Trick r’ Treat
After quite a while of hearing everybody’s praise for this film, I had higher-than-average expectations. I was not disappointed.
Trick r’ Treat is an anthology of five (the back of the Bluray box says four, but it’s really five) loosely related horror stories that all happen in a small town on one Halloween night.
There’s the couple that doesn’t take Halloween seriously enough, the clean-cut school principal with a dark side….
…The kids who don’t respect an urban legend, causing the idea for a prank to come back to bite them in the ass…
Time to live up to the suicide pact. Who wants to jump first?
…A group of girls looking for a good time…
Oh, Elf-boy wasn’t doing it for you? I’m shocked, sweetie.
…And finally, there’s the cranky, annoying old man that steadfastly tries to ignore the holiday altogether.
No one has the heart to tell him that “Get off my lawn!” only works on the trick or treaters, not festivities.
All the stories connect to one another in very minor ways. Certain characters from separate stores often interact with one another. And of course there’s the films mascot, Sam, a little guy who is simultaneously creepy and adorable, and who makes an appearance in every one of the five stories.
Trick r’ Treat is essentially an homage to the holiday, telling short tales of fun and fear that interweave well and don’t overstay their welcome. Each tale incorporates a rule about the folklore surrounding the holiday: Why the Jack-O-Lantern should be lit all night… Why you should always check your candy… The reason behind the term “trick or treat,” etc. When the rules are broken and the holiday is not given the proper respect, the audience quickly learns that the repercussions for the rule breakers are…unfortunate.
If the film is an homage to the holiday, then Sam is sort of its physical embodiment. While he may make an appearance in every story, he’s only directly involved with the first and last entries, saving his energies for punishing those who take the ancient Day of the Dead too lightly. Blow out the Lantern too early? Bad idea. No treat? Well then, you get the trick, and believe me, it’s going to be worse than a toilet papered lawn.
All the stories were original and entertaining and contained unique and sometimes disturbing characters. There were a couple questionable plot points, but all in all everything felt well thought out.
The atmosphere too, was quite impressive. Each story had a moment when I looked at it and went, “nice,” be it through the use of color, scenery or just though sheer ambiance.
Overall, I was very happy with Trick r’ Treat. The stories all have the same narrative feel and interact with each other quite seamlessly. The film’s really more fun than scary (or maybe I’m just desensitized), incorporating quite a bit of humor, but there were some good jump scares I quite liked. The characters were likable, the atmosphere was top-notch and, while everyone is going to have a favorite, all the stories were pretty solid with no duds in sight. There were a couple of plot holes I noticed while watching it and I would have preferred they not focus quite so much time on the school bus incident, but those are small gripes to what I felt was a very entertaining film. It’s a fun love letter to Halloween and I’d recommend it to anyone who loves the holiday or anthology tales.
Now do yourself a solid and remember to keep your Jack-O-Lantern burning all night when Halloween rolls around.
Trick r’ Treat is available on a variety of streaming services.
Trick r’ Treat is also available on DVD and Bluray.