Welcome to Psycho Drive-In’s 31 Days of Schlocktober celebration! This year we’ve decided to present the ABCs of Horror, with entries every day this month providing Director information, Best-of lists, Genre overviews, and Reviews of films and franchises, all in alphabetical order! Today brings us T is for Trick ‘r Treat! Trick ‘r Treat. The Halloween movie to end all others. Well, maybe not all others, but at least most others, right? You bet your ass! Based on the animated short “Season’s Greetings”, Trick ‘r Treat is a sort of Halloween anthem, a sequence of short stories in film format. Each of these short stories is tied together, either directly or indirectly, by little plot-threads (think Rodriguez’s Sin City), are told in anachronistic order, and are all a total blast. Some of the stories are more eerie, some are more fun, some are a bit campy, and some are downright chilling. One major thread that ties these together is the character Sam, a “little boy” with an oversized head covered in a burlap sack. Sam has button eyes, carries around a little sack for candy, and oh my God when I first saw this he scared me to death. There is something so ominous about this little bastard that I can’t put my finger on. Maybe it’s the fact that he’s completely silent throughout the film. Maybe it’s the fact that he appears so outwardly innocent, and his equally-innocent actions bring about a sense of dread as you wonder what it is he’ll end up doing. Maybe it’s just because he’s a creepy little kid, I have no friggin’ clue. While I’ve grown a bit jaded to him after seeing the film countless times, he still gives me the willies. Now, as I start to mull the film over (I’m having a hard time not saying “series,” since it is a series of shorts taking place on the same night, more than a single cohesive story), I’m starting to realize more and more that it’s one of the most easily spoilable films of all time. Fortunately, the fact that Sam is creepy is not a secret to anyone, so I don’t have to worry about any spoilers there – especially since he appears on the, y’know, cover, in all his creepy glory. The rest of the movie, however, is predicated on twists. Trick ‘r Treat has more twists and turns than the Topsy Turvy Day Parade, and each short has its own little shocks, whether they’re innocent, obvious, meaningless, horrifying, or an utter mind-screw. There are even minor keywords or screenshots that I can’t mention or show, or else they’d throw the suspense, and hence the balance, of the movie out of whack. Since I love Trick ‘r Treat, and consider it to be one of my all-time favorite Halloween flicks, I obviously want you (dear reader) to watch it, and since I want you to watch it, I obviously want you to get as much enjoyment from it as possible. Which, in turn, means that I really shouldn’t spoil it. So let’s back away from it. Let’s stay out of the actual plot and the stories, and take a birds-eye view of this thing. “Well-directed” would be an understatement. The whole thing is eerie and enjoyable from start to finish, perfectly paced, and despite the timeline of the shorts being jumbled, it managed to always let you know exactly where you are, without annoying and confusing time-stamps popping up every other scene. The characters serve their purpose, and while it can sometimes be challenging to get attached to them in the short time they’re present, this movie isn’t about the characters – it’s about the mood, it’s about the tone, it’s about the setting, it’s about fear, and it’s about Halloween. And Halloween is always there. Each story plays itself out in the right amount of time, little scares and eerie shocks embedding themselves into your senses before it all comes together into a punch in the last short. It’s well-organized, it’s clever, it’s bewildering in its way, and it’s great. If I had to point out a specific weakness in this (because, c’mon, I’m not allowed to just say it’s good, we all know that) I’d say that it may be the acting. Most of the characters are convincing enough in their small roles, but maybe due to the campiness smattered throughout, their performances don’t always completely hit home. Naturally this is most prevalent with child actors (of which there are a few), but even they manage to hold their own and not let the audience’s mind stray too far away from the action. If there’s one thing I’d love to really stress about this, it’s that you should watch it at night. And by night, I don’t mean like, a comfy, cozy nine PM. I mean night. Night, when you’re getting sleepy, and the world around you is dark and slumbering. Something about being a little tired makes this more enjoyable, to me at least, makes the tone and the ever-shifting quicksand of a plotline seem more gripping. So, in the hopes of keeping this relatively short – seriously, go watch it. Watch the animated short above, too; it definitely sets the mood for the bigger story that the movie offers. Trick ‘r Treat‘s a piece of original and entertaining Halloween popcorn-nibbler, and on the chance that you haven’t seen it – well, you need to change that. I’ll just leave this here. See larger image Trick ‘r Treat [Blu-ray] New From: $15.85 USD In Stock Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related 2 Responses 31 Days of Halloween 2015: Day 31 - Trick 'r Treat - Psycho Drive-In October 31, 2015 […] ABCs of Horror Day 24: T is for Trick ‘r Treat […] Log in to Reply Krampus (2015) - Psycho Drive-In December 7, 2015 […] to sip some hot cocoa with Krampus, the newest holiday-related thriller from Michael Dougherty (Trick r […] Log in to Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.