I’ve always loved a good anthology film, and it’s sad to say that good ones are few and far between. If you are wondering what an anthology film is, it is a film that consists of several short stories that are somehow all linked together. I’m sure you’re all familiar with the popular examples such as Pulp Fiction, Paris Je t’aime and Love Actually.
Trick ‘r Treat, , is one anthology film that I love, and also happens to be my favourite Halloween film. With a large cast that includes Anna Paquin, Brian Cox, Dylan Baker, Britt Mckillip and Tahmoh Penikett., it’s got everything you need for a scary treat, from superstitions, ghosts, psychos and more!
Written and directed by Michael Dougherty, the film centers around five stories set on Halloween; a young married couple who break the Halloween tradition of keeping the jack-o’-lanterns lit, a creepy school principle who poisons children, a group of children who visit the site of a school bus massacre, a surprise party in the woods, and a Halloween hating man who scares away trick-or-treaters.
What ties all these stories together is the character of Sam, a child trick-or-treater, who wears a shabby orange pajama onesie and a burlap sack on his head. This mysterious figure makes an appearance whenever someone breaks a Halloween tradition.
This film has everything that I love in a horror flick. A great plot line that actually makes sense, amazing effects, great characters, and the right amount of terrifying horror. It even has just the right amount of bloodshed. Not enough to make me want to puke, like all torture porn films, a.k.a Saw, but just enough to make the story continue to be scary, filled with a suspense, and most importantly, interesting.
As someone who grew up in Australia, I don’t know much about Halloween or traditions, apart from what I’ve seen in films, so it was refreshing to see something like this that actually targets Halloween traditions and superstitions. In five short stories, it manages to cover the broad spectrum of supernatural aspects that make up the majority of Horror films without being awkward and confusing.
Filmed in Vancouver, the film had a limited theatrical release when it first appeared in 2007, but has since gained a large amount of critical praise and has a large cult following. The film has also been made into a comic book in 2009, with the new graphic novel Trick ‘r Treat: Days of the Dead released earlier this October. There are also apparently plans for a sequel, but it may be awhile yet before we get to see it.
If you want to watch a good scary movie, but can’t decide if you want to see ghosts, serial killers, zombies or vampires, then I suggest you see Trick ‘r Treat, because it has all of them in one awesome movie. Hell, even the tag line is pretty creepy;
Poison, drowning, claw and knife. So many ways to take a life.
I give it 4 jack-o-lanterns out of five jack-o-lanterns. 🙂