21 August 2009 | gregsrants
What a treat. Best Halloween film ever produced. BRAVO!
Over the past 12 months, I have heard countless good things about the horror film, Trick 'r Treat. How it was scary. How it was going to be a huge hit and the most talked about horror film since a hockey masked serial killer started stalking Camp Crystal Lake. How it won the Audience Award at Screamfest and how anyone who has seen the film on the festival circuit has wondered why the hell the film hasn't been recognized with a major distribution deal.
Twelve months is a long time, and even with all the good buzz surrounding the film, I began to wonder if it was worth the hype. When I happened across the screening of the film as part of the Toronto After Dark Film Festival 2009, I did everything I could to get tickets (which simply meant going on-line and purchasing a pair). To add to my experience, I brought my girlfriend along who, as luck would have it, enjoys horror films about as much as Octomom enjoys feeding time. My girlfriend is a screamer and I knew she would spend most of the movie either digging her nails into my arm or watching the movie through the half inch space between her fingers over her eyes.
This was going to be fun.
As I arrived at the theatre, it was evident that I was not the only one who was incredibly excited about the screening. There was someone in line who I thought was going to pee himself in exhilaration waiting to be let into the theatre. Others were talking rather enthusiastically about what they had heard about the film and how they couldn't wait for the October DVD release (even though they had yet to see the damn thing!).
As the lights went dim, the audience joined in whistles, cheers and applause. The Trick 'r Treating had begun.
Trick 'r Treat interweaves multiple stories in an anthology. Think of Creepshow as done by Tarantino and you get the idea.
The first story is short but sets the tone. It is only about 10 minutes (if that) in length and shows what can happen to you if you blow out the candle of a jack-o-lantern before midnight. This platform lead into four additional stories. One of an urban legend where a school bus of children went over a cliff, one of a school principle with serial killer tendencies, a story about a young girl trying to find a mate at a Halloween festival, and finally, a story about an old man who is haunted by a child like character (named Sam).
All five of the stories were incredible interesting, wonderfully shot and gloriously thrilling. Directed by Michael Dougherty (X-Men 2, Superman Returns) the film featured familiar faces such as Anna Paquin (True Blod), Brian Cox (X-Men 2), Dylan Baker (Spider-Man) and Leslie Bibb.
Each story was as good as the last. I thought they were all outstanding, and I now belong to the long list of screeners that wonder why the hell this film hasn't been able to secure a distribution deal. When horror films like Orphan and the Unborn can get wide releases, why can't a fantastically scary and well produced film like Trick 'r Treat get any respect? Trick 'r Treat is not the gore fest that many horror fans might be expecting. There are definitely elements of fright, but this is just good storytelling with a few scares and blood thrown in. There is some nudity, but nothing that should have this film slapped with a 'Restricted' banner.
The movie arrives on DVD in October and there is no doubt it will instantly become a classic. I could argue that this is maybe the best Halloween film ever made as it truly captured everything that is loved and feared on October 31st.