Rachael Leigh Cook talks 'Spirit Halloween' – the first ever retail chain store-turned-movie

Rachael Leigh Cook is part of cinematic history.

There’s little doubt that her new family-friendly horror release, Spirit Halloween: The Movie, is the first film ever adapted from a retail chain store — its title, yes, referring to the ubiquitous conglomerate that has practically monopolized the Halloween costume market over the past decade or so.

“I do think it’s unusual, I have not heard of say, Bass Pro Shops: The Movie, that’d be weird,” the amiable She’s All That and Josie and the Pussycats alum, 43, tells us during a recent virtual interview (watch above). “I can’t really think of another good retail store that would make a good movie.

“I’m sorry. Not to smack anyone down right now. But Claire’s: The Movie? Not sure.”

Spirit Halloween does lend itself well to a horror plot, as three eighth grade friends sneak into the store to camp there overnight — only to discover its haunted by the ghost of a man named Alex Windsor (Christopher Lloyd).

“As a concept, the unlikely transition from retail store to cinemas is, yes, I get it, a little unorthodox,” she says. “But the movie works just plain as a movie… It’s really just a fun story. It’s a coming-of-age story about these kids. It’s just great that the store is game to make it.”

Rachael Leigh Cook in 'Spirit Halloween: The Movie' (Strike Back Studios)
Rachael Leigh Cook in Spirit Halloween: The Movie. (Photo: Strike Back Studios)

Cook, who plays mom to one of the boys, is a mother of two in real life, and says her kids were finally excited about her work when they found out about Spirit Halloween.

The actress also hilariously explained how movie parenting differs from actual parenting.

“The thing about being a movie mom that I have to keep reminding myself is that movie mom is nicer than real-life mom,” she says. “Like in the beginning of the movie, I’m having some harsh words with my preteen in this movie, he’s giving me some attitude.

“I’m sort of yelling at him, ‘Cut it out!’ This and that. And I’m using my real mom voice. And they very discretely but creatively cut away from me being that angry. Because movie mom doesn’t get that angry. Movie mom has to dial it down a little bit. So that’s a quick little lesson I learned.”

— Video produced by Kyle Moss and edited by Rasiel Guevara and Luis Saenz.

Spirit Halloween: The Movie is now in select theaters and premieres on VOD Oct. 11.

Watch the trailer: