Halloween is the day where the invisible wall between the land of the living and the land of the dead goes thinner than Paris Hilton doing rails for breakfast. And a group of characters find out about that jive THE HARD way via 4 interweaved horror stories set within our fav holiday. To paraphrase Busta Rhymes: "Trick or treat motherf*cka!"
Poison, drowning, claw or knife… so many ways to take a
I've been waiting for Michael Dougherty's (writer of X-men and Superman Returns) first directing tequila shot TRICK R TREAT to hit the big screen for what feels like forever. The flick was initially supposed to haunt the screens in October 2007. Then it got bumped to October 2008 and now, the f*ck I know, feels like its getting the "dump" treatment by WB. Big mistake in my incredibly useless opinion, cause this baby is the ideal Halloween treat.
Before I even go into the substance, TRICK R TREAT gets a hooker's head with a razor blade lodged firmly in its yapper for its astounding visual take on the holiday that is Halloween. Straight up, I don't think ANY FILM has ever communicated Halloween in such an eye popping and visually arresting fashion. Like the movie or not, you can't deny that it looks fantastic! The countless lit pumpkins, ominous atmosphere, the smooth shots and spooky cinematography; I was floored by this good looking witch and for that alone it's worth the watch. The costume (so dug the red riding hood outfit) and production designs were also superior to the norm, also contributing in making this film the best looking Halloween themed film ever made. With that out of my bag, TRICK R TREAT did have its tales to say. Think an anthology a la Creepshow and Tales from the Darkside but via a different structure.
The stories went a little bit like this: What can be considered the wrap around was about a broad who disses Halloween to see Halloween diss her back. We then went back and forth between: - A father and school principal who shows his true "serial killer' colors. – A group of cock hungry sluts (my kind of dames) with the token virgin in tow attending a party. – Kids play a trick on the nerd girl – Halloween tricks them back. – And a Halloween hating old man sees a demon from his past come back from the dead to bust his chops. Now granted, all of the stories had a predictability factor tagged to them. Anybody that's seen 5 or more horror films will guess where these are going before they get there. With that spat, it was the "getting there" part that was the bulk of the fun. The flick rolled out in such a charming way, with back-handing moments of high violence in its back pocket, that I couldn't help but be enamored by them stories, big smile on my face, having a blast in my seat.
Tone wise, it had clever yet grounded dialogue, a quirky sense of humor that rubbed me the right way, sported a bag-full of mucho suspenseful set pieces and even managed to be a tad sexy within one of its tales. The lump of ice cream on the pumpkin pie was the film's knack at addressing our many Halloween customs and turning them on their severed heads for our viewing pleasure. Sweet! Any peeves? Well aside of the already mentioned obviousness, the film could've been meaner and smuttier in places if you ask me. But maybe that's just me being trashy. I wasn't too keen on the structure of the film though. Call me old fashioned; but I dig my anthologies in their standard structure: wrap around as a through line, stories told in blocks. Here we kept going back and forth and although I respected the attempt at something novel within the subgenre, it weakened the experience for me since my focus was all over the place. When Arrow has to think, he shuts off ya know!
On the whole though; its one to to see and own… if WB ever lets it out of its cage that is. BOOOOOOOOOOOO!
You know what I won't spoil them on this one. Let's just say that the flick had a couple of solid gory bits that I didn't really see coming, hence the whoopass effect! So enjoy them when they smack ya!
Anna Paquin (Laurie) looked jaw dropping gorgeous and handled her role with transfixing restraint. Brian Cox (Mr. Kreeg) had a hoot as the cranky old man and he was a riot to watch. Dylan Baker (Steven) bordered "over the top" but never crossed the line; resulting in a funny yet scary show. Leslie Bibb (Emma) did what she had to do while looking hotter than hell on a hot day… in hell. NICE!
We get hot ladies with little clothes that show a pinch of ta-tas. It could've gone further in my horny opinion.
Dougherty hit hard in his directorial debut with meticulous and beautiful framing and a firm a handle on tension and comedy. The slick cinematography by Glen MacPherson also contributed in making this baby look Halloween bon-bon good!
We get a score that perfectly echoed the many moods of the piece.
TRICK R TREAT was THE definitive Halloween movie in the sense of celebrating the Holiday via celluloid. Carpenter's HALLOWEEN tapped into the bleakness of the holiday, TRICK R TREAT conveyed its morbid beauty and fun! Sure, the structure was on and off for me and the flick could've pushed its questionable content further but when all was said and done; I had a great time at the movies! The flick made me appreciate the Halloween season even moreso than I already do. Good shite!