Ernest Scared Stupid is the horror installment of the Ernest franchise. Although it is very much an Ernest movie, it does contain elements of creepy fun and is a gateway film for the young.
The movie takes place in Briarville, Missouri, so points for the home-state hero, being a MO native, myself. Ernest works as apparently the only garbage man in this whole town who is also a descendant of the family that put Trantor the Troll in the ground, imprisoned in the roots of a tree. After accidentally releasing the troll, he is informed by local crazy, old lady Hackmore — great name — that he is the great redneck hope to stop the madness.
Ernest Scared Stupid does a wonderful job making certain moments truly creepy, and there are a few jump scare spots that make a horror vet smile and a child jump with excitement. The best part of the movie for me is the fight in the truck between Ernest and Trantor. This is also where rumor is that the famous internet troll face came from — Ernest in this scene. There ya go internet, thank Ernest Powertool Worrell for your logo of trolls.
In the end, the story tells us that the heart of a child is what can stop the troll’s attack. Unconditional love is what will end the horror, not a gun blast or a magic spell or an explosion, but love. Who better than Ernest to convey that message?
Ernest Scared Stupid captures the Halloween season’s spirit perfectly and is an excellent movie to start the kiddos on. It grossed 14 million dollars upon its release and was the last Ernest film that got a theatrical release; It’s a staple in the Halloween season for me and I give this masterpiece a rating of 5 out of 5. Knowwhuttamean?