Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Halloween movie review: Trick r Treat

 I remember watching the Elm Street films as a kid through covered eyes and plugged ears. The same went for the Friday the 13th and Halloween films. What can I say? I was one brave little dude ... except the exact opposite of that.

Those films each operated on a set of rules. If a character followed the rules, then they might live to the end. If they broke the rules, then they were sure to die in a suitably horrible and cathartic fashion at the hands of the big, scary villain while the audience cheered in one big chorus of  “I told you so!”

Trick r Treat is a throwback to the days before horror movies were synonymous with torture porn. Early on, we are introduced to Sam. Though he looks like a creepy yet cute little kid out to score candy on Halloween, he is actually the physical embodiment of modern Halloween tradition. If people follow the “rules” of Halloween (respect the jack o’ lantern, check your candy before you eat it, be kind to trick or treaters, etc.) they have nothing to fear. If they don’t, then they suffer the gory consequences.

This film is comprised of five vignettes, each focusing on a different Halloween tradition and a different set of hapless victims. The stories are connected by jovial little Sam. Sometimes he takes an active role and sometimes he simply observes. In either case, the stories all resolve themselves in gruesome, yet satisfying ways that fit well with the rules that are established in the beginning of the movie.

Anna Paquin (X-Men, True Blood - yes, Sookie) as a modern day Red Riding Hood and Brian Cox (of X-Men 2 fame) as a Halloween-hating curmudgeon are the two biggest names in the film. Given that both of these actors are alumni of the X-Men films, it should come as no shock that X-Men and X-Men 2 director Bryan Singer is a producer.

The best word I can use to describe Trick r Treat is FUN. This is one of the most enjoyable horror films I have seen since the werewolf-heavy Dog Soldiers. There are a few bloody/shocking moments, but the overall gore is nowhere near the level of a Saw or Hostel film.

Yep. Trick r Treat relies on setting up genuine suspense rather than throwing dismemberments at you until you cry “uncle.” Since all of the stories are connected, you will want to watch it multiple times just to catch all the breadcrumbs that lead from one story to the next.

Oh yeah … did I mention there just might be a werewolf in the flick? You’ll have to watch to find out.

Spoiler: There is, and it looks fantastic with hardly any CGI.

What? Me? No patience?

Bite me. Then, watch this film.

If you long for the days of a good horror movie that will scare you and still leave a smile on your face at the end, look no farther than Trick r Treat. 


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  2. Dude....how do you find such cool amazing movies???

    I'm going to just look at your movie reviews as a reference point for finding movies to watch for now on.

    Now I have two movies that I need to see: Trick r Treat & Dr. Horrible.



  3. Ha! Probably best to branch out a little from my picks. Trick r Treat and Dr. Horrible's Sing-along Blog are both great though.

    Thanks for reading!