Trick ‘r Treat

by The Acolyte/Blaise Bienvenue

Trick ‘r Treat is a clever, well-made cinematic collection of interwoven tales (structured somewhat like Jarmusch’s Mystery Train) taking place on a single Halloween night in a town in Ohio that parties hard every October 31st. It pulls no punches in terms of the horror, yet somehow manages to have the innocent vibe of a campfire story or Ray Bradbury novel. This, despite having a fairly high body count that does not observe the edict of “though shalt not decapitate or otherwise end the lives of young children.” I would actually go so far as to call it “fun for the whole family” without irony, though you may want to keep it away from kids under twelve.

trick-r-treat 01

Basically, it’s a great movie for Cannibal Holocaust fans to watch side by side with someone a little on the squeamish side. Both will enjoy thoroughly; neither will feel cheated. The production values, direction, and effects are all brilliant, great storytelling, great imagery. Problem-free cast includes Anna Paquin, Dead Like Me‘s Britt McKillip, Dylan Baker, and Brian Cox. My one and only beef was with the ubiquitous trick-or-treater with the old school sack-and-button-eye Halloween mask who is creepy and great as such but under the burlap looks too damn cute for the rest of the movie. I would either have not shown that character unmasked and relied on other characters’ reactions for the effect or else made the character’s true face look much more earthy and disturbing. All around, though, it’s a great film that has a lot of the feel of a Phantasm or a Something Wicked This Way Comes, simultaneously horrific and innocent, not too predictable. Fully understands the classic horror concept of retribution. Left me with just the right amount of questions to work right. I know I came late to this party, but highly recommend. Will definitely revisit. Hope the recently announced sequel lives up.

– The Acolyte