Sunday, October 31, 2010
Trick 'r Treat (2007)
Trick 'r Treat (USA, 2007) - Color, Director(s): Michael Dougherty
MPAA Rating: R
Approx. 82 min.
Z-rating: 10 out of 10 stars for successfully capturing the Halloween spirit in a horror anthology
I know this was last year's most talked about Halloween movie, but I thought it captured the spirit of Halloween so well that it couldn't hurt to review it this year too. Originally slated for a 2007 release, this film was pushed back all the way until it received a direct-to-DVD release in Oct. 2009. The buzz around this movie was unbelievable, even people who don't like horror movies was talking about this one. Not knowing anything about this film, I went into not knowing what to expect. What I got was probably the best Halloween movie that's actually about Halloween night. (Usually it's about some kind of demon, monster, or spirit that is free to roam around on Halloween night) Besides, this year Halloween lands on Scary Sunday.... so I just felt like I had to post a review up today
This movie starts with a cute couple returning home after a night of Halloween high jinks. The yard is littered with Halloween decor and the girl says she wants it cleaned up seeing as her mother was coming in the morning. Taking off her costume, she prepares for the task at hand. Something jumps out at her from underneath one of the "ghost" sheets and we see her struggle with it momentarily until the sheets splatter with her blood, staining it from the inside, as she's stabbed repeatedly with what looks to be a sharpened lollipop. The boyfriend awakes later after waiting all night for his girl to come to bed but she never showed. He goes looking for her, only to find her murdered and strung up on a cross with a lollipop jammed in her mouth.
The first of four Halloween-related short stories opens with a chubby kid walking around, smashing pumpkins and stealing candy. He stops at a house to fill up on candy and, as luck would have it, the house belongs to the principal (Dylan Baker) at his school. Forced to stay and chat with the principal, he starts in on a chocolate bar only to find that it's laced with poison. After puking up his entire night's worth of candy all over the front porch, the principal drags tubby inside and attempts to hide the body. The rest of this segment is a dark comedy about the principals misadventures while trying to dispose of the body.
The following segment is probably my favorite, a group of kids are traveling from house to house collecting Jack-o'-lanterns. Their plan is to pay their respects to the poor children of the "Halloween School Bus Massacre". Legend has it that the parents of a group of special ed children pooled their money together and paid off the bus driver to make sure that they never return. He chains them up by an old abandoned rock quarry but one of them breaks free and drives the bus off the cliff. Crashing into the lake below, the children were never heard from again. What began as a harmless Halloween ritual quickly became a practical joke gone wrong... but being Halloween night, who is the joke really on?
Next up we have the super sexy Anna Paquin (Rogue from X-men) in a segment about a group of lovely, lovely ladies in search of dates for a party. The other girls all seem to have dates already except for Paquin, who breaks off from the group to look for hers. As this is happening, a mysterious man in a mask is shown seducing and then biting the neck of a female companion. After realizing that he's not playing around, she tries to escape through a maze of alleyways but is cut off by the guy and drained of her life. This mysterious figure eventually crosses paths with the lovely Anna Paquin and follows her through the woods. The tables are turned when this helpless little lamb is more dangerous than she appears.
The final story of this four-part anthology introduces Sam, the mysterious trick-or-treater in orange that we see all throughout the movie. An elderly man (Brian Cox who was also William Stryker from X-men 2) is attacked by Sam and, during the struggle, we learned that Sam isn't human. His origins aren't explained but I think he is supposed to be the embodiment of the Halloween spirit. After several unsuccessful attempts to kill the little bugger, he's outmatched by the creature and is about to be finished by off by the sharpened lollipop... when the lollipop pieces through a candy bar first, leaving the old man unscathed. Satisfied with the candy, Sam takes his leave but not before instilling the spirit of Halloween deep into the soul of this grumpy old man.
In the final act, the old man is shown passing out candy to trick-or-treaters... finally in the spirit of Halloween. He looks up to see the different characters in the earlier segments at different times during the night. Cursing this night under his breath, he shuts the door but before his night if over... he gets one final visit from a very special group of trick-or-treaters...
Nudity: There were a few boobs at the party in the woods in the segment involving Anna Paquin. (not her boobs though) Not too much nudity but very classy nonetheless
Gore: Not a very gory movie, this movie had blood and a lot of implied violence. This movie works perfectly with minimal gore and nudity because it is the amazing storytelling that's the star of the show here.
Awesome: VERY. I absolutely love how the stories are interwoven. If you pay attention closely, you can see characters and events from other stories in the background or in quick flashes. The impression that it gives me is that creepy feeling that anything can happen on Halloween night. Great acting, cool rock music, hot chick partying, scary shit happening. I can't rave about this movie enough. Do yourself a favor, if you haven't seen this movie, just go buy it. You'll like it, you know you will.