Trick 'r Treat Review - Best Damn Horror Movie in Years!
by Alex Billington
October 24, 2008
I'm not a horror movie guy. Never have been, never will be. But in the last few years I've grown to respect certain films from the genre, whether for personal reasons or for critical reasons, but it's rare that I ever come across a horror movie that I genuinely love. Yesterday night I finally found one. I'm not sure whether it's my childhood affection for Halloween and the act of trick or treating that provoked my appreciation for this movie, but whatever the reason, by in the end I walked out a bigger fan of horror than I've ever been. Michael Dougherty's Trick 'r Treat is, in my own opinion, the absolute best horror movie I've seen in years and it's sadly being buried by Warner Brothers. Unless I convince them to change their mind.
I attended Moriarty's special screening of Trick 'r Treat in Hollywood last night and really didn't know what I was walking into. I had heard a few good things and knew that it was an ensemble film, but that's about it. And that's the best way to go into this. I'm hesitant to already begin talking about it because this is a classic in the making and the only way to further progress that is to make sure audiences know as little as possible going in. With that being said, I'll introduce as little of the film as possible in order to whet everyone's appetite, otherwise no one will even give this a chance when they should be.
Trick 'r Treat is a throwback to the classic Halloween horror movies of past and dwells on the holiday's age old traditions and rules that seem to have been forgotten nowadays. It features four intertwined horror stories all tied together by one creepy little villain that might as well be the next Freddy or Jason. He's so disturbing but brilliantly designed that he instantly has an unforgettable yet iconic horror look. But there's so much more than just that! From a disgruntled principal to four feisty females to a school bus disaster and teenage prank to ole Mr. Kreeg's freaky visitor, these four stories are told within just a few hours on one Halloween night. It's really a simple as that - don't break the rules of Halloween.
This is one of those movies that as soon as I walked out of it, I wanted to talk with everyone around me about every last detail. It's a fantastic film for so many reasons and I want to try and cover all of them, but that's ultimately impossible. Michael Dougherty, who wrote and directed the film, deserves so much praise for two enormous reasons: first, the writing was extraordinary for a horror film and I'm amazed that all of the stories pulled together so smoothly and the dialogue was so original; and second, his visual style was very refreshing and unique and should be an inspiration for nearly all horror directors.
Another area of Trick 'r Treat that really stood out was the acting. Dylan Baker gives one of the funniest and engaging performances in the film, although I won't reveal who his character is or what he does. Brian Cox also does a remarkable job in a role that seemed challenging to pull off as well. Additionally, I've got to mention Anna Paquin, Lauren Lee Smith, and the gorgeous Leslie Bibb, who all do a fine job as well. Just thinking about the acting, how often is it that we ever see a horror movie full of good actors? Trick 'r Treat doesn't just have good actors, it has stunning actors who really helped take this movie to the next level.
Considering all things, Trick 'r Treat might actually be a nearly perfect film. There isn't much to complain about save for some personal annoyances, particularly those surrounding some werewolves that show up - although the audience cheered in that scene during my screening, so maybe that's just a complaint only I have. Because besides that, Trick 'r Treat was pretty much a flawless horror film. So much so that I think it has the potential to be a huge hit and start a new franchise in a genre that is getting staler every year. There hasn't been a horror movie this original and this inventive since Wes Craven brought us Scream in 1996. I guess it only took twelve years to finally find the next great horror franchise.
The problem with Trick 'r Treat is that Warner Brothers, who smartly produced this in the first place, seems to have given up on it when it comes to distributing. After originally planning to release it in October of 2007, they pulled it from the schedule and cut off all promotions last minute. A year later and we haven't heard a thing and I really don't know why. What are they sacred of? I hope this screening was encouraging enough to convince them that Trick 'r Treat literally is the next big horror movie, and I mean big. It needs some strong grass roots support (like this review) and it needs to be released on Halloween. So maybe next year, if we're lucky, Warner Brothers will officially unveil Trick 'r Treat.
