Trick ‘r Treat (2007) Movie Review
Written By: Karla Cortes
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Michael Dougherty
Writer: Michael Dougherty
Producers: Ashok Amritraj, Michael Dougherty, William Fay, Alex Garcia, et. Al.
Date Released: December 9, 2007
Dylan Baker as Principal Steven Wilkins
Anna Paquin as Laurie
Brian Cox as Mr. Kreeg
Gerald Paetz as Young Kreeg
Quinn Lord as Sam/Peeping Tommy
Lauren Lee Smith as Danielle
Rochelle Aytes as Maria
Britt McKillip as Macy
Rating = 4 /5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
Trick ‘r Treat (2007) follows a few stories takes place in the fictional town of Warren Valley, Ohio on Halloween night. The non-linear sequences of tales are shown to be interconnected through its characters crossing paths at various points, especially one character depicted as Sam (Quinn Lord). Sam is a small child-like creature who is dressed in pajamas and a burlap sack over his head who also seems to represent the “spirit” of Halloween. Aside from the first and last stories, Sam is distantly present within each tale, making sure not to intervene with the series of horrific events unfolding in front of him. Each tale reveals the brutal consequences of tampering with or violating the Halloween traditions that were first implemented to keep us safe.
The first film opens with Emma (Leslie Bibb) and her husband Henry (Tahmoh Penikett) returning home from a Halloween parade in their hometown. Henry suggests to leave the decorations on their house until the morning, but Emma being already agitated by the holiday itself, refuses to listen. Grave consequences follow as Emma takes down the decorations and the scene cuts to the first tale, which is Steven Wilkins (Dylan Baker) story. Wilkins’ tale centers around poisoning and mutilating an unpleasant obese student of his named Charlie (Brett Kelly). Wilkins and his son Billy (Connor Levins) end up bonding through carving a very unusual jack o’lantern. The second tale quickly follows with that of Macy (Britt McKillip), Sara (Isabelle Deluce), Chip (Alberto Ghisi), Schrader (Jean-Luc Bilodeau), and the most important character in the tale, Rhonda (Samm Todd). This tale centers around the group of friends taking Rhonda to an abandoned quarry where the “Halloween School Bus Massacre” event occurred and tricking her into believing that they all come back to life. After the group successfully scares Rhonda, they quickly realize that the event was real, and get a gory visit from the event’s victims. The film jumps to the third tale that is of Laurie (Anna Paquin) and her four sisters getting costumes for a Halloween party. Laurie is the runt of the litter, and decides to stay back and find her own date instead of letting her sisters decide all of her decisions. A twist occurs when she picks her attacker, and leads him to the “party” which ends up being a revealing of the girls true form. The fourth and final tale is that of Mr. Kreeg (Brian Cox) and the unmasking of Sam. Sam manages to break into Kreeg’s house and causes absolute chaos and physical harm for the old man until he “offers” Sam candy. With that he leaves, but Kreeg is quickly visited by dead children that he had a part in their deaths.
The film itself had some gore elements that is still watchable for the regular viewer. Although there are scenes such as Charlie vomiting a hefty amount of blood onto Wilkins’ porch steps or werewolves feasting on living men, a sort of subtly in the amount of gore that Trick ‘r Treat (2007) shows plays a big role in the film. There are many scenes that could have shown guts and blood but instead, Dougherty chooses to have his audience imagine what is happening through sound effects. This adds to the charm of the film, since it forces the viewer to have an imaginative aspect when watching it. The main point of the film is not gore, but the plot within each tale as well as the importance of Halloween traditions and their purposes.
The Grave Review
There is a reason why Trick ‘r Treat garnered one of the biggest cult followings seen in cult films. What makes this film an all-time Halloween classic is the fact that Trick r’ Treat dives deeply into the purpose of Halloween and its traditions while adding horror to it. Even Sam’s name derives from the Samhain, the ancient Celtic festival of the dead which marked the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter, celebrated October 31 to November 1.
As to the aspects of the film, the Halloween décor and environment along with the acting was both well-done. The four stories that were told were also clear and well-paced.
If the viewer looks closely at the beginning credits of the movie, at the words within the strips of what looks like a Trick r’ Treat comic book, he/she can read the purpose of each tradition such as leaving jack o’lanterns out or why it is important to put costumes on for the holiday. Aside from the traditional aspects of the film, the way that Dougherty weaves each character into different tales aside form their own tale, is absolutely phenomenal. This aspect makes the film non-linear and makes the film come full circle at the end of the film. From Mr. Kreeg later being shown as the driver from the “Halloween School Bus Massacre” to Steven Wilkins being discovered as Laurie’s attacker, Dougherty puts in copious efforts to perfectly synchronize the plots and tales through his characters. What amazes us the most is the fact that there are no plot holes nor any questioning aspects which tend to follow movies that jump from plot to plot.
With all of these aspects, Grave Reviews gives Trick ‘r Treat (2007) four graves out of five graves.
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