Movie review: Trick R Treat

Synopsis: A series of interwoven stories which occur one Halloween night. From teens pulling mean pranks, a serial killing head teacher to werewolves and zombies, all get their comeuppance under the watchful gaze of Sam.

Director: Michael Dougherty

Starring: Anna Paquin, Brian Cox, Leslie Bibb, Dylan Baker

Review: I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to write a review of ‘Trick R Treat’. It’s been a film I religiously watch every October for years and I never get bored of it.  Written and directed by Michael Dougherty (who also wrote ‘Krampus‘ another cheesy but personal favourite) its five interwoven stories featuring some Halloween classics such as werewolves, serial killers and more.

I can’t believe this movie wasn’t given the a larger theatrical release as it was released straight to DVD which means it’s only slowly getting the recognition it deserves.

I’ll start by saying it’s not your usual horror movie. There’s none of the excessive gore or sex that other horror movies rely on but at the same time, and because it’s a series of short stories, there isn’t the time to do a long build up. This also isn’t the sort of horror where there are lots of ‘jump scares’. However, the pay-off is worth it with the stories cleverly connected and lots of little Easter eggs to look out for.

The segments are relatively short which means none of the characters are on screen long enough to become fall in to the usual tropes and stereotypes. I like Anna Paquin, but the sulky-teen act was a little annoying, and the Brian Cox story is a good comedic break. It’s also not the usual low-budget horror movie I’ve seen. Dougherty does a job of directing and the acting is solid. I loved the attention to detail the sets had and the music score fitted in well – my favourite is the Marilyn Manson ‘Sweet Dreams’ during the werewolf segment.

Dougherty wears his fan-boy badge on his sleeve, with references to ‘Pet Semetary’, ‘The Thing’, ‘Thir13en Ghosts’, ‘Night of the Living Dead’ with a ‘Tales from the Crypt’ vibe. While there are references to these movies (and so many more!), this movie isn’t a rehash of any one horror but is a solid, thoughtful homage to all things Halloween. What I really enjoy is that it’s not a remake, re-imaging, rehash but rather a fun, stand-alone horror movie. I’m excited that Trick R Treat 2 has been announced and can’t wait to see it. I’ve also promised to make myself a mini crochet Sam so watch this space!

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