Directed by Michael Dougherty (2008)
Reviewed by Teen*Idol, added on Oct 11 2008
A reader review from Teen*Idol
The most anticipated film in the horror community was finally premiered at this year's Screamfest. This film has been tossed around and beat around over and over for almost 3 years now. Being rejected by distributors various times due to graphic content against children and just overall being "too risky," even now the film suffers a tragically uncertain future DVD release (although IMDB has an October 31 release date, director Michael Dougherty said himself the film has no certain future). Going into this movie knowing I was going to be one the first to see it before anybody for probably what could be many years to come, I knew it was going to be special. After the film had ended, after those long years of anticipation, and anxiety for what promised to be a unique, fun, bloody good time, I can honestly tell you that this movie fucking delivered everything it promised and a billion times more of what you were hoping for.
It is said that Halloween is the night when the dead rise to walk among us and other unspeakable things roam free. The rituals of All Hallows Eve were devised to protect us from their evil mischief, and one small town is about to be taught a terrifying lesson that some traditions are best not forgotten. Nothing is what it seems when a suburban couple learns the dangers of blowing out a Jack-o-Lantern before midnight; four women cross paths with a costumed stalker at a local festival; a group of pranksters goes too far and discovers the horrifying truth buried in a local legend; and a cantankerous old hermit is visited by a strange trick-or-treater with a few bones to pick. Costumes and candy, ghouls and goblins, monsters and mayhem... the tricks and treats of Halloween turn deadly as strange creatures of every variety-human and otherwise-try to survive the scariest night of the year. (synopsis taken from IMDB)
One of the many things I loved about this movie (and they're were many!) was the fact that this film was comprised of various horror stories that all take place on the same Halloween night. To make things much better, from beginning to start, you literally watch as every story interweaves with each other. It was almost a game itself to catch all the small points where a character from a past story would interweave with the current story you are watching. The movie does not go in a chronological order of story after story. Instead you'll get the first segment of the film, and for each next segment that occurs you'll see how the next segment realtes to the first, and even the one before that. I fucking love it when movies do this type of thing, and this movie has it from beginning to end.
Another real high point of this film I really want to point out is that every single segment has it's own twist and surprise. Before you roll your eyes thinking I was probably too stupid to see any of the twists coming, let me just tell you that this film goes one way leading you on into thinking you know what's going to happen next, but then totally takes the opposite way kicking you in the balls along the way, and gives you a shocking badass twist that makes you want to get up and cheer your ass off. It may sound like I'm exaggerating, but I honestly do not know to describe this movie. It was just sheer masterful script/story telling that was completely innovative.
I personally have been typing up my own film reviews for some time now. And like the ghouls and goblins of the Splattercast, I tend to spoil the films I review. However, since this movie is set up with shock twist, after shock twist, after shock twist, I really don't want to spoil this one. I want everyone who sees it, to be as surprised and aroused as I was everytime director/writer Michael Dougherty makes you believe you know what's going to happen, and then elbows you in the throat (along with the kick in balls) right before you get a shocker thrown at your face. Going into this film knowing at least one single serious spoiler can ruin an entire segment completely. However, since no matter what I say I know there are readers who are going to think I'm just some fanboy, I will give you one small spoiler. But before I do that I am going to tell you that I won't tell you when it happens, what story it happens in, or even what characters are the ones involved in it. I'll just give you a small portion of the spoiler because to me, this was one of the most memorable scenes I have seen in a horror film in a real long time. I highly advise you avoid the spoiler, but if your the type of person who will probably forget all about this spoiler, be my guest. So to avoid the spoiler, just skip over the coming paragraph.
SPOILER ALERT! (highlight this block to see spoiler)Throughout this entire movie you do get what you think are mediocre horror stereotypes. In this one part of the film when you are following a certain group of stereotypes, it takes a really huge twist turning everything you thought you knew was going to happen and gives you without a doubt, the second greatest transformation scene I have ever seen in horror ever. It gave me goosebumps to witness on the big screen the holiness my eyes had just been exposed to. That's all I am going to say!
END OF SPOILER!
Overall, words can't describe the greatness of this film. My review or any other perfect score still does not give this movie the justice it deserves. From the awesome animated art EC Comic-esque intro and extro to a Creepshow trilogy vibe, and amazing practical effects, anybody who does not enjoy this film is just a horror Nazi in general. It really brought back that classic 80's horror feeling with humor that was executed perfectly, violence/gore that was real graphic (something for Steve!), alot of onscreen deaths that many of which was towards children (something for Jeff!), amazing T&A shots (something for DeeJay!), but most importantly a completely innovative approach and definitely something different that the world of horror needed (something for Mat!). I can talk about this film forever and there will still be things that I'd accidentlly leave out or didn't acknowledge enough.The film combines elements from various horror classics that will definitely remind you of certain horror films that really stand out as greats. There was even an homage to Carpenter's The Thing, and Carpenter himself. I honestly consider this movie a modern classic that should be bought and praised by all horror fanatics for all time to come. Trick r Treat is one of those films you're going to enjoy every second of, watch many times throughout your lifetime, and hopefully should go in the books as a true horror classic.