Trick R Treat
Trick R Treat is a movie that I wanted to see for years, but unfortunately was ‘pushed’ from its original theater release date of 2007 twice, then given a Halloween season 2008 date before being pulled and dumped with little fanfare onto DVD in 2009. No theater release, no one seemed to care and of course there was much rumor as to why it was just dumped without a theater run. Of course, there might be a real reason, but I didn’t find one and if you do, well, do share!
Trick R Treat is an anthology, which might be one reason for its lack of a theater run. Anthologies seem to be an archaic expression of movie-dom, much like the movie short. After all, each year when Oscar watching, how many of those short films have people seen? If you’re like me, you go grab a drink during that portion or switch channels. What bothers me about people’s real or perceived fear of anthologies is that they can get quite the bang for their buck. I think I would enjoy more horror movies if they had a concise three, four or five stories in there, rather than one long dragging plot with the first 30 minutes being teenagers being stupid, the next 30 being a friend or two missing, then 30 minutes of screaming and running before the bad guy appears to be offed.. or was he? Forget that, start off with a rip roaring murder, cut to the lead and then let that story play out for 20 or 30 minutes of quick gore and fright then cut to the next story and go! But for some reason, the anthology has died. Well, thank you very much for that; I’ll go and hug my three stooges collection and whisper of better times!
Anyway, back on track, this movie was produced by Bryan Singer, who was still ‘hot’ from his X-Men 1 and 2 directing efforts. In the movie, the unifying theme is Halloween night traditions. A few characters spill over from story to story, with perhaps the most frightening being Sam. Sam is a trick-or-treater dressed in tattered orange pajamas with an oversized head covered by a burlap sack. At first he is just a background character in the opening segment who floats around the other stories with no true story other than the viewer getting to play a game of Where’s Waldo with him, until his true origin comes to light deep into the movie.
This movie has a few traditional stories, such as the school principal with a sinister secret that might hate children. There is the ‘virgin’ who has the friends trying to usher her into their way of doing things. The big kids picking on little kids by taking them into a ravine to tell them the scary story about a school bus ‘accident.’ Of course, what horror movie would be complete without a grumpy neighbor who gets his comeuppance? However, while it appears to be traditional, the stories are given a special twist that just is delightful for any movie lover. Another amazing note is that for so much cast and so much story within a tight budget, the special effects are quite effective. Also, there seemed to be a distinct lack of CGI for better and in one or two occasions for worse.
Still, this movie seems to be a passion project that floated around before gracing us on DVD. The world built throughout these stories has a definitive charm and Anytown, USA feel to it. A real one, rather than the rundown Victorian style that so many movies favor. It also does a brilliant job of giving us a dangerous subsurface to each person. That eerie feeling of ‘do I know a person?’ and then realizing we don’t want to know or love our neighbors. Good fences do truly make good neighbors. It also reminds one that as a kid, we were kind of jerky to our friends. Even our good ones!
So, needless to finally wind down and point out, I loved it and really don’t want to give away any of the twists. Suffice it to say, I won’t be doing two things this year: One, going into the woods with any woman and two, blowing out a jack-o-lantern before morning. Both seem to just be bad ideas.
Oh, and three, I will be staying away from any children who want candy.
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Tune in next week for another terrifying Halloween treat as the B-List Bargain Bin Crew digs up another scary ripe for your collection. But if you can’t wait that long, check out our Best Halloween Deals for more moon-lit must-have’s!