Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Trick R Treat Review

Well, I was not feeling particularly well today, so I decided to stay home from work. And I figured it would be a perfect time to watch my newly purchased Trick R Treat DVD. Finally, the greatly anticipated horror anthology came to DVD. But before I watched it, I decided to rewatch Creepshow to get myself in the right anthology mood. Also, it gave me a benchmark to compare against. I won't bother you guys with a plot summary because it's actually 4 movies within one really. There are some kids that died in a bus crash, an old man who no one likes, a principal that apparently kills people, and some girls looking to party in the middle of the woods. All the stories intersect several times and it follows all of them throughout the entire film.

*If you don't know my criteria for judging movies, here you go!*

Cinematography: The movie is very well shot. There are some incredibly well framed scenes and overall a great range of shots from close ups to nice far shots. The mise-en-scene for the movie is pretty amazing, giving it a cold, creepy feel from the very beginning. It reminded me of a chilly, October night in Wisconsin with red leaves on the trees and everything looking as though a cold rain had just fallen. The entire tone of the movie fits this very well and it just looks impressive. This is an easy 4 out of 5 for Cinematography.

Execution: While horror anthologies are nothing new, they aren't exactly everywhere. And to see one that is well done is something even rarer, so watching Trick R Treat was a blast for me. I love the intersecting stories. That was what impressed me the most about Trick R Treat: every time you watched one of the stories, you saw one of the characters from the other stories in the background. Or a person from a previous story is suddenly a victim in another story. The whole movie keeps everything very well interwoven. While the stories aren't anything ridiculously original, they definitely aren't cliche. The movie effortlessly keeps you wrapped up in the stories and characters, and for that it receives a 4.5 out of 5 for Execution.

Sub-genre Comparison: Well, as far as horror anthologies go, there's only one you really need to compare it to in my mind: Creepshow. Trick R Treat doesn't have the same pulpy fun feel that Creepshow does, but it's not trying for that. On a purely qualitative comparison, Trick R Treat is as good as Creepshow. That's saying quite a bit too. It's better than Creepshow 2 or Body Bags (both of which I enjoyed but wasn't in love with). It's really refreshing to see something like this come around and it's as good as anything this sub-genre has to offer, so I guess that gives it a 5 out of 5 for Sub-genre Comparison.

Production Value: The movie looks great. It's scenery is amazing, the blood and make-up effects are very good, and they didn't use very much CGI, if any at all. That last thing is a huge plus for me. About the only thing I could complain about is that some of the effects were shown a little too long (when Sam's mask is off, for instance), but the effects are very good and hold up. You can tell some real effort went into the look of the movie and if there wasn't a lot of budget, they fooled me well with it. For Production Value, it's got me with a 4.5 out of 5.

Scares: This might be the lowest point of the review because the movie wasn't particularly scary to me. However, this movie is not going for balls-out scare tactics. It's tense when it needs to be and the atmosphere keeps it creepy for most of the movie, but it never reaches the point to where I was stirring in my seat (after 15 years of horror movies, I still do sometimes and I love it). That being said, the movie is very much kitschy, creepy fun and will definitely keep you entertained. It's not as scary as some movies, but it's also not trying to be, going for more story telling than horrifying. It earns a well deserved 3.5 out of 5 for Scares.

All that being said, Trick R Treat gets a very nice 21.5. out of 25 on my meaningless, arbitrary scale. But that doesn't mean that I won't urge you to see this as soon as you can. It's a very well done movie and I enjoyed watching it immensely. It was worth all the hype, and it's a great entry for American horror! Go get it!


  1. I really like that you watched CREEPSHOW to get you in the mood. I frequently use THE SHINING to get a similar effect. Excellent review. I'll watch it.

  2. What you said about it not being "balls out scary" is true, but when the girl was going up in the elevator and the zombie children slowly approached the kids who played the prank...that was one of the creepiest scenes in all my years of horror movies.(Plus the demon story is based on a Tales From the Darkside episode^_^)