All that I can leave everyone with is a strong suggestion to see this movie as soon as you can. If you ever hear it mentioned again or have the opportunity to see it, don't miss it. Trick 'r Treat needs to be seen for the first time in a dark theater, with the least amount of prior knowledge, and as close to Halloween as possible. Only then will you truly be able to get the best Trick 'r Treat experience and hopefully come to love it as much as I did. I just hope Warner Brothers is smart enough to eventually provide that opportunity to moviegoers sometime in the future. It's so rare for me to find something like this, but as far as I can recall, Trick 'r Treat is the only extraordinary horror movie I've ever truly loved.
Reader Feedback - 55 Comments
I've wanted to see this ever since I saw the preview for it on the 300 DVD. It looks excellent and I just couldn't believe it last year when it wasn't released. I was hoping for a release this year but I guess I will have to hope for next year. I guess if it isn't Batman or Harry Potter, Warner Brothers just doesn't have any faith in it.
Jim on Oct 24, 2008
Wow Alex. I'm so ecstatic by your review! You really did enjoy the flick! I'm not much of a horror fan myself, but my interest is greatly stimulated by reading this. I sure hope WB makes a sound decision and releases this. I, too had been following this flick since last year for a release date and I had previously read rumors that the flick was going straight to DVD. I hope it's not true as it'll be a damn shame!
Spider on Oct 24, 2008
I have never seen or heard anything about this movie. I like the concept and being a huge horror movie fan I think I will need to check it out.
CK on Oct 24, 2008
Looks almost as good as Satan's Little Helper
REAL6 on Oct 24, 2008
I have been waiting for this movie for so long 🙁 It makes me sad I will have to wait even longer...we need a good horror movie with a good story...
Maxx on Oct 24, 2008
They could always pull a Midnight Meat Train and be featured on the Fear.net on demand channel.
Josh on Oct 24, 2008
I don't know if I should love you or hate you. 😕 I've been wanting to see this for so long, this is torture.
tzarinna on Oct 24, 2008
I went to the halloween convention in Las Vegas this year and one of the biggest vendors said this movie would be in theatres this fall and that it would begin a new franchise like Freddy and Jason. It's interesting to read about what WB is doing with the film.
CRNBRD on Oct 24, 2008
I had almost forgotten about this film... Thanks for the input, I'm looking forward to watching it
William on Oct 24, 2008
wow, just watched the trailer, looks decent, although Im not a fan of horror films.
Derek on Oct 24, 2008
Warner Bros isn't going to distribute the film in theaters. Though they do plan on releasing it on DVD at a undetermined time.
B33 on Oct 24, 2008
I had completely forgotten about this movie.... but now I remember how exited I was for when I saw the trailer some time ago. **** Warner Bros for not having enopugh balls to go ahead and release it!!!!
Tomi on Oct 24, 2008
Why do people think Scream is so fucking good. This movie looks to be cool, but quit comparing new horror to Scream. It's like when every review compares every thriller to Hitchcock. So many great horror movies have come out...
wm on Oct 24, 2008
Explain somthing to me...if you don't like horror and "never will" then why write a review? So, because you, someone who doesn't like horror, like this movie, it's supposed to be worth watching. I don't buy it. Why should I eat at a steak house run by vegatarians? If you don't like it, don't reveiw it. Let someone else do the review. This reminds me of our local Arts/Entertainment reviewer who complained about the Predator's "fishnet stockings". If you don't like, don't get it, don't review it. Perhaps this will be a movie worth watching but I won't take your word for it.
Defeatedfrog on Oct 24, 2008
I had first read about Trick Or Treat right here on first showing.net a while back and was supremely interested. Its nice to know that it wasnt my imagination that this film seemd to just dissapear. Please WB, release this movie next October. I really want my faith in the horror genre to be restored.
Alex on Oct 24, 2008
Scream was good the first run through. He pretty much mentions originality, instead of it being real good.
L on Oct 24, 2008
I wanted to see this since I first saw the trailer and that was two or so years ago? WB really let the ball drop on this one.
Ryan on Oct 24, 2008
They need to put this out. Seriously, I'm sick of waiting...
Tyler on Oct 24, 2008
I find it so crazy that a studio will spend all that time and money to make a brilliant movie and then not release it because it doesnt look to be the next Titanic. If they would just get their heads out of their *sses then they could realize the true value in these movies and market them in a way that will please both sides.
