Trick 'r Treat

Starring: Anna Paquin, Brian Cox, Dylan Baker Directed by: Michael Dougherty

I’d like to think that someone pitched the idea for Trick ‘r Treat by saying that if Pulp Fiction and Creepshow had a baby, it would be Trick ‘r Treat.

Halloween and horror movies seem to go hand in hand. Yet, this natural pairing has a weird contradiction in which horror movies about Halloween kind of suck.  I know that you are now trying to think of good Halloween movies in your head, but let me stop you. Halloween is overrated and kind of boring. Pumpkinhead… really? Sleepy Hollow…you know how I feel about Tim Burton. I have to admit that It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is okay, but Trick ‘r Treat stands above them all as an instant Halloween classic.

The film plays out as a series of vignettes, told in a nonlinear fashion, all tied together in some form. Each of these little stories plays on the kinds of stories we’ve all heard for years; always check your candy, children telling ghost stories, a twist on a classic fairy tale, a man who is haunted by his past. The only constant is a freaky little child, sporting a disturbing little scarecrowish mask, who seems to serve as our narrator without ever speaking a word.

On the premise alone, this film could have gone either way. What really set this movie apart from other films were the people attached to the project.  Bryan Singer, director of the first two X-Men films and The Usual Suspects, produced Trick ‘r Treat. X-Men alum Anna Paquin and Brian Cox both star along with Dylan Baker. Now these might not be names that you recognize, but trust me, you know these actors. Each of them brings their own skill set out in full force in the form of Vestal innocence, a tortured curmudgeon, and the sadistically hilarious “everyman.”

Beginning to end I was impressed by this film. It can easily become a movie that you must watch each year, like A Christmas Story for Halloween. At all times it seems to hold true to the playful and devious nature of the holiday. Plus, how many movies have a little kid screaming “Charlie Brown’s an asshole?” That alone is worth the rent.  To me, this is hands down the best movie about Halloween.

Oh wait, I just thought of a movie that is a scarier Halloween movie…Hocus Pocus. Bette Middler doing anything…Sarah Jessica Parker, if you can imagine, looking more horrible than she normally does…oh yeah way scarier. Great, now I am going to have to drink myself to sleep again. Damn you Hocus Pocus!!!

Written by Drew Martin