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Trick ‘r Treat (2008)

October 30, 2009

VERDICT:
6/10 Lazy Costumes

Not the scariest movie out there, but a pretty entertaining find all the same.

Trick ‘r Treat is comprised of four vaguely inter-related stories that all take place in one messed up town on Halloween. The first is about a school principal that murders kids who don’t like Halloween, the second is about a group of kids that play a mean prank on the weird girl in their grade (never a good idea), the third is about a girl trying to lose her “virginity”, and the fourth is about the Halloween version of Ebenezer Scrooge that gets terrorized by that kid on the poster, the one with the bulbous sack on his head.

Not sure where I heard about this movie or that it ever came to theaters, but it seemed like an timely selection for the season. Being that it’s pretty much four separate short films that don’t really have anything to do with each other except that all the characters live near each other, I’m gonna go ahead and just give each one their own special little mini-review. Hooray!

1) The One About the Killer Principal. One of the funnier segments of the bunch, also has a pretty good ending. Features Dylan Baker (aka: that guy who’s been in everything ever) as the principal and the husky kid from Bad Santa as the kid that dies via projectile vomiting blood after eating a bad candy bar. A little over-the-top, but Baker’s actually pretty good, succeeds in making murdering kids a pretty amusing time. Forgettable in light of the other three parts, but still fun.

2) The One About the Brat Kids Pranking the Weird Girl. The eeriest story by a long shot, but also the least original. No one famous in it, a typical urban legend prank gone wrong, the kids are pretty funny because it’s funny when kids swear, and since I find urban legends to be pretty freaky to begin with (still can’t pay me to say “Bloody Mary” into a mirror) it ends up being the scariest of the bunch. Only now is it occurring to me that a lot of kids get whacked in this movie. Normally that’s a very bad thing, not so bad here for some reason. Anyway, this was a good one.

3) The One About the Girl Trying to Lose Her “Virginity”. Might not sound like much of a horror story by that description, but it’s actually the best part of the movie and has the best ending to boot. Stars Anna Paquin, plot is somewhat uninteresting for a while, but really picks up in the last five/ten minutes as it quickly turns into something completely different and completely crazy. Also features Dylan Baker, so I guess there’s the connection.

4) The One About the Scrooge Who Gets Attacked by That Freak on the Poster. A close second for the best horror segment, mainly because the crotchety old geezer is played by Brian Cox (not often that I get two review two Brian Cox movies in one week, a truly exciting time). Works for a while, somewhat intense, then the director decides to take the sack of the kid’s head and show everyone what he looks like. This bothered me, not only because he looks pretty stupid, but more because it would have been a lot scarier if he just kept the sack on and let the audience’s imagination do the work. Tisk, tisk. Still fun, though.

As a whole, Trick ‘r Treat is an enjoyable movie even if it is pretty timid. It’s pretty gory at times, the horror elements are all there, only it ends up being far funnier than it is scary; and while that usually isn’t a complaint for me, there wasn’t enough balance between humor and terror. Nonetheless, a good first effort by director Michael Dougherty that looks pretty freakin’ sharp for a movie I’d expect to find in the bargain bin at Wal-Mart.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. October 30, 2009 7:15 am

    Cox rocks

  2. Branden permalink
    October 30, 2009 1:31 pm

    The movie was supposed to come out in 2007, but it was on the shelf until it was released straight to DVD earlier this month.

    I saw this and I didn’t like it as much as you. I seemed a typical movie to me.

    • October 30, 2009 1:36 pm

      Yeah, I saw it two days ago and have pretty much forgotten about it since then, but I still enjoyed it for what it was.

  3. Nick H permalink
    October 30, 2009 2:10 pm

    Enough messing around with B-rate horror movies, you better get to “The Exorcist” soon…

  4. November 2, 2009 1:13 pm

    I like that the movie tried to be something different. I think it succeeded in recalling some of the quasi-camp scares that were in movies we grew up with like The Lost Boys, Night of the Creeps and The Monster Squad. Getting some laughs in amongst the scare doesn’t always pay off but this movie did just fine. Personally I like the overlapping nature of each skit but I agree with your 6/10.

  5. ssj50driver permalink
    May 15, 2011 5:10 pm

    Great movie for never being released! I was anticipating this and it was a fresh change from saw:4,000 and whatever else hollywood was just hitting repeat on. The saw movies were sitll good, but this didn’t even get released in theaters like it was supposed to. For shame.

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