Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Horrors of October - Trick 'r Treat (#22)

Trick 'r Treat (2007)

TRICK 'R TREAT is not only one of the absolute best horror movies in recent years, it is a refreshing return to traditional horror movies set on Halloween to not involve a mask-wearing slasher. The film contains several different stories, all taking place in an unknown American suburb (which was naturally shot in Vancouver): a couple who wish to end the spooky festivities mid-celebration, a creepy school principal (Dylan Baker) who enjoys handing out more tricks than treats, a group of girlfriends trying to push their Red-Riding-Hood-wearing wallflower (Anna Paquin) into fulfilling her dream of "the first time", a ragtag gang of kids snatching up pumpkins in order to pay tribute to some lost souls, a black-masked vampire roaming through the streets, and a decrepit old man (Brian Cox) who's being terrorized by something throughout his house. Each of the stories intertwine with one another, making this a hyperlink movie, and a character in each of them come into contact with a costumed boy named Sam, who may or not be a demon. I'm stretching the truth a little bit with the plot because the stories led to some surprising twists. The movie is just flat-out amazing in all departments, delivering many great visuals and creepy imagery, a killer score, a lot of laughs, impressive visual effects, and fantastic performances from all of the actors. Pretty much the only problem I had while sitting down and watching it is that the DVD version doesn't have a commentary track, as I really wanted to see it again and listen to writer-director Michael Dougherty's thoughts. Now, you may ask yourself, how come you never heard about this sooner? It was completed and set for theatrical release in 2007, but it was instead blackballed and thrown back into the vaults by Warner Bros. Many say the reason was to punish the film's producer Bryan Singer over the lackluster reception to SUPERMAN RETURNS. Two years later, after a series of public screenings that generated much critical acclaim, the movie finally was released on video and has developed a strong cult following since. The hype was justifiable and this certainly lived up and exceeded my expectations.


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