The Christmas spirit brings ghostly glee to Halloween
October 18, 2017
First and foremost, I would like to apologize to those five people who I told I was reviewing "Scooby Doo and the Witch’s Ghost," as it turns out that every quality "Scooby Doo" movie is not available for streaming.
For a moment I almost considered not writing this column this week as I could not find the appropriate Halloween movie for an October review. However, I thought of those art students who use my articles to wrap their pottery and persevered.
I decided that almost any movie with a slight allusion to ghosts would have to do.
Enter "The Spirit of Christmas."
You may be thinking that this movie is simply a Christmas movie, but dear god it is so much more.
I almost passed it up until I read the Netflix description: “a woman oversees the sale of an inn, where she falls for a handsome but cursed ghost.”
Forget "Twilight," "Beautiful Creatures," and whatever other romantic creature-based movies Hollywood is trying to tell.
Ghost loving time.
The beginning is just this dude wading through the snow in the Christmas season, wearing old clothes and stuff, seeing this random lady get hugged. Judging by his reaction this is obviously from a time when women didn’t have rights.
Anyway, he gets straight up murdered with a rock.
Fast-forward to a time when women do have rights. This girl Kate is getting broken up with by her boyfriend, apparently because she has no emotions. Whatever-his-name-is is trying to be all nice about it, but she isn’t having it. This woman wants to be dragged.
Kate starts listing off the reasons why men don’t want to date her, all of which kinda had me there, like, same.
She also steals his dessert. Also same.
Anyway, it’s really a useless scene except for one line of dialogue, “(An ex boyfriend) … called me his phantom girl.” Little does she know she’s going to be a phantom’s girl. 10/10 great dialogue, could have ended the scene here and skipped straight to ghost loving.
Kate does something legal. I think she’s an attorney or something, but I’m not sure. Apparently, whatever she is also requires realtor skills because her boss tells her to sell this creepy, sad inn. Kate is not about it.
She rolls up to this inn and there’s snow, sadly no hint of Christmas yet. It’s kind of just a dirty place, not really a bad one, so the only real reason that no one wants to buy it is probably ghosts.
Even the inside is nice, but Kate doesn’t care about that. She sees a beautiful photo of a beautiful dead guy, she looks at him and is like, “oh yeah.”
She keeps asking people why no one wants to go there and all of them say, “ghosts, man.”
Which you know kinda makes sense but not really. It makes even less sense when she’s looking at the model-quality photo of said dead hot guy and the dude who owns the inn says, “Yeah if there was a ghost it would probably be that hot guy.”
This made me think I’d also want to go to a hot ghost inn.
Kate stays the night in the Hot Ghost Motel and immediately something is up because doors be flying open and no one’s there.
Even though these doors are flying open when no one is there, Kate thinks, “Yeah I’ll just take this pen knife and stab whatever opened my door. Even though there was literally nothing there.”
She's walking around with her little shiv and someone comes out of nowhere, Hottie McGhostie. Hottie McGhostie wants to know why this attractive woman is walking around his inn with a shiv. Kate responds with, “Oh my god I can totally answer that.”
Just kidding, she turns too fast and gets knocked on the head.
She wakes up and Handsome Hauntie basically says, “Please get off my property.” Instead of being, you know, civil about it, he just picks her up and hauls her out to the snow. 10/10 good intruder response skills.
Eventually Kate gets back in the inn via law enforcement and is super not about this Handsome Haunty being all up in her legal project.
Anyway, hijinks ensue and this Hauntie says he owns this place. Kate still wonders, "Who is this sad, scary man who I have seen pictures of?"
Again, she’s seen pictures of this man and literally was told this man is a ghostie.
She literally does not care.
She gets all manhandly with the Ghostly mancandy and thinks, “Man, this man is not a ghostman. He’s a man man.” But the old dude who owns the inn is like, “Man, this man is a cursed man.”
Kate is so not about it.
The ghost man continues to point out that this is where he died via rock and he can never leave this property because this property is magic. Also he apparently doesn't need a coat because he's dead.
Kate is rude to this ghost over and over again, and the ghost is just overly aggressive.
Death and property invasion make one very crabby.
So logically Kate accepts that this man is a ghost and wants to know why this man is trapped here, but this ghost just wants to keep hanging out during the Christmas season.
Kate pushes the guy a bit further and they get on the topic of his death. The old man who owns the inn said, “People suspect foul play but really who knows.”
Ghastly Gorgeous was bludgeoned with a giant rock.
You don’t need the cast and crew of "Bones" to figure out when someone is murdered via rock. Bludgeoned to death with a heavy object is a really easy condition to diagnose, unless eyesight wasn’t invented back then.
The Ghostly Godlike Guy was a bootlegger and not only is this really cool, but it's also relevant to the story.
Ghost Guy was selling alcohol to get in the pants of one pretty fine lady, which is pretty understandable to be honest. Lily, the pretty fine lady, enjoys speaking in sarcastic tones and cheating on Ghost Guy with Ghost guy’s brother. R.I.P. Lily.
Half an hour in the ghost man is given a name, Daniel. This is relieving because I was running out of things to call this fine-looking man.
Daniel spews some kind of sexist stuff and asks Kate where her Handler/Romantic Attachment is and she tells him that the times has changed. Daniel asks her, “What? People don’t fall in love anymore?” If Daniel had a Tinder it would probably have a picture of him with a dog and a whole bunch of quotes about Jesus.
So throughout the movie Kate hangs in this creepy room and refuses to sleep elsewhere in this inn, while doors keep opening and closing. She thinks there’s something bad in the house.
The only thing that’s bad in the house is her lack of Christmas spirit.
We get a good look at Daniel’s brother, and he’s homely. This doesn’t matter that much because thirty seconds after we look at that we get to see Daniel’s shirtless body.
There’s a subplot about the old inn owner finding old inn owning love, but no one really cares. Basically all it means is they have to open the tavern and Daniel has to serve drinks.
Dang Daniel, back at it again with the former contraband.
This is not your typical Hallmark or lifetime movie. There’s apparently some baby conceived of pre-marital sex which is a pretty far stretch for a Christmas movie, and then there’s some heavy conservatively dressed make outs between Kate and Daniel.
So later on in this movie Kate has the traditional almost together tussle, where Daniel gets mad at her and will never love her again. Then five minutes later he decides that he loves her again. In-between getting their loving groove on, they realize there must be a second ghost (gasp), the murderer.
He’s a murderous murder ghost.
Who killed him? Is it his brother who hugged his lady friend? His cousin who was all about selling liquor with him? Or is it just some rando with a rock?
Spoiler alert, it was his cousin. Also his cousin is forever cursed to hold the rock with which he murdered Daniel. What a really great curse.
But Daniel? Daniel’s all about forgiveness on Christmas, because he has the Christmas spirit.
He is the Christmas spirit. (Subsequently in the spirit of Halloween, I urge you to forgive your rock wielding murderers.)
If you think that this movie would end with Daniel moving on into the afterlife you’re wrong. He reappears as a real human and charges at her through the snow. Kate, panting like I do when I go up the stairs, runs to kiss the man of her dreams.
Truly a Halloween Miracle™ to find a movie like this.
I give it a 2/5.
It’s got a great premise to me, mainly because I’m all about ghosts, but was conceived poorly. Honestly just watch it, it was probably the greatest movie I’ve ever seen.