Tomi on Oct 24, 2008
Looks freaky , i like the dude with the pumkin sack head. They should at least put this on DVD so it can get a cult following an they can make a profit. I'll keep this one in the back of my head in case i spot it at a dvd rack someday.
BadKarma on Oct 25, 2008
Hey I was just at Barnes and Noble and saw the book, "Trick or Treat". I was hoping it was the screenplay, but it was just the making of the movie but the pictures are freaky as hell. The werewolves the and the other characters. I'm really excited to see this movie now. I thought it was just some low budget b type of movie but it actually looks a lot more then that! I really want to see this! If anybody is interested you should check it out!
The_Phantom on Oct 25, 2008
This sounds fucking awesome. Period.
jman571 on Oct 25, 2008
I just happened to watch 300 because Im going to be a Spartan for Halloween and this was the first trailer on the DVD, wth whens it comign out etc etc looks great!
Richard on Oct 25, 2008
I've been waiting 2 years for this film. It looks amazing. I could of sworn i seen some witches flying in the trailer? Anyway great review! I'm super excited. I can not wait to own this film. IT'S ABOUT TIME WE GET A CLASSIC HORROR FILM that we can pass down to our children's children!!!
Patrick on Oct 25, 2008
Hot damn, am REALLY excited to see this! The trailer was awesome. Am surprised that you think its that good Alex, cause it looks pretty low budget. Can`t wait to see this!! ...whenever it comes out lol
buddhistwisdom7 on Oct 25, 2008
I've been waiting and waiting on this movie to be released. I don't care if it is on the big screen, on dvd, or on on demand. I just want to see this movie. I was so excited when I first heard about it and then when I didn't see it out last year I was confused. I looked all over and there seemed to be a complete lack of information about this movie. WB is majorly messing up with this one. It should have been released last year, this year, or better be next year!! God I wish Hollywood didn't suck so bad!!
Syko on Oct 27, 2008
Cool. I don't remember seeing this on the 300 DVD, but that's probably because I blocked it out thinking it was another run of the mill slasher. You say Brian Cox is in this? Excellent. He's a terrific actor, I'm in. And another thing, you're right, Alex. I don't remember any really good original horror movies that made an impression on me like Scream, which I thought was going to be trash until I saw it. Except for Audition. Did anyone see Audition?
JL on Oct 27, 2008
Have I ever heard of this before? No. Am I dying to see it now? Yes!
kevjohn on Oct 27, 2008
i actually thought that the trailer sucked.
darrin on Oct 27, 2008
i want to see this. i must see this 🙂
lalafrog2003 on Oct 30, 2008
Well, Darrin, I think you suck. The trailer looks kickass!
CruJones on Nov 1, 2008
what can i do to make these bastards change their' minds? Im thinking the severed head of a horse!
Ray on Nov 2, 2008
They should have released it this year...I guess we'll have to wait until next year! But I'd rather wait and see it during Halloween IN a theater then having it go straight-to-dvd and watching it at home.
Yum on Nov 5, 2008
I only recently viewed a trailer for this film but i was instantly hooked! Ive been a fan of the cinema horror genre for as long as i can remember and it is very rare that i see a preview for a film that sparks this much interest in me. In a time where everyone wants to be "the next great thing" in horror films so many of the movies that are released are laughable at best and the good stories are brought down by poor scripts or faulty endings(a.k.a. "The Happening"). Its sad to see highly anticipated films that could possibly bring horror movies out of a recent "indie" funk be put on a shelf because of hollywood politics. Whatever the case may be i am ecstatic about the release of "trick or treat"and i am going to show everyone possible the trailer i sat in "childish bliss" watching.
Ghost on Nov 8, 2008
where can i find this movie did it come out yet?
jessy on Mar 20, 2009
Warner Brothers...they simply care about profit. If it's not Harry Potter or the next Titantic, forget about it. This film deserves to be released. I saw it at a special screening, and I was hooked. Easily a 9/10.
