Trick (Movie Review)

PLOT: A detective hunts a seemingly supernatural killer who returns to terrorize the same basic area every Halloween.

REVIEW: Ten years after teaming up to make a really fun new version of MY BLOODY VALENTINE, and eight years after gifting the world with the "Nicolas Cage from Hell" action flick DRIVE ANGRY, director Patrick Lussier and screenwriter Todd Farmer have finally gotten a third collaboration off the ground, the Halloween slasher TRICK. The fact that they've made a slasher that takes place on Halloween (a few Halloweens, actually) brings to mind that Lussier and Farmer were once supposed to make a 3D follow-up to the Rob Zombie HALLOWEEN movies, but fans shouldn't expect to see anything left over from their HALLOWEEN 3D in TRICK. The HALLOWEEN script is likely owned by someone else, and TRICK is an original story that Lussier and Farmer built from the ground up.

That said, some of the movie does feel as if it's an answer to the question, "What if Michael Myers hadn't snapped until he was in high school?" 

When smart and quiet teenager Patrick "Trick" Weaver (Thom Niemann) goes on a stabbing spree at a Halloween party in 2015, he claims several victims before getting shot multiple times and falling through a second story window. Somehow Trick finds the strength to get up from that and disappears into the night – and for the next four years, the masked slasher returns to the same basic area to kill more people around Halloween. Detective Mike Denver (Omar Epps) worked the Trick case in 2015, he was one of the cops who shot the kid, and he's the one who becomes obsessed with stopping Trick, convinced that he's still alive while everyone around him tells him the other murders have to have been committed by someone else.

Trick Omar Epps Ellen Adair Patrick Lussier

So you've got Michael Myers and Doctor Loomis stand-ins, but Trick and Denver are thoroughly their own characters. And since TRICK covers the span of five Halloweens instead of just one, that means much of this movie moves along at a breakneck pace, rarely taking a breather as Denver and Trick play cat and mouse while the murders and massacres pile up. Trick is so capable at what he's doing that the viewer may eventually start to wonder if there is something supernatural going on here. Maybe Trick is the personification of evil after all.

Halloween 2019 is the setting for most of the running time, as this is the year when Trick plots to get his most complete revenge. This time he doesn't just intend to kill some random people and torment Denver; his targets also include Sheriff Jayne (Ellen Adair), who shot him right alongside Denver, and a few survivors of his first killing spree, including heroine Cheryl (Kristina Reyes) – who is also given a dramatic subplot involving her ailing father. There's a lot going on in this movie, and I haven't even mentioned the presence of genre icon Tom Atkins as a shotgun-toting badass who hosts an all-night horror marathon and runs a haunted corn maze attraction. SCREAM's Jamie Kennedy also turns up in a few scenes as a doctor.

Trick Patrick Lussier

TRICK isn't likely to be heralded as a new classic by many, but it has enough bloody action and Halloween spirit that it's almost certain to be warmly embraced by a legion of horror fans who will be gladly adding it to their annual Halloween season viewing lists. My only true issues with the film started to emerge at the end, as I wasn't entirely convinced by a certain turn of events, even though this was something I had suspected earlier. It makes the Trick character and the movie stand out from other slashers, but it also came off as a bit silly.

Despite that, and the movie starting to wear out its welcome for me due to the way things were handled in the last few of its 101 minutes, this was an entertaining watch, and I think it will be worth revisiting on a yearly basis. Nitpicks aside, it delivered exactly what I was hoping it would: bloody mayhem in locations that are all decked out for Halloween.

RLJE Films will be giving TRICK a theatrical and digital release on October 18th, and I recommend watching it before the month is over.
 

Source: Arrow in the Head

About the Author

Cody is a news editor and film critic, focused on the horror arm of JoBlo.com, and writes scripts for videos that are released through the JoBlo Originals and JoBlo Horror Originals YouTube channels. In his spare time, he's a globe-trotting digital nomad, runs a personal blog called Life Between Frames, and writes novels and screenplays.