Believe the hype, ignore the backlash, the long awaited TRICK ‘R TREAT is definitely more treat than trick. Not only standing tall as an unabashed love letter to everybody’s favorite holiday, this movie succeeds as an ode to anthology films, horror comics and a twisted yet less cynical sensibility all but forgotten. If you’re a fan of eighties horror and have been missing the goofy dark fun of films like FRIGHT NIGHT, NIGHT OF THE CREEPS or especially CREEPSHOW, I guarantee you are going to gobble this up. It’s scary without being nauseating, funny without being brain dead and overall works like an injection of candy corn right into your veins. Sometime between now and the 31st of October do yourself a solid and rent or buy this film. If TRICK ‘R TREAT doesn’t get you in the Halloween spirit then frankly, you are a lost cause and deserve whatever egging, T.P.ing or flaming crap filled paper bag you find on your doorstep.
I won’t go into the whys and why nots of this films history. Most of you are probably aware that it missed a chance at a theatrical run and has wound up as a direct to DVD offering instead. Truth is, I’m not sure that modern audiences even deserve this kind of movie anyway. It’s beautifully shot, having no interest in looking sewer doused, characters are not required to be humiliated before death and at no point did I feel like somebody was trying to sell me a cell phone, a pair of jeans or a can of soda. If you’ve been waiting for the scariest movie ever made, keep waiting, this is more about that crisp creepy breeze that blows into town in autumn and the anticipation and excitement that occurs when darkness falls. It’s not a nail-biting ordeal; it’s a joyful, yet sometimes potently subversive salute to the convivial side of the macabre.
Remarkably director/writer MICHAEL DOUGHERTY has captured the spirit of All Hallow’s Eve like a bat in a fishing net, a feat made more impressive when you consider how many have failed at that task before him. Rather than compartmentalize his tales, he allows them to weave and interact and the result is rather innovative in the realm of anthology horror. This is obviously a work of love and it shows and although its final moments could have used a little extra punch, there are few things to complain about here. Maybe I’m suddenly old fashioned or maybe this film just falls right in line with my own tastes, but one thing is for sure, there’s no doubt I’ll to be watching TRICK ‘R TREAT every October (along with my other holiday standbys) till that old grim reaper comes and tears me away.