Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Trick 'r Treat

Bonfires burning bright
Pumpkin faces in the night
I remember Halloween
 - The Misfits

In honor of season I've decided to review a fun little Halloween movie that many of you may not have heard of. In fact I'd never heard of it, until I bought it on a blind buy when a local video store went out of business. And I'm so glad I did, considering this movie is a great Halloween-themed horror anthology that any fan of the holiday or the horror genre can enjoy. And it's entertaining as hell.

The movie is made up of different tales, all taking place on Halloween night in a fictional quaint town in Ohio where Halloween is celebrated to the max ever year. The story starts out with a nice suburban couple coming home from a Halloween party only to realize there are "rules" to follow on Halloween. And if you don't..there are punishments as well.

Four stories intertwine themselves around the the first one: a school principal who likes to carve things up and they ain't pumpkins, a young woman (Anna Paquin), determined to have her "first" on Halloween, a group of kids who learn a legend about a schoolbus filled with dead children is all too real, and an elderly man who discovers what happens to those that don't hand out candy on Halloween night (hint: it's worse than getting your house egged). All of these stories contain one common character: Sam, a small, non-speaking Trick or Treater dressed in a large burlap pumpkin head who serves as the spirit of Halloween, as well as a silent narrator to the events.

Trick 'r Treat cleverly weaves all these stories together, sometimes going back and forth between them, and bringing characters from one into another with satisfying results. In fact, it's so detailed and smart, sometimes it takes a couple of viewings to see exactly how each story relates to the other. But it's worth it at the end when things come full circle. The movie is great at capturing the spirit and the look of Halloween (seriously I want to live in that town), all the actors are game and well-cast, and there wasn't a boring story to be found anywhere, which is usually not the case in horror anthologies.

Like John Carpenter's Halloween or It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, Trick 'r Treat should be standard viewing for the season. Just remember, Halloween is more than just a holiday. There are rules.

Favorite Moments (may contain spoilers):
  • Steven (the principal) attempting to hide a body in his backyard.
  • Rhonda's revenge moment at the kids who terrorized her.
  • Little Red Riding Hood and her friends in the woods, becoming what they truly are.
  • Sam finally getting what he wanted for Halloween.
Fun Facts Kids!
  • The character of Sam came out of an animated short film that writer-director Michael Dougherty created in 1996.
  • The movie was originally slated to be in theaters in 2007, but sat around until it finally got a DVD release in 2009.
  • Anna Paquin's "blind date" is a large guy dressed up as a giant baby. The actor C. Ernst Harth actually played the Giant Baby in the remake of Thirteen Ghosts.
  • One of the few little known movies that recieved the 30-second Bunny treatment!
Agree? Disagree? Or just have a random string of curse words you'd like to share? Comment!

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