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Trick 'R Treat (2007)

DVD Cover (Warner Brother)
Director:
Michael Dougherty Michael Dougherty
Starring:
Dylan Baker Dylan Baker
Rochelle Aytes Rochelle Aytes
Quinn Lord Quinn Lord
Lauren Lee Smith Lauren Lee Smith
Moneca Delain Moneca Delain

7.5 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Genres / Traits: Creature Film, Horror, Horror Anthology, Supernatural Horror, Halloween
Five interwoven stories that occur on Halloween: An everyday high school principal has a secret life as a serial killer; a college virgin might have just met the guy for her; a group of teenagers pull a mean prank; a woman who loathes the night has to contend with her holiday-obsessed husband; and a mean old man meets his match with a demonic, supernatural trick-or-treater. --IMDb
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Review by Chad
Added: September 28, 2009
As I was watching Trick 'R Treat, I found myself growing more and more pissed off as each scene went by. I wasn't upset because the movie itself was bad, I wasn't upset because I felt let down after having read all of the glowing reviews, and I wasn't upset that this was not a horror anthology in the strictest sense of the word. I was pissed at how the best horror movie of the year - and the best Halloween movie of all time - got absolutely no respect from the powers that be and went straight to video instead of getting a proper theatrical run.

Folks, this isn't just a good movie, this is a movie that could have done serious business at the box office with a slick trailer and a little word of mouth. The latest Saw sequel would have surely outshined it on opening weekend due to its name value, but when word of mouth got around, the studio bigwigs could have been rolling in the cash that this film would have undoubtedly brought in. More importantly, horror fans could have got something fresh, exciting, and downright amazing to satisfy their cravings for a Halloween treat. Instead, Warner Bros. sat on it for what felt like a decade before finally deciding to put it out on a fucking DVD. That, my fine readers, pisses me off to no end.

It's Halloween night, and... and really, that should be the extent of my synopsis. Seriously, this is a film that you want to just pick up, pop in, and discover for yourself. For those who don't want to heed my advice, it takes place in a small town on Halloween night, where we find the usual holiday festivities taking place. Kids are out trick or treating while a few young punks are throwing eggs and smashing pumpkins, and of course, the teens and young adults use this occasion as an excuse to get drunk and party. Some kids choose to dig up the local urban legends, while other citizens have other ideas as to how best to spend the night. Serial killers, werewolves, vampires, ghosts, goblins, zombies, and all manner of Halloween spookies arise to interact with the townsfolk in a handful of not-entirely-separate tales that all take place at roughly the same time of night. I refuse to say another word about the plot.

I mentioned above that in my ever so humble opinion, this is the best Halloween movie of all time. I stand by that. Some of you are probably wondering how it stacks up against the old guard, that being Carpenter's Halloween. Comparing the two films side by side and looking at them as just two releases in the horror genre, I'm going to have to give it to John: his movie is an all-time classic and will be remembered for decades to come as one of the pioneers in the slasher genre. However, it's not much of a Halloween movie. Sure, it has the mask, and yeah, it takes place on that fateful night, but you could easily spend five minutes tweaking the script and have it take place on Thanksgiving. Trick 'R Treat, on the other hand, is a legitimate holiday flick, and it's by far the best of the bunch.

When I said that the film isn't a true anthology horror flick, I meant that it doesn't follow the traditional formula of "put together a handful of completely separate stories, throw in a wraparound story, and call it a day." While this film does technically feature different stories, they all fall under the umbrella of "Halloween is the night that the dead walk amongst the living" and each one is tied to the others in some way. For example, one story will have a man look over and see someone else getting attacked, but he turns away thinking that it's a Halloween prank and his story continues on. Later, we hop over to the attackee's story and see what was really going on there. I know that anthology horror flicks have a habit of throwing nods to the other stories throughout the course of the film, but the boys behind this release took that approach to such a level that it felt like one self-contained story. That is not a complaint.

