In the 1990’s, there were two blonde moppets that took over the world, and their names were Mary Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen. They were twin actresses known for their role in the hit family sitcom “Full House.” As they grew up they became so popular that they were transformed in to cash cows, producing everything from music, merchandise, clothes lines, and of course movie vehicles. One of their first was “Double, Double, Toil, and Trouble,” a Halloween adventure with the pair of blonde, dead eyed girls battling their wicked aunt.
Seven year olds Kelly (Mary-Kate) and Lynn (Ashley Olsen) Farmer are two adventurous little girls who discover that their Great Aunt Sophia has been trapped and cursed by her evil twin sister Agatha. On the 7th year of her imprisonment, Sophia will be doomed to the netherworld unless the curse is broken by the magical spell of twins. Now the twins, along with their parents (Eric McCormack and Kelli Fox), seek to free Sophia, while also hoping to help their parents, both of whom are at risk of losing their home.
Of course at the age of ten in 1993 I saw “Double, Double, Toil, and Trouble.” I was a TV junkie who was also a hardcore “Full House” devotee. Plus it was Halloween, so naturally I tuned in to the television premiere. Thirty years later, “Double, Double, Toil, and Trouble” fulfills its intent as a vehicle for the Olsen twins. There’s not much you can say about them that you didn’t already see in a lot of their other projects. Their performances are stiff, listless, and often times they can barely keep from acknowledging the film camera. That’s probably going too hard on seven year old kid actors, but they’re tasked with carrying the movie and sadly can’t. That’s where a lot of the supporting cast comes in.
There’s Cloris Leachman, Meschach Taylor, the aforementioned Fox and McCormack, as well as Phil Fondacaro, respectively. Fondacaro is especially good as Oscar, who aides in their quest. They’re able to competently pick up the slack for the Olsens, and bring the whole film full circle, while also never hogging the screen from the pair of tikes. The enthusiasm for Halloween is infectious and the narrative is PG appropriate enough while filling the peg as Halloween programming. Out of their holiday themed TV movies (they also had a Christmas movie), “Double, Double, Toil, and Trouble” is by far their best. It packs definite nostalgia value, and might just click with the budding young horror fan in your life.