Anthology movies are always a mixed blessing for film fans. The stories may vary in quality but at least you know the next one isn’t too far away and may be one that you really enjoy. So Trick ‘r’ Treat, with it’s Halloween theme and interweaving story strands, should be an easy enough movie for horror fans to enjoy. And it is although it’s nothing really special.
I won’t give anything away here regarding any of the twists in the tales but it’s fun to see that they’re each basically based around different Halloween traditions (such as keeping the jack o’lanterns lit, checking your candy, not straying off alone, etc) and each section certainly feels imbued with the very essence of the favoured holiday of horror fans.
The casting is also a great plus with the likes of Anna Paquin, Brian Cox, Dylan Baker and some excellent younger actors all giving great performances in situations that sometimes walk a thin line between the horrific and the ridiculous.
Running at approximately 80 minutes, when I first viewed the movie I felt that even that was a little bit too long but subsequent viewings have allowed me to appreciate both the atmosphere built up throughout each story strand and also the little details showing the tales interconnecting and the characters passing each other by on their way to wildly varying fates.
Director Michael Dougherty, working from his own script, does a good job here but there has been a little bit of over-enthusiasm for the movie since it’s release, in my opinion. It’s certainly no failure but neither is it a resounding success like the much-loved anthologies such as Creepshow and Tales From The Crypt.
Still, let’s end on a positive note. It’s a fun, well-crafted little film and brings the genre a great new personality in the form of “Sam”, who features in numerous small moments before taking centre-stage in my favourite story out of the bunch.
DIRECTOR: MICHAEL DOUGHERTY
CAST: DYLAN BAKER, BRIAN COX, ANNA PAQUIN, QUINN LORD
RUNTIME: 82 MINS APPROX