Monday, November 5, 2012

Trick r Treat Retro Review

I unabashedly love Trick r Treat.  I was first introduced to this fantastic film back in 2010.  I and some friends watched it as part of a Halloween movie marathon that year.  We’ve since done two more marathons (for each subsequent Halloween) – the only film that has stayed consistent is Trick r Treat (Red State, The Evil Dead, Drag me to Hell have been amongst the rotating cast).  It is a fantastic blend of horror and comedy that brilliantly weaves together four separate storylines into one helluva anthology film.

The four storylines could, on their own, act as short films.  Each is wildly different and manages to buck horror-film tropes in their own special ways.  The main through-line of the separate stories is the idea of respecting Halloween (or Samhain) and what it stands for.  This concept is represented physically by a character I’ve come to call “sack boy” (Sam).  Not the cute, cuddly Sack Boy from the LittleBigPlanet series of PlayStation games; this sack boy wears orange pajamas and covers its head in burlap.  He’s an example of what you can’t see being more frightening than what you can see.  Late in the film you find out what’s under that sack, and while it may not be as terrifying as the faceless burlap, it is just as disconcerting and unsettling.

There are some fantastic performances peppered throughout the film.  Dylan Baker is absolutely perfect as the twisted school principal Steven.  Brian Cox is nearly unrecognizable as the crotchety old Mr. Kreeg, Steven’s neighbor.  Anna Paquin is wonderfully cast as a shy virgin with some pretty wicked secrets.  Leslie Bibb and Battlestar Galactica alum Tahmoh Penikett have very small but entertaining roles.  The entire cast overall is just superb; everyone is just so well cast.

I don’t want to get into the actual storylines themselves because part of the joy of watching TrT for the first time is watching the mini mysteries unfold before your eyes and how they all blend together.  The one thing that bugs me just slightly is sack boy himself.  We have no idea where he/it came from and if this is the first time he’s shown up.  I’d like to believe that he sort of travels from place to place, making sure that All Hallow’s Eve is properly respected; if the amount of deaths that occur in this one night occur annually I am quite certain that the parade/celebration depicted on screen would be shut down immediately.  At the same time I just absolutely love the concept and character design of sack boy that I wholly embrace the mystery surrounding his character.

I just cannot recommend Trick r Treat highly enough.  It is quite a shame that this film was never released theatrically; having Bryan Singer attached as a producer wasn’t enough to bump it from direct-to-dvd status.  If you like Halloween themed films or just horror in general I suggest you pick it up immediately.  Here’s to hoping for a sequel (that will most likely never happen)!

Trick r Treat is a fantastic Halloween-themed anthology films that just works on every level.

The Bearded Bullet

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