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Trick ‘r Treat – Review

Trick ‘r Treat – Review

Feb 6, 2011

reviewed by hallo
directed by Michael Dougherty, 2007

Trick ‘r Treat is quite simply the best horror movie I have seen in years.

Chances are good that you, like me, have only briefly heard of this movie or maybe recognize it from its memorable dvd cover.  Because I am a fan of any movie related to the holiday of Halloween, I decided to finally watch Trick ‘r Treat through my Netflix Instant Queue.  It was one of those rare – very rare – experiences where I just couldn’t believe what I was watching.  How could a movie this good not have made more of an impact in the movie world at large?

The plot of the film is somewhat complex and to provide a detailed account would take up too much space.  The movie revolves around 4 separate stories that are interwoven together throughout the film.  Think of a Creepshow without the breaks in-between the segments.  Common to each of the stories is a mysterious, small figure named “Sam” who wears a burlap bag over his head and is noticeably ticked off when someone dares to break Halloween tradition.  Sam is a wonderful figure, has a great, spooky look, and could easily be an icon of horror.  The stories themselves involve a serial-killer school principal, a group of 4 girl friends going to a Halloween party, a group of children returning to the scene of a town legend, and the fateful night of a man named Mr. Kreeg.  By the time the movie wraps, the viewer is able to tell how the night worked together as a whole.

That this movie did not make a theatrical release is madness.  It was apparently poised for an October 2007 release, but for whatever reason got pushed back, eventually being released direct to dvd in 2009.  Every single aspect of this movie is a home run.   First, the 4 stories work together incredibly well and Michael Dougherty does a superb job of making sure the viewer is not confused by the way the film flows from one scene to another.  Many movies that try to “blend” several stories into one film fail miserably, but Trick ‘r Treat does it seamlessly.  The movie itself looks phenomenal, capturing and maintaining the perfect atmosphere for an eerie Halloween night full of the bizarre and macabre.  Cinematographer Glen MacPherson is to be praised for his work on this movie.  The dialogue is fantastic and I was not left cringing over brutally absurd lines and forced conversations that so typically make up direct to dvd releases.  The acting is very solid and the movie boasts a wonderful cast including Dylan Baker (an under-appreciated actor), Anna Paquin (of X-Men fame), and Brian Cox (Troy, Braveheart).

Trick ‘r Treat clearly gives tribute to influential films of old, especially paying homage to the Evil Dead series with the appearance of a severed hand that has its own personality.  The ongoing influence of Carpenter’s masterful Halloween is noticeable throughout the movie as well, even with a slight head tilt by Sam, the strange recurring figure.  Trick ‘r Treat provides great scares, wonderful suspense, and a downright creepy and satisfying ending.  I kept feeling like I was watching the very best of old school, throwback horror not just copied, but done even better.

What criticism do I have of Trick ‘r Treat?  None.  This movie is as perfect of a horror movie as I have ever seen and will now be an annual, traditional October viewing.  Shame on you Warner Bros for not promoting and pushing this film.  Michael Dougherty, please, please, please get back to directing another horror film.  And to all of you out there in horror land – if you have not yet seen Trick ‘r Treat, then this must be the next movie on your list.

I just can’t believe how good it really is.

Click Here to purchase Trick ‘r Treat.

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  1. DVD Giveaway – February 2011 | TheBlackestEyes.com - [...] away to one lucky winner the brilliantly directed Halloween themed film Trick ‘r Treat.  I recently reviewed this 2007…

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