Sunday, October 18, 2009

Oh, The Horror! #36: Trick 'r Treat

What the heck is this now? Horror films are becoming fun again? First we had Drag Me To Hell then the recent Paranormal Activity, and Zombieland has been getting some great reviews all over which I've yet to see for myself and now this nice little gem called Trick 'r Treat directed by Michael Dougherty and produced by Bryan Singer. From what I understand, this movie was set to come out in 2006 but it was delayed by Warner Brothers for whatever reason and it's finally been released on DVD about a week or so ago. Decided to pick it up due to some of the great reviews I've been reading and hearing about and finally watched it and have to say it truly is a nice little gem to own and watch with some buddies.

The movie revolves around four stories all taking place in the span of a few hours in a town during Halloween. You have a sadistic murdering principal played awesomely by Dylan Baker, a virginal girl dressed as Little Red Riding Hood played by Anna Paquin who is being stalked by mysterous man in a mask and cloak, a group of kids who collect Jack o' Lanterns and recount a town's creepy urban legend, and a grumpy ol' hermit, played by Brian Cox, with no Halloween spirit and needs to be taught it. Through out the movie is one small figure named Sam who appears in all four segments and plays a bit of a role as the Spirit of Halloween, making sure things go according to plan with this special holiday. You don't want to mess with Sam and break a Halloween tradition, I'm telling you. As the movie progresses, we come across various creatures of the night such as demons, zombies, werewolves (the werewolves segment had to be my favorite part of the whole movie), vampires as each segment beings to interlock and connect with each other in some way shape or form. One of the exciting things about this anthology is putting together the pieces of when certain things occurred as various scenes are in fact out of sequence.

Dougherty, who wrote and directed this movie, does a great job behind the helm. Visually, this movie definitely grabs you and gets you interested. He knows how to definitely bring a script to life through the camera using some great camera movements with beautiful editing transition shots, all adding greatly to the quirky but creepy fun of this movie. He also picked a great set of actors as his characters who all seemed to be very comfortable in their skin and all enjoying their parts in this movie.

I honestly don't know much else of what to say about this movie without going into full detail of everything that was showcased without spoiling some stuff. It was cleverly written with some nice subtle touches throughout. I honestly couldn't help but allow myself to fall in love with this movie. This is definitely a movie to be enjoyed by anyone with the Halloween spirit. It's not the scariest film you'll ever see, though there are some really jumpy parts and some great tension built up in certain segments, but it will be one very fun evening you'll have watching this with a group of buddies or some family members. Even though I do think it'd make a fun flick to watch with family for Halloween, it isn't a kids movie. There's language, sexual innuendo, killings, mutilation, and breasts. I know growing up, I wasn't scorned against watching stuff of the like, but a fair warning to parents who want to watch this with their little kiddies.

But enough of great praise. There were but two things that didn't quite do it for me. For one it was one of the designs for Sam himself. The look he has through the movie is fantastic and quite adorable. You can't help but love the character just based on his visual alone. It's when he takes off his mask that a bit of the mystique of the character sort of loses me. Now it helps for the story where you see his look, but I could have done without seeing it. And the second would definitely be the running time. 82 minutes of this? Why couldn't we get more? Ah well. I do hope this movie does very well and WB notices they screwed up in not releasing this when this was originally suppose to come out. This definitely has the markings of a big cult favorite and following. Hopefully a wide-released sequel? I do know Dougherty himself has plans for one.

So c'mon, guys, get into your Halloween spirit and enjoy this nice little fun movie. You're never too young or old to follow the traditions of this festive holiday. But then again, go ahead, don't follow the traditions. When you see Sam on your doorsteps, I sadly won't get the chance to tell you I told you so.

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