Review: Trick ‘r Treat (2007)

Directed by: Michael Dougherty | 82 minutes | drama, horror, thriller, comedy | Actors: Anna Paquin, Dylan Baker, Rochelle Aytes, Quinn Lord, Lauren Lee Smith, Moneca Delain, Tahmoh Penikett, Brett Kelly, Britt McKillip, Isabelle Deluce, Jean-Luc Bilodeau, Alberto Ghisi, Samm Todd, Brian Cox, Leslie Bibb

When it comes to horror stories, nothing captures the imagination like Halloween. The celebration is gaining in popularity worldwide every year and there are many movies set on that night. A new Halloween movie may therefore not be innovative quickly. ‘Trick’ r Treat ‘was planned to hit theaters in October 2008, but was not released directly to DVD until 2009. Probably not to compete with ‘Saw VI’, which was released at the time. The film is written and directed by Michael Dougherty, the writer of ‘X2’ and ‘Superman Returns’, among others. However, against all odds, ‘Trick’ r Treat ‘has turned out to be a true hit among horror fanatics.

The film is an anthology of different stories set on the same night. A group of beautiful girls are on their way to a party and are still looking for young men to join them at the last minute. For one of the ladies, this may be the night she will experience her first time. A fat boy steals candy from his teacher’s porch with dire consequences. The teacher’s neighbor, who sees everything, is a bit of a hermit himself and he will receive a special visit this evening. Finally, a group of teenagers investigate the truth behind “The Halloween School Bus Massacre”. A bus of handicapped children drove into a ravine thirty years ago, but the bus has never been found. A joke gets out of hand and ends in a completely different way than expected. Between the stories we see a child in orange pajamas with a burlap sack over his head. The child ensures that the different storylines come together at the end. He’s there to keep Halloween traditions alive; anyone who does not adhere to it will be reminded of it by him.

The way the different stories are interwoven is intriguing. It doesn’t get predictable anywhere and the twists and turns are surprising. The film has clear comic influences and that creates a good atmosphere. The visual effects are well cared for and the cast is strong, with the likes of Anna Paquin, Dylan Baker and Brian Cox. The main reason why ‘Trick’ r Treat ‘is good is because it conveys the essence of Halloween so well. It is a film about legends that are passed on and age-old traditions from which no one knows where they come from. Everything that belongs to horror on Halloween is participating: murderers, ghosts, werewolves, vampires, (scary) children and of course a lot of pumpkins. Trick ‘r Treat’ is an ode to all things Halloween.

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