Movie Review: Trick ‘r Treat, Finally!

2009-09-11-trick_r_treatA lot of people have been waiting to see this movie for a long time, such a long time that I never thought it would see the light of day. My next thought was this movie has to be really bad to have been shelved for so long, it’s a horror movie for one and Hollywood does love its horror. The reason being that it’s cheap and if you follow the formula it’s hard not to make money off a horror flick, just look at “The Final Destination.” So needless to say I went into this one with mixed emotions.

“Trick ‘r Treat” is a call back to horror movies like “Creep Show” and reminds me a little of “Tales From The Crypt.” The only real difference is that our constant is a creepy kid dressed like a doll that doesn’t talk, but does bring each short story together. Each story takes place in a small town on Halloween where the citizens all know how to celebrate. We have a set of four stories that range from child spooky tales to creepy killer school principals, each story has its own set of morals and they all come full circle in the end.

trick-r-treat-0The stand out story for me was that of three high school kids that go out to play a harmless trick on the local outcast from their school. They use the local cute boy to drag her in and really hype the scary story telling to pull off a classic Halloween prank, too bad it goes terribly wrong. I know what your thinking, this has all been done before and it has, the only real original factor in the movie is the constant, Sam. That’s not a problem for this movie and it holds no reservations about not being original, in fact this is what makes it great. It lives in the honor of its predecessors and tells great stories, it also brings back the simple horror that has been missing for a long time. “Trick ‘r Treat” doesn’t have to be overly gory or psychologically in depth, it just has to be entertaining in short fifteen minute segments and it is.

trick__r_treat_movie_image_anna_paquinEven though this is a strait to DVD release, you could not tell, the production value is high and it has a few really good actors. The stand outs being Dylan Baker (The Spider Man Trilogy), who plays Steven, a school principal with a blood thirst and Anna Paquin (True Blood), a lonely girl just trying to fit in with her older sister. One actor that really surprised me was Samm Todd who played Rhonda, the “idiot savant” that is the butt of a horrible high school prank. She really didn’t do anything special I just enjoyed the innocence of her character and the emotion she put into the role. It’s also fun to see each of the characters cross paths in each other’s stories. There are only a few things I can say that I did not like about the film.

First off, some of the special effects were bad, but hey, it’s a horror film and bad special effects are some times a win, see the plastic skeletons on horses in ” Bruce Campbell vs The Army of Darkness.” In this case it was that kind of bad, I just bring it up because for some people this may take them out of the film. My next complaint is more of a personal gripe than a real problem with the film. I did not like it that we saw Sam’s face even though the over all design was good, he was much creepier as a little sack boy, other than that I have no other complaints. This movie brought me back to the days of watching films like “Campfire Tales,” “Creep Show,” and TV shows, “Tales From the Crypt” and “Are you Afraid of the Dark?,” where really good short stories were all we needed. Since films like “My Bloody Valentine 3D” saw their day in the cineplex it’s sad that a movie like “Trick ‘r Treat” is a strait to DVD release because this movie is what real horror should be.

I give Trick R’ Treat 4 “Bring Back Tales From the Crypt” out of 5.

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By Ryan Davis

About Ryan Davis

Ryan is the Founder of Lost in Reviews, a member of The Kansas City Film Critic's Circle, and a key component in the movement to digitally restore the 1986 classic film The Gate. Ryan is also the co-host of Blu Monday a DVD and Blu Ray review show which Lost in Reviews co-founder Angela Davis also appears. While he may be a film and music snob, that doesn't mean you can't be friends. Well it could if you don't like the same bands or films he does, overall it might be best to avoid the subject all together.

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