Sunday, May 23, 2010

"Trick 'r Treat" review

Trick 'r Treat (2008)

Director: Michael Dougherty
Writer: Michael Dougherty

Dylan Baker... Steven
Rochelle Aytes... Maria
Quinn Lord... Sam / Peeping Tommy
Lauren Lee Smith... Danielle
Moneca Delain... Janet
Isabelle Deluce... Sara
Anna Paquin... Laurie
Brian Cox... Mr. Kreeg
Leslie Bibb... Emma

It's Halloween and you better respect the traditions. "Trick 'r Treat" has four interwoven tales of murder and mayhem set in a small town on Halloween night. There's an elementary school principal who likes to give kids tricks instead of treats. Then there's four hot girls who want to throw a party in the woods with some willing victims. On the other side of town, a bunch of kids like telling ghost stories but they may see their nightmares come true. Finally there's an old man who disdains Halloween and meets a maniacal midget who has taken it upon himself to attack anyone who dares to insult his favorite holiday.

"Trick 'r Treat" continues the horror anthology movie tradition set by such films as "Creepshow" and "Tales from the Darkside". While I wouldn't say it was as good as "Creepshow", "Trick 'r Treat" turns out to be an enjoyable horror movie. I'm surprised that this didn't go to theaters. This would have been a perfect movie to release during Halloween. "Trick 'r Treat" gives Halloween the respect it deserves and provides horror fans with an entertaining horror flick.

Of course, there's not anything terribly original about "Trick 'r Treat". Most of these stories have been told in one form or another over the years. But "Trick 'r Treat" keeps the stories moving along as the town learns the importance of respecting the festival of Samuin. Did you know that pumpkin carving is linked to an ancient Celtic tradition? It was done so that pumpkins could be put in windows in order to ward off evil spirits. They believed that Samuin was the one day a year where the spirit world could pass through into our world. So they wore costumes and masks to ward off harmful ghosts.

It's this attention to Halloween details that the townspeople don't respect. They'll pay dearly for it. When the little sack-headed killer sees a woman blow out her pumpkin before Halloween is over, he shows her a few nasty tricks with his lollipop. Later he attacks a grumpy old man, (Brian Cox), after his contempt for Halloween becomes clear. The attack of the maniacal midget turns out to be the highlight of "Trick 'r Treat". It has the most blood and scares in the movie. The sack-headed killer is an angry little guy but I admire his dedication to his job.

The other tales of terror are fine but they don't pack as much of a shock as the mad midget story. The principal is a fiend with the kids, the visiting party girls are predictably hot and get into predictable trouble and the pranksters cause some havoc that comes back to haunt them. All of these stories play out to their obvious conclusion. They're fun but predictable horror stories.

Overall, "Trick 'r Treat" is a fun horror movie. It doesn't have excessive gore or blood but it has just enough to make it a worthwhile horror flick. I had a good time. It's worth a look.

SCORE: 3 out of 4 sack-headed killers
Red Riding Hood? Snow White? Little Bo Peep or Cinderella? Decisions, decisions.


the sneering (homo-phobic) snob said...

I want to bugger Anna Paquin (as she was in 2000 when she was 18, not as she is now obviously).

J.R. LeMar said...

I like the sound of this. I think I'm going to order this on Amazon now.

J.R. LeMar said...

Decided to order the graphic novel adaptation instead. Got it last week. It's a good book.