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Underrated & Overlooked: Trick 'r Treat (2007)

by Roisin Gordon. Published Fri 30 Oct 2020 21:46

Trick or Treating is one of Halloween’s most beloved traditions, who didn’t love dressing up and going around the neighborhood asking for free candy when they were growing up?

Trick ‘r Treat captures the fun and chaos you would have on Halloween night, yet takes a creepier look at this tradition with this anthology that brilliantly weaves together four different stories that take place on Halloween night.

The opening credits give us a taster as to what you are about to be let in for, by showing us glimpses of the stories through the style of comic book artwork which is perfectly complemented by Douglas Pipes’ eerie and suspenseful score, that is reminiscent of Bernard Hermann’s score for Psycho.

The stories include a high school principal with sinister motives, a young virgin on a quest to find a special someone, a group of teenagers carrying out a cruel prank and a cantankerous old man who loathes Halloween and trick or treaters.

The one connection that they all have in common is a visit from a mysterious trick or treater called Sam, a young child wearing shabby pyjamas and a burlap sack over his head, who appears when the traditions of Halloween have been broken.

Writer and Director Michael Dougherty, does a spectacular job of creating a film that brings that nostalgic feel of horror anthologies, with spine-tingling and masterfully crafted stories that makes it feel exciting and fresh.

The concern with creating an anthology is that there may be one or two stories that don’t seem to grab your attention, but this is not the case here. Each story never overstays its welcome and doesn’t rely too much on jump scares like most other horror films do to scare you, but actually makes the effort to tell a good story and provides enough suspense and twists to keep you invested until the credits roll.

It also does a decent job of intertwining the stories, as you see the characters in each story cross paths with each other throughout the night and does it well so that everything wraps up nicely by the end.

The production design really captures both the look and atmosphere of Halloween, with each frame oozing dark and spooky imagery, as well as including vivid colours such as Jack O’ Lanterns and festive decorations. The flashback sequences even manage to capture that warm autumn feeling, in spite of the chilling stories that unfold throughout the film.

When you first meet Sam, he may seem like an innocent but slightly creepy young child, but you soon see that he is not just your average trick or treater. When he gets unmasked towards the end of the film, his true appearance is not what you would expect and is pretty disturbing.

Trick ‘r Treat is creepy and fun, it definitely deserves more attention and is a must watch for Halloween.

Purple Revolver Rating: 4/5 - A real Halloween trea



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