"You should be more careful, there are rules..."
Trick 'r Treat (2007) Canadian horror anthology film produced by Bryan Singer and directed by Michael Dougherty.
The film contains four stories all taking place on Halloween night in a small town in Ohio. The stories over lap and all have the common thread of a mysterious small trick or treater named Sam who is witnessing all of the events of the story.
The acting in this movie is really good across the board, its almost a perfect mix of lesser known but very capable actors and actors you've never seen in your life that are quite good. Even the actors I realized aren't doing anything too far out of their usual range, but they're used effectively and each is playing a slight variation on what I've seen them do before.
Honestly I don't think there's anything 'bad' about this movie, but this is the best spot to drop one observation I thought of during this film. The only problem with all of these stories taking place in the same small town blocks away from each other on the same night is that multiplied against the horror film trope that people die in every story (even if they're not always the people you think who are going to die!) but all I started to think about is how the police department the next morning is going to have so many victims and missing persons that it's ridiculous. I guess that speaks to how realistic a lot of the violence and terror is portrayed in the film, so much so that I'm thinking about the police phones ringing off the hook the next morning!
The cinematography and direction are really good in this film, everything is lit perfectly the camera work is so effective that I was holding my breath during certain scenes and sequences. I think I want to watch this movie like ten more times just to study it honestly, that's how good I think this movie is.
I love how this film is a refreshingly new take on something as old as the anthology horror film. This is the eleventh anthology film I've reviewed this season with movies spanning over 50 years and this film is such a breath of fresh air! I love the way the stories over lap, sometimes in a way that you're not actually sure what story you're following until the film turns down a path and yet every character who's introduced is then reintroduced in a new light and paid off in an effective way by the end of the film.
The script is super clever I love how this film is really effective at taking you down a route in each story and when you think you know what's coming next the film then turns in an interesting way and pays it off effectively so that the twists don't seem forced or gimmicky. I like how this film has a variety of stories, it has a clever new take on a vampire story, it involves a serial killer and it has elements like the school bus sequence that are so dark I really worry for the mind of writer/director Michael Dougherty.
The last thing I have to mention about this film that I love so much is Sam. The framing device/character. I love everything about Sam and the way the film used him! The origin of this story started when Michael Dougherty was an animation student and he came up with the realization that Halloween is one of the few holidays that doesn't have a main character to represent it. Thus Sam the strange trick or treater was born and honestly, the way he was used and how well this character was thought out, I actually believe now that Sam is the representing character for my favorite holiday. It's a bold undertaking to come up with something like that and I really think Michael Dougherty pulled it off. I love the way this film uses him though because not only is he the one element every story has in common but the final story is effectively his story and as they wrap up the film they effectively tell you about Sam (as much as I want to know anyways) and tie it all into the point and the main theme of the movie. That's what makes this an effective film.
This review is part of my 2014 run of 13 Nights of Macabre Movies! Tune in tomorrow as check out another different take on the standard anthology structure with The ABCs of Death (2012).
Like this blog? You can support it by buying this film through these fine links: