloween is Grinch Night’ there isn’t a single mention of Halloween anywhere in this thing.

Instead we have the story of a young boy named Ucheria who, while on a trip to the bathroom during a sour sweet smelling storm ends up being blown directly into the path of The Grinch! Who’s heading down to Whoville while the storm rages with a ‘Paraphinalia wagon’ to unleash Untold horrors on Whoville. (Apparently he can only do this on storm days)

Honestly? It’s kind of middling. I don’t think it’s objectively bad, and it has that much loved Dr. Seuss style well and truly in tact in terms of visuals ans art direction.

But it’s just kind of a ‘nothing’ story. The Grinch isn’t particularly grumpy here, in fact he’s delighted for the most part, there’s a lot of repetition, the pacings kind of on the slow side…it feels like a book that shouldn’t have been adapted to TV…and that’s because it WAS a book originally that ended up being adapted for ABC.

It’s not interesting enough as a plot to really hold my attention and when the credits rolled I legitimately was like ‘Well…that was 30 minutes’. If it disappeared tomorrow I don’t think I’d be that bothered.

The performances are okay enough, not as good as the first film, they don’t really animate their voices all that much, it sounds ‘off brand’ to me. I think Karloffs absence hits this thing quite hard.

As does the lack of a *spark* behind the soundtrack. It sounds like ‘Grinch who stole christmas’ and that’s the problem, it sounds like a sound alike. Like a score TRYING to capture the success of the original. And as such it all comes across as ‘samey’ and uninspired.

I was surprised that this thing even existed quite honestly, but having seen it, I don’t think I’ve missed out on anything over the years. We have a time killer of a script married up to some colourful and solid cine and direction. But this thing feels wholley unoriginal. It’s nothing more than a vibrant Yawn.

source https://letterboxd.com/tytdreviews/film/halloween-is-grinch-night/

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