If there’s one thing you can praise Disney Channel for, it’s giving us great Halloween movies. From the ‘Halloweentown’ movies to the iconic ‘Twitches’, Disney Channel made sure we got in the spirit every year. However, today we’re going down memory lane for a movie which is probably locked deep in your brain. A movie which you might not remember at first only to then get hit with a wave of nostalgia a few seconds later. A movie which no one really talks about. That movie is ‘Mom’s Got A Date With A Vampire‘.
The basic premise of this movie is that teens Adam and Chelsea Hansen get their divorced mother to go on a date with a mysterious guy so they can sneak out of the house. The twist is that the guy she’s going out it is out for her blood, literally. It’s sad that I don’t see people really talk or reminisce about this movie at all. Rewatching it now after a couple years not only made me look at the movie in a different way but also appreciate it in a new way. I was seriously impressed by how clever and charming this movie is. It is an actual movie with a structure and themes and yes it’s also a Disney Channel movie but if that’s gonna bother you then I really don’t know what you’re doing here.
First off, I never realized how mature this movie is. The fact that it’s a vampire movie from Disney Channel and at the same time it’s a movie about a woman finding herself again after divorce is something you wouldn’t expect. This could’ve been a lazily-written monster movie with bad acting and dated CGI. I really admire people who put in actual thought into children’s television. It’s also very weird to revisit a childhood favourite with a critical perspective. I was worried that I wouldn’t enjoy it now but the truth is that this rewatch made me respect the movie even more. I would honestly consider this one of the best DCOM’s out there.
If there’s one thing I noticed while watching this as an adult it’s that the children in this movie are indescribably selfish, especially Adam. So he cheats on a single page essay, gets grounded, guilts his single mom into thinking they’re unhappy, makes her go on a date with a total stranger AND sells his sister on a date for a ticket. Could he BE any more selfish? Also can we talk about the Vampire himself, Dimitri. We all know he’s the bad guy but seeing this movie in 2020 made him see a bit more real than fictional. The predator vibes are real. He grabs Lynette (the mom) by the arm and gets her to his car to go to a dark place in the middle of nowhere. Seeing this now as an adult in an age of sexual assault survivors sharing their stories and the #MeToo movement really made me look at him in a different way. Obviously this is a Disney Channel movie made for kids, I highly doubt the intention of this movie was to be a metaphor for rapists. That being said watching this movie now presents a different perspective which could be applied to it.
Speaking of relevant themes, the movie was ironically way ahead of it’s time. I say ironically because this movie is incredibly 90’s even though it came out in 2000. The movie literally ends with a freeze frame and a fade to black. Besides that though, the movie deals with a single mother and divorce and what defines a family. Caroline Rhea does a wonderful job as a mother who is trying to keep her family together. In fact, watching this now made me realize how I side with the mom and agree that the kids are actually incredibly selfish. I still can’t believe they guilt her into thinking they were unhappy as a family. However, I loved it how instead of falling helplessly into the arms of a man, she found herself again and admitted to not wanting a relationship with him. We rarely ever got this much focus on an adult’s life in a Disney Channel movie and this movie did it really well.
With a concept so bizarre, the movie had to make it work as much as possible and it did. I never felt like this movie was ridiculous or too far-fetched. The actors actually did a wonderful job making this idea believable. Caroline Rhea and Charles Shaughnessy were great together, they really brought a lot to the movie and I don’t think it would’ve worked with anyone else but those two. Matthew O’Leary did a surprisingly great job as the lead. He was really charismatic when he wasn’t being a selfish jerk.
Apart from the acting, there were also several choices that made the film better overall. The score was actually great, playfully haunting and tense when it needs to be. The special effects are used minimally, they’re used when they’re need to and in most times it looked well-incorporated. The use of different locations was also very clever. The date itself presented a lot of fun ideas and opportunities and the movie took them all. There is rarely a dull moment. There’s a fun tease in the restaurant scene, the club scene was hilarious and I love the shot of him walking up the wall. The scene at the carnival is just fun. Carnivals are fun.
Overall, Mom’s Got A Date With A Vampire is a highly entertaining time with some actual thought put into it. It’s not a mindless, cliched monster movie from Disney Channel. It’s a movie about a divorced mother who finds herself again on an unfortunate date. Sure it’s cheesy and a bit rushed at the end but at the end of the day, it tried to be something different and actually succeeded.
You can now stream Mom’s Got A Date With A Vampire on Disney+ just in time for Halloween!