Matt on Apr 6, 2009
OMG i WANNA SEE THIS FREAKING MOVIE!!!!!! ive waited 3 freaking years for this movie but i found this thing that said that the movie is going to be released on dvd October of this year (09) they should just let it freaking open up in theaters and i guarantee you THOUSANDS bout millions for people will in fact go see this movie even if they put it out now which all of us on here would very much love 🙂 because they havnt put out a good horror movie in YEARS about time they did 🙂 ok 😀
adrean on Apr 20, 2009
I am a huge horror film buff. I love scary and thrilling horror movies. When I first got a glimpse of this film, I was aching to see it. Slasher classics like Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street are some of my favorites, but true originality is a real treat. I am definitely hoping for a Halloween release this year, especially with such a huge real of summer hits in 2009 so far.
John on Aug 3, 2009
the official site lists the release date as october 6th!!! it's about time this was released ^_^ anyone doing the contest at trtmovie.com???
john c. on Aug 28, 2009
hmmm sorry 2 say ppl i jst watched this movie its 11.45pm.I didn't get scared or there was nothing big to say as horror in dis movie.because of these comments only i download it but nothing huge as da comments given.
Natali on Sep 29, 2009
here is the deal ..the movie was way awesome.. i dont know what you all are talking about ... This movie is a mix of many mythical characters and good stars are in this movie ... Its a sort of Creep Show type of stuff.. its really nice... the setting is really cool .. i mean if you were smoking a blunt and with a tons of friends and wanted to watch a movie at the night .. this is the movie to watch ... its on movieplex.org in its DVD print ..look it up ...
about it on Oct 1, 2009
This movie was SOOO SWEET I wish it was longer and I hope they make more 🙂 Im gunna buy it asap!
Adam E M on Oct 7, 2009
This was the single worst horror film I have ever seen. There was no plot whatsoever, the characters had little if no background, and it jumped from group to group without any connection. Maybe I am missing something here, but I hope that this movie never comes out in theaters so the American public can be spared.
Nick on Oct 12, 2009
This film is such a delight! I can't begin to praise it enough! 9.5 out of 10! Mr. Daugherty is already talking about a sequel so we'll get more Trick 'r Treating in a couple of years! Warner Bros. really missed the boat on this one. Talk about a sterotypically clueless studio - this film would easily have made $50 to $100 million at the box office, plus dvd sales. Now they only get the dvd sales. News flash Warner morons: good movies should be released!
WeirdMinnesota on Oct 29, 2009
How much did you people get paid to say this movie was good?
Sarah on Dec 22, 2009
I love this movie, i am a huge horror movie fan and i have been my whole life. this was probably the best horror movie i've ever seen. @43 you did miss something, obviously the hole fuckin movie or at least the begining, each short story is based on 1 of the 4 rules of halloween and that my friend is tw plot of the movie so go back and rewatch it. @45 i didn't get paid, i got it as a xmas present biz-nitch
guh on Jan 3, 2010
**is the plot of the movie** - is what i meant to say
guh on Jan 3, 2010
Purchased this movie on dvd. I totally agree with Alex... the only fail bout the movie is that it is so short! ... 😀 and that on DvD it dosent fill out the screen so i wished that ive saw it in the movies.. :'(
Martin on Feb 28, 2010
This was the single worst horror film I have ever seen. There was no plot whatsoever, the characters had little if no background, and it jumped from group to group without any connection.
Garage apartment plans on May 8, 2010
There is a connection your just to stupid to see it
Skykid20 on Apr 18, 2012
I found so many interesting stuff in your blog, especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here! Keep up the excellent work.
Green screen backgrounds on May 13, 2010
I watched this movie yesterday.. t`was freakin creepy xD
Cindy on Oct 29, 2010
This movie was horrible. There were so many scenes that were never explained or finished. Why was the principle killing kids? What happened to red riding hood and the vampire? Stupid and horrible.
Becky on Dec 26, 2010
Some poeple are so stupid. Does everything need to be explained to them???? This movie was excellent.
Dolan Kristina on Jan 15, 2011
This movie is unique. It's not funny, it's never scary, but it's perfect. A weird combination of cruelty and cuteness that makes the best horror movie of all time.
David Alejandro Gutiérrez Guti on Dec 10, 2012
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