Directed By: Michael Dougherty
“Always check your candy.”
I guess it was the news that it was getting a sequel that made me want to watch it, but I couldn’t help diving into the world of Trick ‘R Treat again for Halloween. It seemed the most appropriate time of the year to watch it after all.
Through no fault of my own we’ve looked at a few anthologies these last 30 nights. Trick ‘R Treat is definitely an anthology yet it also manages to almost transcend that idea with just a few simple touches. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a collection of short stories, but the great thing that Michael Dougherty did that almost never gets done is that he intertwines them so they’re all linked and have a chronology. An event in one story becomes a background detail in another, characters show up ‘outside’ of their own story an appear in others. It’s essentially like watching Pulp Fiction except with serial killers and a creepy kid with a sack over his head.
That creepy kid, Sam, is our link through the movie. He appears in every segment, taking prominence in the final part (Also starring the great Brian Cox). He’s the spirit of Halloween, there to make sure the rules are observed and tradition is upheld. If they’re not then…well he kills you basically.
What’s impressive are all the stories are great. There’s not a weak one in the bunch. Even years of True Blood can’t spoil Anna Paquin’s presence (Though lord knows that show tries spoiling good actors for everyone). They’re not scary as such, or deep, but they’re a whole lot of fun. They’re the types of stories kids used to tell around campfires, funny little vignettes with a sting in the tail. I won’t spoil any of them here because it’s something that’s just best watched knowing nothing. It’s a shame that people are easy to dismiss Trick ‘R Treat as not being ‘scary’ enough. If the movie was trying to be ‘scary’ then I’d agree. But that’s not really the goal. It’s there to entertain with stories that are dark, but funny as well.
It’s also possibly the greatest Halloween movie made. I know what you’re thinking, “But what about Halloween?” and that’s a totally valid question. It’s just a backdrop in that movie. A setting for the action. It works because it taps into that idea of a bad thing happening on Halloween night. Trick ‘R Treat is about Halloween. It’s the quintessential Halloween tale. You can feel the autumn in the movie, see the season in every frame. It’s a joyous celebration of the most macabre time of the year and yet it’s utterly genuine. It doesn’t feel false at all.
Just in case I’ve run out of ways to say it; I loved it.