Day Four: Trick ‘r Treat Movie Review
If you already know me, you know one of my biggest passions is cinema. I like movies of every kind and even write reviews and features for Cinema Nerdz (cheap plug) when I get a chance. I’ll watch just about anything, but in October my tastes lean towards horror movies. Makes sense, right? We’re four days in and I’ve already watched three horror movies (Insidious, Dead Snow, and Trick ‘r Treat) and plan to watch plenty more before the month is over. I hate to admit it, but I still have never seen the original Night of the Living Dead flick. Kind of sad to admit, but I’m amongst friends, right? Sad thing is, I’ve owned it for about four years now, so there really is no excuse. This will be the year…I promise.
When it comes to horror flicks, I prefer them one of two ways: 1) filled discreet, realistic, and psychological scares or 2) campy and fun. I don’t mind blood and guts in horror movies (especially if it helps move the story along or scare the shit out of me), but I just can’t really support the torture porn sub genre (Saw and Hostel come to mind). The first Saw was clever and uncomfortable with its use of violence and gore, but the series really went downhill from there.
Enough of about me though. I want to get to the review of Trick ‘r Treat which may just be some of the most fun I’ve had watching a horror movie since the first time I saw Evil Dead. That’s high praise coming from me because I’m obsessed with the Evil Dead franchise.
Written and directed by Michael Dougherty (co-writer of X-2, which is arguably the best X-flick of the franchise), Trick ‘r Treat has the feel of a 90 minute Tales From the Crypt episode. Doughtery uses the character of Sam (the cute little kid dressed up in the movie poster above) to make sure one town a year is enforcing every rule associated with Halloween.
The narrative for this movie weaves through four separate, but interconnected stories, that resolve themselves in a very satisfying way. Because of the way Dougherty wrote it, I kept trying to guess all of the connections between each story. Some I was able to get right, and some I got wrong, but regardless, Dougherty created a flick that I wanted to keep watching because it was so much damn fun.
Where Scream played with the conventions of the horror genre, Trick ‘r Treat plays with the conventions of the actual Halloween holiday. The writing was clever, the acting was as could be expected for a horror movie (hell, they were able to get Dylan Baker, Anna Paquin, and Brian Cox to join in on the fun too), and it offers up just enough campy and scares to be a top contender for the top of my viewing pile every time Halloween comes rolling around.
The only real weak spot in the movie is Anna Paquin’s storyline, but it’s passable considering how well it gels with the other three stories taking place. By far, my favorite parts of the movie involved Dylan Baker’s sadistic school principal who purposely uses Halloween to poison trick or treaters with the candy he passes out.
Image from couch campus.com
If you’re looking for a fun horror movie that you’ll enjoy from start to finish, look no further. Trick ‘r Treat is the new gold standard for Halloween movies (move on over Michael Myers, Sam has taken over your spot).