As for the stories themselves, they stay firmly rooted in Halloween lore and the basic gist will seem familiar to most (ghosts, vampires, werewolves, etc.), but they're done with such style and feature such great surprises that you can't help but fall in love with them. You've all seen a werewolf in one movie or another, but have you ever seen them transform like this? I'm sure that a serial killer story is old hat to anyone over the age of six, but have you ever seen one play out quite as nicely as this? Again, the writing stays true to what we know and love about Halloween, but it puts an entirely new spin on everything to keep us guessing. Oh, and minor spoiler here, but seeing Anna Paquin have a run-in with a vampire after falling in love with True Blood put a huge smile on my face.

Still not sold? How about the fact that unlike a sad number of modern horror directors, the filmmakers behind Trick 'R Treat obviously saw a horror flick or two prior to shooting this. Quite simply, the film takes every horror cliché in the book and uses them to screw with the audience. You'll be watching the characters go about their business, when you might notice a little something in the shot that will certainly provide a good jump scare... right? Nope. Oh, the camera is lingering on that object just a little too much, that's got to be the scare... wrong again. Just when you finally start to get comfortable, THAT is when they catch you off-guard and make you jump out of your seat. This, my friends, is how you do a fucking horror movie.

So, let's wrap this review up, and I'm going to make it nice and simple. Trick 'R Treat is the best Halloween movie of all time. It's not the best horror movie of all time, but it's easily the best horror movie that I have seen all year... perhaps even the best that I've seen in the last two or three years. Had this received a full-blown theatrical run and reached a wide audience, it would have become an instant classic, spawned a handful of sequels, and it would have got the remake treatment one or two years down the line. It's downright criminal that it was released straight to DVD, but do not pass on this one: it's destined to become a cult classic. 10/10.
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Tristan #1: Tristan - added 09/29/2009, 09:27 PM
I'm with Chad 100% on this one. This is what a Halloween movie should be. I've been looking forward to this movie for the last few years, while it's been stuck in limbo, and the wait was well worth it. It was just as good as I'd hoped, and better. Definitely the kind of movie you pop in with your date on Halloween night. I won't be the least bit surprised when this one earns the "cult classic" title.

10/10
Ginose #2: Ginose - added 10/13/2009, 10:23 PM
Fucking awesome. Every word said, thus far is truth.

10/10
waxtadpole3657 #3: waxtadpole3657 - added 10/15/2009, 12:30 AM
I WANT TO SEE THIS SO BAD BUT IT'S GOT A FUCKING LONG WAIT ON NETFLIX. And it's not on Comcast, either. GRRRRRRR.
waxtadpole3657 #4: waxtadpole3657 - added 10/15/2009, 12:30 AM
And I'd just buy it, but I'm poor as shit right now.
Nirrad #5: Nirrad - added 10/15/2009, 12:56 AM
First, I would like to say that I would like to put Chad's quote from Observe and Report here. Then I'd say I would give this an 8. Definitely had a great feeling to it, and really did put me in the mood for Halloween. But I'm not gonna give it a 10 just because it's something new. I like to keep it real. The movie had a nice story, but it was very predictable. But it is definitely a great halloween film. 8/10
Lucid Dreams #6: Lucid Dreams - added 10/15/2009, 11:42 PM
I had only one real problem with it, but I won't put it down for those who have not seen it yet. 9/10

Charlie Browns an asshole!
Griffinheart #7: Griffinheart - added 10/17/2009, 03:23 PM
Nirrad about summed up my feelings. It was a beautifully shot movie but I can't give it more than an 8. It really felt like some events were going to be tied together more neatly, but that they weren't kinda let me down. I think the movie is great, and I'll definitely watch it again, but it's not a 10/10 by any means.
bluemeanie #8: bluemeanie - added 10/27/2009, 05:20 PM
I concur 100%.
Rest Easy Soul #9: Rest Easy Soul - added 07/24/2010, 10:08 PM
One of the best horror movies in a long time. I love the multi-story formula and this movie does it really well. Easily one of my all time favorite horror films.
benloveshorror #10: benloveshorror - added 08/12/2010, 03:14 PM
Instead of releasing a Saw movie every Halloween, they should release a Trick 'R Treat every Halloween. Of course, they'd probably go direct-to-video like this one dead. 9/10
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