Ernest Scared Stupid (1991)

ernestscaredstupidIt’s really hard to ignore the charm of Ernest and his Halloween adventure. “Ernest Scared Stupid” most definitely has a lot of nostalgic value and sentimental value, but it’s also a very good kids’ horror movie where Ernest battles a bunch of trolls. Ernest and Jim Varney has just always had a good chemistry and here it’s on full display when trolls are unleashed during Halloween. Here, Varney plays Ernest as a garbage collector in a Missouri town. Hundreds of years before a troll that used magic to turn kids in to wooden dolls was locked in a tree and kept dormant. Ernest helps his three friends Kenny Binder, Elizabeth and Joey construct their own tree house which they use as a means of entertainment and warding off the local bullies.

Mistakenly, Ernest helps them build the tree house on the very tree that troll was locked under and it’s set free days before Halloween. With the troll on the loose, it begins hunting down local children, transforming them in to small wooden dolls and using them for its collection. Their life force gives it power, allowing it to grow larger and stronger with every child it takes. Now teamed with his friend Kenny, and his loyal dog Rimshot, Ernest sets out to stop the troll and find its one weakness. Oddly enough the weakness is about as unusual as you’d expect from a movie starring Ernest. The writers hilariously add to the absurdity where Ernest makes the quest to stop the troll even more complicated than it has to be. “Ernest Scared Stupid” is the most Halloween oriented movie from the Ernest library.

It manages to revolve around the holiday while unfolding the story of the troll that is using the collection of kids to fuel its own powers, and eventually raise its own army of evil trolls. The make up and creature effects are still very good, with the trolls displaying the right balance of menacing, and slimy. Eartha Kitt is also a lot of fun as the crazy Old Lady Hackmore, the local hermit with an unusually large knowledge of the trolls and what their plans are. Varney is at his best here, deriving some great laughs as well as some fun physical comedy. He even includes his patented character changing montage, and a very memorable moment involving a dumpster slamming down on his hand. “Ernest Scared Stupid” hasn’t aged much at all, and packs in some genuine creeps and great Halloween gags that will entertain kids and adults alike. I loved it as a kid, and hell, I love it now.