For all of the horror movies out there, even ones that have a Halloween theme to them, none really touch on the importance of tradition. None of them show the consequences to not following these traditions. Well, almost none. Tonight’s movie does a fine job of scaring the viewer into following tradition, even with it’s title: Trick ‘r Treat.
Year Released: 2007
Written By: Michael Dougherty (based on the animated short film Season’s Greetings, also by Dougherty)
Directed By: Michael Dougherty
Starring: Dylan Baker, Anna Paquin, Brian Cox, Leslie Bibb
Halloween traditions are important. The carving of the Jack-O-Lantern, the handing out of candy to neighborhood children, dressing up and going out for a night on the town. These are all traditions that must be kept in tact, they must be observed every year and carried out with care.
A school principal with a taste for blood.
A party pooper for whom the night can not end soon enough.
A nervous virgin in her sexy costume on her way to a party.
A group of kids who ignore the warnings of an urban legend.
An old man who has seen enough horror in his days to care much for such silly annual traditions.
If you think no one is watching, if you think nothing will happen to you if you ignore these traditions, you’re wrong. You’re dead wrong.
I love horror anthology movies. The Twilight Zone: The Movie, Creepshow, Tales From the Dark Side: The Movie. Any one horror movie that has several separate stories that are all linked by a common thread, for the most part.
The common thread in Trick ‘r Treat is Sam, a precocious little… Um… Well, I don’t really know what Sam is. Other than deadly.
He keeps watch over Halloween traditions, punishing those who don’t follow them every year. Though there are some scenes where it seems he merely sits back and watches the fun, I get the feeling he’s the one pulling the strings on the whole macabre puppet show of death that makes up this movie.
The creature design/makeup is impressively done and very creepy in pretty much every separate story. We see undead children, werewolves, a vampire (sort of), and then there’s whatever the hell Sam is. Very well done on all counts.
The writing is great, as it never strays too far from the theme of “always follow your Halloween traditions” while still being a fun genre movie.
The acting is top notch, with BAFTA winner Brian Cox and Academy Award winner (she was 11, but it still counts) Anna Paquin on board, but the film is really stolen by Dylan Baker who delivers a devilish performance as the twisted Principal Wilkins.
I was concerned about this movie before its release, as it was plagued with problems that forced the release date to be constantly pushed back, but it was well worth the wait. It’s become one of my own Halloween traditions, as I watch it every year around this time.
Should You See It:
While I can’t guarantee that you’ll be adding this overlooked gem to your annual Halloween horror movie rotation, it’s definitely worth a look, and what better time of year to watch it but now?