Trick 'r Treat (2008)

September 27, 2009 - 2:56am | FrighT MasteR
  Tags: Anna Paquin, anthology, Brian Cox, DVD, halloween, Legendary Pictures, Michael Dougherty, trick 'r treat, trick r treat, Warner Bros. Pictures

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Michael Dougherty
Brian Cox, Anna Paquin, Dylan Baker, Leslie Bibb, Moneca Delain

Finally after two years, Michael Dougherty's Trick 'r Treat is finally here. The film was originally given an October 2007 theatrical release, but was suddenly pulled from the schedule. It was then talked about receiving an October release the following year, which once again never came into fruition. All-the-while, the film travels various film festivals, receiving nothing but positive feedback. Now, the flick is finally coming to us, but sadly straight to DVD/Blu-ray. On the plus side, since this was meant for a theatrical release, what we're given is a DVD flick that looks like a bigger-budgeted theatrical release.

Despite a lot of the positive hype surrounding this picture, I tried hard not to fall victim to it, as I've said several times in the past, buying into the hype behind a flick usually leads to nothing but disappointment. Thus, I went in with moderate expectations and came out a very happy viewer. Trick 'r Treat managed to pull off something that a lot of other seasonal-themed flicks couldn't and that is to perfectly capture the look and feel of that particular time of the year, and in this case being Halloween. Unlike a lot of other anthologies Trick 'r Treat doesn't rely on a cheesy narrator or host to serve us each story. Instead, we're pretty much just thrown right into it and have to rely on the character development and story to help us figure things out as we go along (as it should be).

The film also doesn't specifically stick to any one tale, as they're all interwoven together, we go from one set of characters to the other, constantly switching back and forth, never leaving a dull moment, and giving us a lot of breathing room to see how things have progressed for the other set of leads. As for the stories themselves -- not a bad batch in the mix. Normally when dealing with anthologies there's at least one bad story thrown in there, but I actually liked the four stories that were presented, with each being unique and interesting in its own way.

If we were to follow any particular order, we'd have to start with the school Principal who also happens to be a serial killer by night. Then we've got a young virginal beauty played by Anna Paquin, who's dressed up as Red Riding Hood and being stalked by a mysterious masked individual. Next we follow a group of kids as they pull a prank on a fellow peer, only to discover that they picked the wrong spot to do it and get a little taste of their own medicine. Lastly, we've got an old grumpy recluse, who refuses to hand out candy until he's paid a visit by the creepy sack-headed Sam. The basic theme behind Trick 'r Treat is to not break certain set rules for Halloween, otherwise those who break them will punished accordingly.

The movie not only switches back and forth between stories, but some stories take place at different times, which gives it a unique sense realism and shows how each story is somehow connected in one form or another. Being that this wasn't a particularly small budget, we're given some above average make-up effects, but sadly there's nothing that really stands out in terms of gore. Though, this is another good example at how you don't really need blood and guts to make a good movie anyway.

It would've been great if the stories were just a bit more memorable or scary, especially  in terms of twists, but when it's all said and done, Trick 'r Treat is just an all-around good and entertaining horror film and will likely be on many horror fan's slate each year for many Halloweens to come.

Trick 'r Treat is a unique little horror anthology that sucks in its viewers and doesn't let go. The stories are entertaining, the characters are interesting, and it delivers the perfect look and feel of Halloween. Definitely give this flick a check, especially if it's during the right season.

Author Information

FrighT MasteR's picture
FrighT MasteR is an avid horror fan / monster hunter extraordinaire, who created and has been running UHM since its inception, way back in 1999.




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