Thursday, October 31, 2013

Trick 'r Treat (2007)(Minor Spoilers Review)

**This review contains MINOR spoilers, no big reveals, plot twits, or character deaths**

Intro- Emma & Henry

Emma (Leslie Bibb) “hates” Halloween, but her husband, Henry (Tahmoh Penikett) is a devout believer in Halloween and the traditions attached to the holiday. After a stroll Warren Valley’s annual costume parade, Emma pushes Henry to remove all the decorations before her mother arrives for a visit. Henry warns Emma about breaking the sacred rules during Halloween night, and Emma learns her lesson the hard way, when a tiny enforcer/demon named Sam (Quinn Lord) decides to teach her a lesson she’ll never forget.

My Thoughts:  Shocking. That’s the one word I would use to describe this storyline. This was a GREAT opener for Trick ‘r Treat, because it sets the tone for the film. You know that Sam isn’t someone to mess with, and you know you’re about to see a sick and twisted horror anthology film, that won’t hesitate to pull any punches.

Principal Wilkins

Steven Wilkins (Dylan Baker) is the town principal for Warren Valley’s elementary school. Steven lives alone with his son, Billy (Connor Christopher Levins), but unbeknownst to other Warren Valley citizens, Steven lives a secret life as a cold-blooded serial killer……

My Thoughts: Dylan Baker is an ideal choice to portray the nerdy and quirky outcast, but there’s a dark side to his character here. Steven receives a dose of his own medicine later on, but there’s a genuinely surprising twist involving the father/son relationship between Steven and Billy.

Scavenger Hunt

Led by Macy (Britt McKillip), Chip (Alberto Ghisi), Schrader (Jean-Luc Bilodeau), Sara (Isabelle Deluce), and Rhonda (Samm Todd) take a trip to an abandoned rock quarry to test the limits of an old legend. Years ago, after receiving a collective payment from their parents, a school bus driver was ordered to murder eight mentally ill children by driving the bus into the quarry head first.

Although, before the bus driver hit the gas pedal, one of the eight chained children escaped, and drove the bus off the cliff. The bus sunk to the bottom of the quarry, killing the eight children, and the bus driver mysteriously disappeared after the incident. Throughout the years, this tragedy was dubbed the School Bus Massacre.

My Thoughts: As the leader, Macy is the “mean girl” in the group, so she feels the need to bully the geek (Rhonda), but Macy’s prank backfires in the worst way, when the REAL threat shows up.

Laurie’s First

At a young age of twenty-two, Laurie (Anna Paquin) is still waiting for her “first.” With some prodding from her older sister, Danielle (Lauren Lee Smith) and her two friends Maria (Rochelle Aytes) and Janet (Moneca Delain), Laurie agrees to attend a party deep in the woods with a wide variety of men for different tastes. But during the trip to her big night, Laurie is stalked by a masked man with fangs.

My Thoughts: With all the teasing and sexual innuendos, you’re lead to believe Laurie is about to lose her virginity, and she’s beyond terrified about the big night, but that’s not  the case. I won’t give away the big surprise here, because the twist is that good. If you’re jaw doesn’t hit the floor after Laurie's revelation, then you’re apart of a tough, tough crowd.

Mr. Kreeg VS  Sam

Living alone with his dog, Mr. Kreeg (Brian Cox) is a miserable codger, who loathes Halloween. Mr. Kreeg uses his dog and a glowing mask to scare trick-or-treaters into dropping their bags of candy at his doorstep, so Mr. Kreeg can have all the sweet goodies to himself. But Mr. Kreeg is stuck in a life-or-death fight, when Sam invades Mr. Kreeg’s home to punish the grumpy old grouch for his all his crimes during Halloween.

My Thoughts: Trick ‘r Treat set the bar high with the previous shorts, the film needed to end with a bang, and Mr. Kreeg VS Sam didn’t disappoint at all. After the big fight is over, Trick ‘r Treat fools you with a baffling conclusion, but everything changes, when some old friends from Kreeg’s past show up.

Summary: Director/writer Michael Dougherty packs a plethora of genuinely surprising twists into Trick ’r Treat, and he uses a smooth interweaving technique to connect the dots with each storyline. And more importantly, Dougherty never clusters everything together to the point where you get the feeling you’re watching a clumsy attempt to be too tricky failing before your very eyes. No, Dougherty carefully moves the pieces of the puzzle into place, and Doughtery’s is able to drop a layer of clever hindsight on each storyline.

It might take some time, but I can picture Sam gaining a loyal fanbase, as the next true horror icon. Sam doesn’t speak a word in Trick ’r Treat, but his menacing presence casts a dark shadow over each storyline throughout Trick ’r Treat. And those who disrespect Halloween in any way, shape, or form, will suffer the consequences after learning an unforgettable lesson from Sam.

If you love horror and Halloween, Trick ’r Treat is a MUST-SEE. Most horror anthology films suffer one big problem: Inconsistency. Well I can tell you, Trick ’r Treat doesn’t suffer from this problem. Trick ’r Treat is loaded with enough twists and turns to keep you on the edge of your seat, dark humor, bloody gruesomeness for the gore fiends, and enough spooky atmospheric tension to provide a handful of bone chilling moments. It’s a festive treat with everything any die hard horror fan could possibly ask for, and after one viewing, you’ll understand Trick ’r Treat’s strong cult following. I can’t wait for Trick ’r Treat 2!

Rating: 10/10

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