Trick 'R Treat Review
Written by: BlackTequilaKiss
I have heard a lot about this movie ranging from, 'it is awful' to 'it's the new treat in Halloween' and still felt compelled to check this out myself. My diagnosis? Good old fashioned fun where you need to suspend disbelief and simply go along for the ride. It has moments of utter intelligence but for the most part is an old fashioned Halloween movie that works well for the holiday.
Enough scares, some beautiful gore (and women) and a giddy way of breaking the film into 4 different stories keep this idea fresh and inventive.
PLOTLINE: Five delicious stories that interconnect occur on the same night and the same block of houses. A couple of whom one sees Halloween as a bit of fluff soon find out what happens when you blow out a lantern before midnight. A high school principal carries a double life as a serial killer at night. A college virgin is in search of the perfect guy, a group of teenagers learn the consequences of taking a prank too far and a hermit is visited by a special guest.
Why this was not released sooner still confuses me since it soulfully remains one of the more original films in the last few years. It is entertaining and keeps amused, what more can you ask of a movie? It is nice though to say the wait was worth it.
One of the smartest things this movie does is break down the movie into five separate stories. Following the mantra of such films like Tales from the Darkside and Creepshow, it benefited from doing this. Had all the tales been rolled into one lump sum, I think a little of what made Trick R Treat so appealing might have become lost. Instead it latches us in, keeps us guessing and then moves to the next so there is no real time to become bored with the piece.
One complaint I do have of the film is the second story with the high school principal. Whilst it was a gentle way to break us into Trick R Treat, the story itself felt rather sedated. Instead of getting off the ground running, it dragged a little too much. The comic relief from the son and next door neighbour were brief, and I was waiting for something amazing to happen. For me it never did and that was a shame.
Beyond this small flaw, I thought the rest of the stories were mean and lean. The beginning with the couple and their disregard for the tradition as well as the forthcoming consequences is a nice scary way to get the movie started and to keep us buzzed.
The Principal story is a little weak and detracts from the strong opening. However it's gentle enough without becoming too dull and moves us to the next story:
Laurie (Anna Paquin) plays a 22 year old virgin who is waiting for the right guy. I won't give anything much away but say I was surprised. What I thought would happen and what actually does occur are two very different things. But the not knowing was actually a plus; it is not often that a movie manages to surprise me. Being a fan of horror and given I have watched a lot of this genre, I thought there was not a lot that could shock me. This story does.
A twist in the gingered tale of Little Red Riding Hood, it was a welcome story that captivated me throughout.
One of my favourites in Trick R Treat is the story entitled: 'The Halloween School Bus Massacre'. I am not someone who prefers ghostly tales of the night, and of the sub genres they are the ones I tend to have the least interest in. So for this story to stand out really shows the diversity of the movie and the pull of what can happen. The twist after the kids arrive at the lake where they plan to pay tribute was a wonderful little jolt, not altogether surprising but still shocking in its conviction.
And the last story that ties everything together and let's us see how things transpired is the meeting of Sam with the hermit who does not celebrate Halloween. This is one of the funniest stories in the movie whilst creepy it lends a tone to bygone eras of Halloween flicks. The fighting that ensues is both creepy in tone and still rather laugh out loud.
And the ending, the very last reel is beautiful. Showing the entire avenue, the decorating, and the beauty that comes of Halloween. It all muses together well. As I am from the UK, my knowledge of Halloween is limited compared to some but one thing this particular holiday does lack is decent movies to celebrate it. Trick R Treat lends another movie worth adding to the pile.
There's enough blood to ease the appetite but the use of tension also manages to make this a decent and fun film.
Musical score is taut and fret without going over-the-top or losing that nerving edge. With a glossed picture and the unique style of music it all combines beautiful manner with horrific night.
All the actors; Anna Paquin, Dylan Baker, Quinn Lord, Brian Cox, and all else did a fantastic job with their prospective roles. Some did do better than others, Baker started sedate but in the follow up story, 'Surprise Party' he added a bit more, shall we say, bite.
For cinematography I thought it was lush. The tree lined avenue, the core of a full moon and the gentle lull of the pumpkin lights spread eagle eyed against the paths. Decorations and costumes, you can tell this is quintessentially a Halloween movie.
It's easy to say this is overhyped due to the length of time it took the studio to release the DVD, it's easy to say it is overrated because at times it does conform to cliché. But it's too easy to say that and not see this for a great little film that sits in the Halloween spirit.
The way of creating it into an anthology was one of the best things they did as instead of trying to lump the stories into one formulaic movement, we instead get a chance to know the characters and their course throughout the movie.
It suffers from some flaws and this is why my 10 rating on the boards has moved now to an 8 but overall Trick R Treat is a welcome movie that will gain a much deserved cult status and become a favourite to celebrate.
The simple question:
Trick or Treat?
And this is most definitely a treat. Worth waiting for and an entertaining movie, one thing is for sure... Sam will be back!