‘Trick ‘R Treat’ A Horror Movie That Can’t Be Beat

Horror anthologies are usually hit or miss. For every Creepshow movie, there’s a Creepshow 3, which is awful. And then there are those V/H/S movies, sheesh! Tales From the Hood is another horror anthology movie that seems to present each segment very well.

Trick ‘r Treat is one of those movies that seemed to fly so far under the radar it didn’t really find its audience until it came out on the home video and cable/satellite TV market. The movie is very short, only 82 minutes with credits, but it works somewhat because of its short time frame as well as it has a nonlinear narrative so some segments are longer or shorter than the others.

Set in the fictional Warren Valley, Ohio, it focuses on a lot of strange events that happen interconnected between many characters. The movie opens at the evening’s ending with a married couple Henry (Tahmoh Penikett) and Emma (Leslie Bibb) returning home from a Halloween party. Emma isn’t too much of a fan of the holiday so she blows out the jack-o-laterns before midnight against the superstitious advice of Henry. While he goes to bed, she begins to take down the other decorations but learns the superstition may be right and lollipops, while sweet can be deadly.,

The story shifts to focus on a school principal Steven Wilkins (Dylan Baker in a classic sleazy creep role) who teaches a lesson to a fellow student, Charlie (Brett Kelly) who takes too much candy. Wilkins also has a dark secret that we find out. He’s also bothered by his cankterous neighbor Mr. Kreeg (Brian Cox in a crazy role). Baker is one of those character actors whose been around since the mid-1980s that never really has gotten his due. Watching him in this role, you’ll curse Sony for never allowing him to be The Lizard in the Spider-Man franchise as he played the role of Dr. Curt Connors in the second and third one.

To say what happens in these two stories would be to spoil the fun. They’re both also connected as we follow a group of young tweens Macy (Britt McKillip), Chip (Alberto Ghisi), Sara (Isabelle Deluce) and Schrader (Jean-Luc Bilodeau) who meet another young tween Rhonda (Samm Todd) who is dressed as a witch while they are out trick-or-treating. They are collecting jack-o-laterns and then go to a flood quarry where Macy tells them of the “Halloween Bus Massacre.”

Years earlier before they were born, there were eight special needs chldren on their way to school on Halloween. They were all dressed up for the holiday in outfits that look more creepy than cute. What they didn’t know was that their parents had grown tired of taking care of them and they had paid off the bus driver to dispose of them. However, as he was passing out candy to them, one of the kids got anxious because they were going the “wrong way” and was able to rush up to the driver’s seat and drive the bus erratically till it drove into the quarry. The bus driver survived.

The kids place eight jack-o-laterns at the flooded waters as tribute. But something happens that they didn’t expect.

Next we go to some older teenager/college age kids who are having a party out next to a bonfire. A young woman, Laurie (Anna Paquin) has dressed up as Little Red Riding Hood but she is too shy and timid to pick up a date. She goes to the downtown area to enjoy the festivities but is pursued by a hooded person as she makes it to the party where her sister, Danielle (Lauren Lee Smith) and others have a surprise for the hooded menace as well as their dates.

All this time, there is a mysterious figure only known as Sam (Quinn Lord) who seems to observe each segment and even be acknowledged by some of the people. Sam is wearing a burlap pajama’s outfit and seen as an enforcer of the rules of Halloween. He finally makes it to the doorstep of Kreeg, who has spent the night running away kids from the front porch who want candy.

But things begin to get worse for Kreeg as he soon finds himself battling Sam who reveals his true nature to the cranky old man. This is one of the better segments as we watch an actor like Cox battling Sam for survival. Cox has worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal National Theatre but he’s never shined away from having a little fun with some roles, as we’ve seen in the Super Troopers movies.

It’s hard to tell you much of the plot because it ruins it if you haven’t seen it. What I can tell you is that the movie doesn’t disappoint as it details several interconnected segments over the course of a few hours. You’ll even miss some things at the beginning you’ll want to watch it over again.

Trick ‘r Treat was one of those unfortunate movies that never did really see a theatrical release at first. This seems odd considering Paquin is an Oscar-winning actress and Cox himself is well respected actor. The 2000s was a weird time for American movies. I guess this was an issue of studio heads not knowing how to market a movie even though horror movies were popular but this wasn’t the gorno movies of Saw and Final Destination. It was shown at several festivals over the course of 2007-2009 before finally released on home video in 2009. It reportedly had its first theatrical release just this year earlier this month.

If you can find a way to watch this Halloween, I highly recommend it.

What do you think? Please comment.

Published by bobbyzane420

I'm an award winning journalist and photographer who covered dozens of homicides and even interviewed President Jimmy Carter on multiple occasions. A back injury in 2011 and other family medical emergencies sidelined my journalism career. But now, I'm doing my own thing, focusing on movies (one of my favorite topics), current events and politics (another favorite topic) and just anything I feel needs to be posted. Thank you for reading.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: