Trick ‘r Treat | Michael Dougherty, 2009
As I mentioned in my round up of the best horror movies of the decade, it is hard now a days to make a horror movie that relies on atmosphere rather than gore to scare it’s audience. After two years of delays a movie that fit that criteria, Michal Dougherty’s Trick ‘r Treat, was finally released on video. Why this movie did not receive a theatrical release is beyond me, as it is better than most horror movies that have come out since it’s intended release date, but now audiences have the opportunity to see it and decide for themselves.
Trick ‘r Treat is a horror anthology of four interwoven stories, all taking place in the same town. One story is about a man (Dylan Baker) who apparently likes to kill kids, another is about a group of kids exploring an urban legend, the third one is about a young woman (Anna Paquin) who is looking for a special someone to get together with on Halloween, and finally the story of a cranky old man (Brian Cox) being haunted by a spirit of his past.
This is an entertaining movie full of good thing, but it is by no means perfect. Like with every anthology, not every story is going to be as good as other, and the overall effect will be felt by the entire movie. This is specially true for this movie because the stories are interwoven and not separated. Sometimes it went from being great, to being kind of boring and pointless.
With that said, the good outweighs the bad. Some of the stories (The bus one and the one with Brian Cox) are genuinely creepy, and the one with Anna Paquin is rather entertaining. The only one I had problems with was the Dylan Baker story. It just felt out of place and his performances was not very good. However, the atmosphere in every segment is quite good, something that is not seen in a lot of horror movies these days.
I believe that if this movie had been released in theaters it would have been a moderate hit. The audiences that have been jaded by torture porn would not have liked it, but others would have experienced a movie unlike any seen in a long time. Hopefully more movies like this keep being made, otherwise horror movies will officially be dead.