sky-payday.co.uk
The 365 Best Films of the 2000s

Heroes of the Zeroes: Trick ‘r Treat

Heroes of the Zeroes is Nick Rogers’ daily, alphabetical look back at the 365 best films of 2000-2009.

“Trick ‘r Treat”
Rated R
2009

Screenwriter Michael Dougherty (“Superman Returns”) filmed his feature-length directorial  debut in 2006 and Warner Brothers repeatedly slotted, scratched and shelved it until scuttling it to DVD in 2009.

One comfort: Dougherty can say he was onto the creepy-mask motif waaaaay before “The Strangers,” “The Orphanage” or “Timecrimes.”

More cheeky than chilling, “Trick ’r Treat” is akin to sitting for a spell at a spooky campfire. As it would be alongside warm flames on cool nights, the power of the spun myths and legends is all in the storyteller’s style. Dougherty’s film delivers the mercilessly nasty goods with fluid grace and demented glee.

Several stories dovetail, with interweaving timelines: a Poindexter-ish serial killer (Dylan Baker) embarks on a macabre misadventure in burial; a virginal college girl (Anna Paquin) dressed as Little Red Riding Hood runs afoul of a toothsome, and fanged, suitor; several younger kids drudge up bad memories at the site of a tragic death; and a crotchety shut-in (Brian Cox) battles a hard-to-kill demon.

Each segment is infused with a twist as diabolical as its wit, Halloween is amusingly painted as a sort of frat-house holiday for inhibitions, and there hasn’t been a more comically grotesque scene of projectile vomit since “Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life.”

If “Trick ’r Treat” drags anywhere, it’s in the final bit — a drawn-out “Trilogy of Terror” mimic that nevertheless takes on intriguing dimensions both dastardly and Dickensian. It’s got just enough gravity, gore and goofiness to become appointment October viewing.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

10 Responses to “Heroes of the Zeroes: Trick ‘r Treat”

  1. […] deviate from the cookie-cutter formula, and the killer scarecrow could easily be the father of “Trick ‘r Treat’s” demonic little prankster, but the movie is still actually quite […]

  2. jermey says:

    this movie was very well played and very well done the sences was great and coloful the acters were well played and this movie should of came out in theather but just went on dvd i think they could of made some money on this flim it was a low bugest film but still money is everything when doing a great flim like this one

  3. Nick Rogers says:

    Corey: Like you, I was jazzed to hear about it initially, but when it kept getting bumped around the schedule, I feared I’d never get to see it. Your "CW" comment is a good one, as the cast here feels like a good fit even if they aren’t "pretty." Plus, it was good to see Brett Kelly (aka "The Kid" from "Bad Santa") turn up in another holiday film. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  4. Corey Miller says:

    I loved Trick-r-Treat. I first heard about it months before it came out so my anticipation for the film was very high. The day it came out I went and rented it and boy was I NOT let down. The film reminded me of 80’s horror films where the cast was believable and it didn’t seem like they cast from the CW Network. Also, the interwoven stories was excellent. Everyone I reccomend this to loves it and it just misses my top 10 horror films of all time list coming in at number 11.

  5. Corey Miller says:

    YEAH TOAT! Sorry, my anti-spam password was toast.

    Anyway, I loved Trick-r-Treat. I first heard about it months before it came out so my anticipation for the film was very high. The day it came out I went and rented it and boy was I NOT let down. The film reminded me of 80’s horror films where the cast was believable and it didn’t seem like they cast from the CW Network. Also, the interwoven stories was excellent. Everyone I reccomend this to loves it and it just misses my top 10 horror films of all time list coming in at number 11.

  6. Nick Rogers says:

    Sam: Thanks so much for the compliments! I greatly appreciate them. There aren’t a lot of horror movies on this list, which is less an indication of my personal preferences and more of a barometer of the state of modern horror. I love the genre, but I’ve often found it doesn’t love me back. The ones on this list, though (e.g. 28 Days Later …, The Descent, The Strangers), are ones to which I’ll constantly return.

  7. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by The Film Yap, The Film Yap. The Film Yap said: Charlie Brown's an asshole! http://bit.ly/cmxewG #bestfilmsofthedecade #heroesofthezeroes […]

  8. Sam Watermeier says:

    Also, I may be biased since it involves horror, but I think this is your best review yet. You have some really eloquent lines in here that perfectly sum up the mood of the Halloween season and the stories told amidst "warm flames on cool nights." Great stuff.

  9. Nick Rogers says:

    Sam: It’s OK to indulge our unsavory sides every so often. And from what I know of your horror tastes, I think you’ll love it. The Dylan Baker sequences are particularly nasty and hilarious.

  10. Sam Watermeier says:

    This sounds EXACTLY like my kind of movie! (Guess I’m a sick guy) This review got me very excited, I can’t wait to see it.