(dir. Michael Dougherty)
Four different horror stories intersect on Halloween night in small-town Ohio.
Michael Dougherty’s modern cult classic perfectly captures the spirit of Halloween. It manages to be funny, horrific, gory, charming, and more than a little bit twisted, all at the same time. While most anthology films break up the separate stories by chapter, Dougherty’s stories weave in and out of one another as he plays with time, and characters from previous stories will make surprise reappearances in later stories. This gives the entirety of Trick ‘r Treat this unexpected, playful element. With only four Halloween stories, Dougherty manages to keep all the narratives tight and create a rewarding experiences. While I prefer some of the stories more than others, there’s not a weak link in the bunch. From serial killers, the undead, vampires, werewolves, and a very special little guy named Sam, Trick ‘r Treat blends all of these disparate horror elements together perfectly.
In the same way that the very best Christmas movies just carry the power of the season in their very aesthetic, Trick ‘r Treat does the same. Everything from the lighting, the sets, the decorations, costumes, and background conversations feel uniquely in touch with the spirit of the holiday. For a $12 million budget, the production value on this film is just fantastic and guaranteed to bring out the holiday spirit.
Scare Factor: 2/5 Trick ‘r Treat is the perfect way to cap off October as it captures but the scares and fun that make the horror genre so memorable. While we’re still waiting for the sequel that was promised 2 years ago, we at least have Dougherty’s Christmas horror story, Krampus, to look forward to in December.
*Available to watch on HBO Go
And that’s a wrap for this year folks! Thanks for reading and if this month was your introduction to the blog, be sure to stick around for full reviews of this fall’s awards contenders and blockbusters.
Lastly, if you’ve yet to get your fill of horror, I co-wrote a list of The 100 Best Horror Movies of the 2000s (so far) so be sure to check it out!: http://www.audienceseverywhere.net/100-horror-2000s-lists/