TRICK R TREAT – The Dungeon Review!

trick-r-treat“Poison, Drowning, Claw, Or Knife. So Many Ways To Take A Life.”

Every year it’s the same, Halloween is my heroin. I literally come crashing down from the binge of October festivities. After Halloween night, if I’m not lying cold, pale and sweating in the fetal position, I’m lamenting in some way that it’s all over. I figured that I could use a little methadone treatment to ease the pain, so I am finally renting ‘Trick R Treat’. I fully intended on seeing this BEFORE Halloween, but just didn’t get to it. What a bloody tragedy too, because this would have been the perfect flick for my horror movie night.

It is said that Halloween is the night when the dead rise to walk among us and other unspeakable things roam free. The rituals of All Hallows Eve were devised to protect us from their evil mischief, and one small town is about to be taught a terrifying lesson that some traditions are best not forgotten. Nothing is what it seems when a suburban couple learns the dangers of blowing out a Jack-o-Lantern before midnight; four women cross paths with a costumed stalker at a local festival; a group of pranksters goes too far and discovers the horrifying truth buried in a local legend; and a cantankerous old hermit is visited by a strange trick-or-treater with a few bones to pick. Costumes and candy, ghouls and goblins, monsters and mayhem… the tricks and treats of Halloween turn deadly as strange creatures of every variety, human and otherwise-try to survive the scariest night of the year. (Written by Warner Bros. Pictures)
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I’m mystified as to why this film didn’t get a theatrical release in October. What a waste! Considering the immense volume of horror films existing out there, very few are actually set during Halloween night. And fewer still have the quality and entertainment value of ‘Trick R Treat’. Visually the film is impressive. Well shot and stylish with a cornucopia of delightful Halloween props. This neighbourhood really knows how to do Halloween right!

‘Trick R Treat’ is an anthology of five tales that all interconnect. We begin with a Halloween hating wife with a holiday-obsessed husband. In an outstanding opening sequence we are relentlessly teased with possibilities. A group of sexy fairy-tale inspired costumed women on a mission to get the virgin among them laid, is not all it appears. How their story connects to another character is just too fun! A school principal with some nasty pastimes celebrates the season in the most dementedly unique way. A cranky housebound curmudgeon gets a visitor who over-stays his welcome. A group of kids use an urban legend to pull a nasty prank on a local girl. Helping to stitch it all together is Sam, an adorable little sack-headed rascal. Watching, waiting and protecting the sacred traditions of Halloween. Wait until you get a look at his beautiful mug! All the performances are great, particularly notable are veteran character actors Dylan Baker and Brian Cox who greatly enhance the films best moments.
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There is a great deal of dark humour throughout the film. There are two schools of horror-comedy in my opinion. There are films that concentrate on the humour to the point of slapstick, making them comedy first and horror second. Then there are those that lace their intensity with a more subtle level of comedy, but can still manage to provide suspense and even scares. ‘Trick R Treat’ succeeds in finding a perfect balance between the two.

I was expecting something more “PG” but I was surprised at the volume of death in the film, including children! You got to love a film that’s not afraid to kill off kids! Although there is ample carnage, gore is generally low-key. There are so many wickedly effective scenes it wasn’t necessary to get gratuitous. Don’t be put off gorehounds! The red stuff is there, plus you’ll be treated to an impressive transformation, pumpkin gore, bodily fluid, and some very nifty props.
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It was frighteningly close to getting a coveted perfect dungeon rating. There were two details that prevented that from happening. First, the quarry story was too predictable. Second, enough with the trouble-making, gluttonous “fat kid” stereotype. That said, I absolutely loved how the quarry story connected to one of the other characters. And stereotypes aside, the kid’s scene hits that horror-comedy nail on the head.

This is the sort of film you can watch again and again. Even though the twists would no longer be a surprise on a second viewing, the humour, energy and mood will get you psyched up for the bestest holiday season of the year. ‘Trick R Treat’ is immensely entertaining, well acted, original, funny, and even managed to surprise me. I said in the previous paragraph that this wasn’t going to get a coveted perfect Dungeon rating. But you know what? To hell with that! This film rocked! Highest of recommendations!

Dungeon Rating: 5/5

Directed By: Michael Dougherty

Starring: Dylan Baker, Rochelle Aytes, Quinn Lord, Lauren Lee Smith, Moneca Delain, Tahmoh Penikett, Brett Kelly, Britt McKillip, Isabelle Deluce, Jean-Luc Bilodeau, Alberto Ghisi, Samm Todd, Anna Paquin, Brian Cox, Leslie Bibb

5 Responses to “TRICK R TREAT – The Dungeon Review!”

  1. This film was pretty good, I didn’t get scared but I laughed alot. Especially the fat kid with chocolate poisoning. That serial killer father was hilarious. Great review and I agree with your rating.

  2. Loved this movie.

    Gotta love the fact that the fat kid from Bad Santa has the best projectile vomiting scene this side of Stand By Me.

    I’d love to see a follow up to this film.

  3. […] #21. Trick R Treat (2008/9) One of two films that found their way from my favorites of 2009 to the best of the decade. I don’t know why there aren’t more horror anthology type films. There’s not many out there really and there are a few bad ones, but I really like ‘Creepshow’, ‘Twilight Zone: The Movie’ and ‘Trilogy of Terror’ and I think ‘Trick R Treat’ is an outstanding addition to this group. The props and sets are absolutely outstanding. I am a Halloween junkie and strictly based on visuals…I almost needed a moment alone I was so excited! The stories are great fun and I love how they are all sewn together. Great performances all around particularly by Dylan Baker and Brian Cox. L-O-V-E-D it! To read the full review click here. […]

  4. I can’t belive that you made all the job to share this! Awesome. With no Bloggers like you, we would by no means get so outstanding information’s!

  5. A great little movie

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