My 31 Days of Horror comes to a close with a modern seasonal classic. What better way to end than with a movie about the day itself!?
Trick R Treat is a Halloween institution in my house. We watch it every year, Sam, the impish little mascot of the film is even tattooed on my right shin. I fell in love with this movie, its whole vibe is just right up my street.
It’s absolutely crazy to think that this film was denied a proper cinematic release. Trick r Treat played festivals and had random screenings and was eventually dumped, unceremoniously, on DVD two years later
Written and directed by Michael Dougherty, who co-wrote X Men 2 (and pinching its stars Anna Paquin and Brian Cox for this film), Trick R Treat is a Halloween anthology. A mischievous, violent and creepy collection of tales set on Halloween, connected by the presence of Sam, watching and waiting for his turn to get in on the action.
The movie is basically a horror version of Pulp Fiction, non-linear and full of misdirection and call backs. Doughtery clearly had a blast making this movie, framed like an old horror comic and full of joy.
Each story thread sort picks on old Halloween tropes and traditions. Taking down the decorations early, not checking your candy, girls being followed by masked weirdos, ghostly urban legends. There’s sort of a Christmas Carol feel to the whole thing too. I love just how each segment is linked to the others, characters crossing over and plot points paying off in other parts. It takes great delight in its reveals, the reason why the film works so well. It messes with the predictability of this type of film too, not letting anything be too obvious.
Trick R Treat has gradually picked up an audience over the last decade but it’s still somewhat of a cult film, not really as big as it deserves to be. Dougherty has since gone on to make Christmas horror Krampus and is currently working on Godzilla:King of the Monsters. Trick R Treat 2 was announced a while back but I’m not confident we will ever see it materialise.
If you’ve never seen it, I can’t recommend it highly enough. It’s basically a Halloween version of one of those joyful Christmas movies. Gets you in the mood for the season, launched Halloween icon and most of all, it’s fun! Unapologetically made by and for people who love Halloween.
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