31 Days of Horror: Trick ‘r Treat

TrickRTreat

My buddy Joey and I checked out a special screening of the 2007 never-to-be-released in theaters horror flick Trick ‘r Treat. The discussed in the e reasons why it wasn’t released will bSPOILERS section later in the article, but let’s talk about where the film was shown.

Joey and I drove down to The Cinefamily, a silent movie theater over on Fairfax in Los Angeles, California. After circling the block several times to find parking, we made out way to the movie house where costumed folks and a hot door vendor were milling about outside. Across the street a high school football game was in full swing.

After retrieving our tickets from Will Call, Joey and I made out way inside this vintage-looking theatre that had been transformed into a cobweb-filled, ghoulish salute to Halloween. Inside the actual theater, Halloween-related music played, and audience members were dressed in a variety of costumes ranging from the simple to the complex.

Before the screening began, the host of the evening presented the film’s director, Michael Dougherty, who thanked us for coming and then helped to judge a costume contest. Only a handful of audience members went up to be judged, but they were dressed as the following (maybe if you’re unsure what to be this will give you some ideas): a zombie school teacher (who looked a lot like Sarah Palin), a generic wizard, a female Freddy Krueger (Frannie Krueger, anyone?), Shari Lewis and Lambchop, Gilligan from Gilligan’s Island, and two blood splattered doctors who said they were a team of abortionists. When these two announced who they were, the crowd became awkwardly silent, until a woman yelled out, “We support you!” Then all was okay.

The winners of the contest, by way of audience applause, were Shari Lewis and Lambchop, Frannie Krueger, and the generic wizard. The all got a baggie of stuff related to the film and a poster.

The host for the evening then talked about The Cinefamily’s line-up of horror movies throughout the month of October. For a complete list, check out their website by clicking here. This month they will be showing a wide range of horror flicks including slashers featuring a killer baboon, killer robots in a shopping mall, and a psychotic Bigfoot.

The house lights went down and we were shown a trailer for a series of horror films by a Brazilian filmmaker. Rarely seen outside his native country, writer and director Jose Mojica Marins’ films in the Coffin Joe series will be showcased Fridays this month at The Cinefamily. Crazy stuff, that’s all I’ve got to say.

So, Trick ‘r Treat. It’s a fun anthology style series in a similar vein as Creepshow or Tales from the Crypt. It offers up four separate yet interconnected stories of gore, blood, terror, and comedy interwoven throughout. I was pleasantly surprised at how well made and fun the film was, and must make mention of the cinematography in the film which is amazing.

The film delves into the spirit, mythos, and rituals of Halloween both past and present. Each vignette offers up plenty of classic moments that will have you and your friends talking for hours after it’s over.

This is a fun Halloween movie and would be a welcome addition to any Halloween movie marathon. I recommend it as a fan of horror flicks, but also a person who likes comedy. There’s plenty of dark humor throughout that makes the film not just a slasher movie but gives it another unique dimension aside from the revival of the horror anthology genre.

[SPOILER ALERT: I’m gonna talk about plot points and other stuff that may piss people off if they don’t want to know about it beforehand. Scroll down to the second set of exclamation marks to avoid having the movie ruined.]

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Each story contains its own independent set of characters, with one or two of those characters finding their way into one or more of the other stories. These stories include:

– A school principal who poisons and buries children in his backyard while trying desperately to keep his own child happy, avoid nosy neighbors, and get to a Halloween festival in town.

– A group of sexy women (Anna Paquin is one of them) go on the prowl for men at the Halloween festival, where they attempt to help Paquin’s character have her first time. What makes this a unique tale is that these women are actually werewolves, and the first time they refer to is actually a first kill.

– A group of young kids head to a rock quarry to pay their respects to the dead, only to find themselves the target of the undead they came to honor.

– Personally, I liked the final sequence best with Brian Cox (X2: X-Men United) as a cranky old man who finds himself at the mercy of a creepy little creature inside his own house. It was both a scary and funny story that was quite amusing and crazy.

And there is one more mini story that kicks things off involving a cranky wife who hates Halloween, her horny husband, and what happens when the wife decides she’d rather tear down Halloween decorations in the yard than have sex with her hubby.

Doesn’t sound that bad. So why did Warner Bros. shelve this film back in 2007 and decide to only release it on DVD? It’s because the film does two things that mainstream Hollywood films never do. Two specific rules that if you break them you’re done: they kill kids and a dog.

Not just any kids. A fat kid, developmentally disabled kids, and a group of angst-ridden school kids as well. Thirteen kids die in this movie, and we’re not talking seniors in high school or college kids. So I guess the main rule is that you can eviscerate, slaughter, chop, slice, dice, dismember, and eat people on camera as long as they aren’t under the age of 18? One dog dies as well, but it’s done off-screen if that makes anyone feel better and not compelled to contact PETA.

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How can I see this movie, you may ask? Well, you’re in luck because it comes out on DVD and Blu-ray Tuesday, October 6, 2009.

For a new addition to your Halloween movie line-up, I highly recommend Trick ‘r Treat. It’s sure to keep you entertained and will definitely put you in the Halloween spirit!

What are you planning to be this Halloween? Favorite candy? Favorite part of Halloween? Let us know by leaving a comment below!