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Trick 'r Treat
BLU-RAY disk
Oct 20, 2009 By: Aaron the H
Trick 'r Treat order download
Director:
Michael Dougherty

Actors:
Brian Cox
Dylan Baker
Anna Paquin

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A loosely intertwining anthology of horror stories that all take place on Halloween night in the same sleepy (but not quiet) little town.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
What the F is wrong with Hollywood come Halloween time? The remake and sequel machine churns out yearly cookie cutter torture porn bullcrap like Saw VIIIII, and now that that cash cow seems to be dying (hopefully) were scraping the bottom of the remake barrel so badly that theyve come up with a redo of The friggin Stepfather, which was never that popular to begin with. Things are starting to look grim in the horror genre, and not in the way these films are supposed to be.

So what did Hollywood decide to do when a fresh, quality film was made that actually paid tribute to those 80s Halloween flicks that got everything right? Why keep it on the shelf for a couple years and then file it under "straight-to-DVD" of course! Trick 'r Treat is the ultimate Halloween-time horror flick, one that should make the previously named jigsaw films bow their heads in shame. Its by no means a perfect flick, and it wont win any Oscars (what horror film would?), but hot damn does it deliver the fun and creep factor.

Im thinkin the reason it was shelved is because some idiots didnt know how to market this thing (Im burning future bridges left and right here). Unlike the recent slate of straight-forward slasher flicks, Trick r Treat actually gives us not one but four fun, short stories, in the vain of Tales From the Crypt and Creepshow, minus the kooky host. Trick r Treat is not just a film that takes place on Halloween, it's actually about Halloween. And that's what makes it so great.

The dialogue and storylines aint exactly groundbreaking, but what I loved about all of these tales is that they never ended up going where I thought they would (Anna Paquins especially). Sure, as is typical with the horror genre, people in these stories often meet gruesome fates, but writer/director Michael Dougherty slips in some fun little last-minute twists that most people wont see coming.

Another particularly solid aspect of the film is the cinematography. Cinematographer Glen MacPherson knows exactly how to set the mood of Halloween night, with an endless army of glowing jackolanterns and a nice layer of fog at just the right times to create a mysterious, creepy vibe. The hand-held, gritty, (and insanely overly stylized) look of the recent Chainsaw and Friday the 13th remakes this is not- camerawork here is played out much more for thrill factor then style points or ego-stroking (my bridges just keep on burnin).

There are of course some flaws here and there. Editing of the film could use some work (didn't like the frequent and uneven switching between stories), and the acting here is nothing to write home about. That said, the always-reliable Brian Cox and Dylan Baker kick off their shoes and relish the opportunity to inject loads of fun and campiness into their respective roles, resulting in some really fun stuff. Oh and lets not forget about the little pumpkin-headed freak. If this film got the wide theatrical release it deserved, hed definitely join the ranks of Chucky and the lil psycho from Pet Semetary as the creepiest child-like terrors in the genre. Damn you Hollywood for blackballing this baby. Thats OK, cuz Imummreally looking forward to the 3rd film in the Halloween remake saga. Yeah.
THE EXTRAS
Commentary Track with the writer/director, the Concept Illustrator, the Storyboard Artist, and the Composer: These guys are clearly all good friends and the track, while a informative at times, is mostly jokey and conversational.

The Lore and Legends of Halloween (27:25) - Narrated by Brian Cox, this educational and well-crafted featurette tells you anything and everything youve ever wanted to know about Halloweens history. It also cleverly functions as a behind-the-scenes for the film. Definitely watch this AFTER the film though as they spoil every storys ending.

"Seasons Greetings" Animated Short (3:51) - Michael Doughertys animated short that inspired the film. Pretty ghetto animation but a fun, dark little tale for sure.

Bus Scene FX Comparison (1:13) - A very short little side-by-side comparison of a VFX shot for the bus crash scene. Pretty cool if youre into FX, otherwise nothin special.

Additional Scenes (16:54) - A gaggle of additional material, most of which was rightfully cut from the film, as its pretty boring. And yeah, I just used the word gaggle.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Trick r Treat is a film made by a major fan of Halloween, created for major fans of Halloween. The care and thought put into this set of tales make it a truly enjoyable (and frightful) experience, full of plenty of tricks and treats to satisfy your cinematic sweet tooth (sorry, had to).
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