REVIEW: Trick R Treat (2007)

Are you one of those buzzkills who hate Halloween? Do you shun trick or treaters when they knock on your door? Do you sneer at your neighbour who enthusiastically put up decorations commemorating this glorious time? 

If so, you might think twice about doing so or else Sammy will terrorise you – just like what the characters in Trick R Treat found out themselves.

Meet Sammy.

Michael Dougherty’s Trick R Treat is a horror anthology revolving around four different storylines of individuals who all hold dark secrets. Mind you, this is not an anthology in the same thread as V/H/S or the Twilight Zone movie – this is an amalgamation of different plots colliding in a memorable way in the end.

This is perhaps one drawcard for Trick R Treat, Dougherty does a great job of linking all four stories together – something which the V/H/S series struggled to do. Not only did the ending make sense, it gave us a pleasant plot twist as well which made this movie a memorable watch.

To break it down for those who have not heard a lot about the film – which is nearly impossible considering the cult-like following it has where almost everyone who has seen it will not stop talking about it – Trick R Treat is about tradition, specifically the Halloween tradition.

You’re supposed to dress up in a costume, you’re supposed to carve up pumpkins into what should look like a creepy-looking skull, you’re supposed to give candies to kids trick-or-treating or let your own kids go out collecting candies.

Failing to do any of these makes you a buzzkill — and no one likes a buzzkill.

Especially not Sammy, who was never called that name anywhere in the film but had been bestowed with such an innocent monicker by the legions of fandom portals all over the internet.

Sammy hates it when people don’t follow Halloween tradition and he makes sure you know he hates it.

That’s about as much hint I can give without spoiling the movie. But just look at what Sammy looks like in that image above — isn’t that enough to get you sold on how amazing of a character he (or it) is?

Despite his cute aesthetics, Sammy’s punishments for those who dare break Halloween traditions is anything but. Our pumpkin-headed anti-hero is also capable of a plethora of creepy, supernatural abilities that aid it in hunting those who break tradition.

Expect a lot of gore from this movie, a copious amount of realistic, stomach-churning gore.

The film’s reliance on gore is one of its downside — it’s pretty hard to be innovative with slasher/gore films. The best angles have been explored/perfected by the likes of Friday the 13th, Texas Chainsaw, etc. This brings us to Trick R Treat’s biggest weakness – being too predictable. There were jumpscares in inappropriate places, which made them very pathetic if I say so myself.

But then a lot of great films have relied a tad bit too much on jumpscares, doesn’t make them any less memorable. It was the same case for TRT, its positives greatly outweighed its negatives.

It is also very laudable how the screenplay writers incorporated some light-hearted moments into this film. The manner in which several characters died were hilarious, though I’m unsure if it objectively was or it boils-down to my messed-up sense of humour. The dialogues were impressive too, a vital part to understanding the storyline relies on your ability to follow the conversations – they tell the story just as you are watching it.

There were a lot of moments where you thought the story was dragging out or becoming redundant, then you are treated to a good plot twist that comes as an amusing surprise. Perhaps that phrase sums up TRT best – a pleasant surprise.

Who would have thought that a slasher flick involving a pumpkin-headed 4′ tall kid would have the potential to become one of the best horror films of the past decade? This movie certainly exceeded expectations in that regard.

At the same time, TRT’s emphasis on honouring Halloween tradition has made it, in turn, a Halloween tradition of its own. It is now a staple film for horror-movie fans to include in their Halloween movie marathon.

If this is not the case for you, then you should seriously reconsider if you really are a patron of the horror genre. Trick R Treat is perfect to get anyone in the mood for Halloween.

This film merits a strong B+ grade from this blog.


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