Finally after years of watching my cheap DVD copy I got at maybe Best Buy or Barnes & Noble I was able to see Trick ‘r’ Treat on the big screen. The way God, cinema and mankind intended. Despite some obvious low budget or dated 2000s material this is a really good, fun and nicely creepy horror anthology from Michael Dougherty, who has gone on to bigger and arguably better things. My overall rating is an 8.5, yet I will rate and review each of the segments individually.
The Opening, or cold opening, is decent yet also sets up the rest of the movie. Leslie Bibb is a woman who finds out that her Halloween obsessed boyfriend is right that you should adhere to certain holiday traditions. There is some good gore in this one, however it’s a bit too short to have enough of an impact. I believe it is in this short opener that the location of the town the movie is set in is revealed: Warren Valley, Ohio, which does not exist I think. Or at least that’s what the movie tells us, ha ha…
Principal is a really good second tale, elevated by Dylan Baker as a man who has a dark hidden life. This one does a much better job than the first one at covering Halloween traditions, and it pays off very well in the end. If you don’t like kids, this is probably the tale for you. You also won’t ever look at jack-o’-lanterns the same way again.
The only reason I don’t give Halloween School Bus Massacre a full 10/10 is because I wanted it be longer. This is one they could have made into a longer movie, and it’s just wonderfully freaky and offers a nice twist. A group of kids trick a nice young girl named Rhonda (Samm Todd), into accompanying them to a local quarry. This is a chilling reminder that you should believe local legends. The kids find this out all too well in what is my favorite segment in this movie.
Sorry folks but I still think Surprise Party is the weakest one of the bunch. Too bad since it features the always great Anna Paquin, who makes this one at least passable. I would have been fine if they had cut this one from the movie. I will still refuse to give away the ending since I don’t do spoilers on principle, but let’s just say it’s pretty damn obvious from the get go. Lame. Also loses points for use of Manson song that was dated the minute it was featured in the movie.
Even though Sam is the best one of the bunch, earning that 10/10 rating, I doubt it would be as effective in longer form. Brian Cox unsurprisingly steals the movie as a cranky elderly neighbor who fails to give out candy on Halloween. Sam, the official Halloween mascot of this movie, shows up to force the curmudgeonly miser the error of his ways. I love how Sam uses his powers in so many different ways, and this story’s ending is just marvelous.
Now the actual Conclusion offers a nice wrap around to events, and ties up the movie very neatly. It also has a truly bone chilling moment, too, and offers one thing I really enjoy about this movie: the little clues to what is happening spread throughout the movie. Each story weaves into the other tales, and that’s why this a pretty good anthology movie. It would also be nice if we got more movies set on and or around Halloween that don’t require a certain William Shatner masked individual, although I enjoy those, too.