Friday, August 10, 2012

Review: Trick r Treat (2007)

“You know, there are rules, you should be more careful. You might upset someone.”

Director: Michael Dougherty
Starring: Anna Paquin, Brian Cox and Dylan Baker
Writer: Michael Dougherty

It’s been a while since I’ve watched an anthology horror movie and after hearing some good things about Trick r Treat I thought I would dip my toes in. Trick r Treat had a hard road; it was made and then shelved even though there was good buzz leaking through the grape vine. Some say it was because Warner Bros didn’t want to iok,being punished for his involvement in Superman Returns. So was this a miscarriage of justice? Or should this have never been released?

Unlike some anthology movies which have separate stories normally connected by a narrator or bookend story, this movie takes the approach of being a single night on Halloween with various characters constantly intersecting in the background with the chronological order of the events being mixed about. It’s an approach that gives the movie a feeling of freshness, and a great sense of not knowing what will happen next. I won’t go into the specifics as it can ruin several surprises, but I did like where the movie went and how it balanced horror and fun. In fact the opening credits are done in a comic book style and really set up the tone.

The actors all seem to be having fun, with Dylan Baker having a particularly wild time as Steven. Anna Paquin also shows up as the shy girl next door Laurie. In fact I can see definite shades of a prototype Sookie Stackhouse in this performance. However the highlights of the movie have to go to Brian Cox and Quinn Lord. As Mr Kreeg, Brian Cox manages to give us a grizzled old bastard that is every bit an asshole, and yet give him enough personality for us to get behind when the shit goes down. Then there is Sam, a small child that walks through all the nights events like an omen of doom. It’s not giving anything away in saying he is the monster given front and centre attention; the spokesmen for the movie. What’s fascinating to me is that even with the entire make up, masks and lack of dialogue a young Quinn Lord is able to give this monster a particular personality that really resonates. So much so that I would love to have a Sam figure for my monster collection.

Visually the movie is crisp and really glorifies Halloween. Even with all the horror that was being thrown up onto the screen I kind of wished Australia celebrated Halloween like the Americans. The movie is both bright and celebratory, along with having dark shadows looming. Compared to some of the horror movies that get released now a days, this really does stand out. Michael Dougherty has a clear idea of what he wants to accomplish, and his style makes sure that the audience gets every little detail.

For people who want a Halloween film then this would rank up there. It’s obviously been made by people who love the genre, and it’s a wonder why the studios did hide this away. In my mind I would rather have a whole glut of movie like Trick r Treat rather than another Saw sequel. Horror fans grab this as soon as possible.

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