By Robert Johnston / Inscape Editor
By Robert Johnston / Inscape Editor
Trick ‘R Treat is an anthology horror tale written and directed by Michael Dougherty (“X-Men 2” & “Superman Returns”), that puts the “R” back in your rated “R” Halloween movies, and twists the way you think a Halloween movie should end up. The story moves through four separate stories that include a citywide party in the streets of Ohio filled with people in all types of costumes, and a little trick or treater dressed up as a jack o’ lantern character.
In the opening, we are introduced to a couple who return home from the town party, in their costumes, the woman, Emma (Leslie bibb, of “ER”, “CSI: Miami”, and “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby”), starts to blow-out a candle inside a pumpkin in front of their house, but her husband, Henry (Tahmoh Penikett, of Battlestar Galactica, and Dollhouse), tells her not to, that it’s not midnight, and it’s tradition to leave the candle burning until then. You can see he loves Halloween. She blows out the candle anyway. When they look back at their yard, which is laden with all kinds of Halloween gore one could think of, Emma states that the yard “looks like a crime scene” and that she wants it all cleaned up before the morning, because her mother is coming over. Henry wants some alone time with his wife, and tells her that he promises to take it all down tomorrow. She thinks about it, and agrees, and tells him to go “put on the tape”, and she’ll be right there. Henry goes in, and Emma begins to take down some of the decorations. She is then attacked and killed, as what appears to be an example of respecting the traditions of Halloween.
Next we move into the Principal’s story, Steven Wilkins (Dylan Baker, of “Spider-Man 2 & 3”), where we learn, that he is a School Principal, and a serial killer that abducts children with his spiked candy, and kills and buries them in his back yard. He and his son, then proceed to carve up human heads as their pumpkins…
Then four women are in town for a special surprise party for one of them, Laurie (Anna Paquin, of “X-Men 1-3” and “Tru Blood”). The ladies are all dressing up in costume, and looking for dates to have a shocking bon-fire party in the woods later. Three of the ladies find their dates, and head off with them to the party, as Laurie takes a walk looking for one…
Amidst that, a darkly-clad man is stalking a women, and ends up killing her with his vampire teeth, and leaving her on the sidewalk, sitting dead, next to a few people, this night, no one notices a dead women among all the people dressed up in costume.
A few kids are on a mission, to gather up as many pumpkins that they can from the neighborhood, and take them to a spot to pay respects, to the kids that died in an accident where their school bus, was driven off a cliff, into a rock quarry. The kids on a mission set out to discover, that sometimes, it’s not always a good idea, to go out to a scene where people have died, on Halloween night.
As if written and directed by Quentin Tarrantino, this movie moves between tales and characters with a swift and believing connection that comes together at the end when we learn that the bus driver that escaped the school bus accident, is alive, and fearful for what his role in that accident was. His night and his yard, are full of Halloween spirit, if you will.
The ladies in the woods, have their party, but one is late, little red riding hood is being stalked by the vampire killer…as he catches up to her, her fate appears sealed, as the girls waiting back at the party, worry something has happened to her, at that moment, a body wrapped in a red cloak, is thrown into the party, near the fire. As the girls check the under the cloak for their friend, they see it is the vampire man wrapped up and gasping for help, as Laurie walks up, explaining that the man bit her. The man, was then unmasked to be Principal Steven Wilkins, as they remove his fake vampire teeth, he sees, that all of the girls dates, are dead, and that the ladies, are a pack of hungry werewolves! That is the last thing he sees as Laurie changes, and gives the killer what he deserves leaving his son to pass out the candy the rest of the night on his porch.
In each of these tales, the mysterious Jack O’ Lantern appears, and brings, a sense of terror with it, as he is revealed to be the killer in the opening scene, and appears to be orchestrating the entire nights events.
In the end of the movie, all loose ends are tied up in what was a pretty entertaining Halloween horror movie.
Originally created in 2007 with mostly positive reviews from all screenings, Trick ‘R Treat was pushed back and released direct to DVD on October 6, 2009. Go get your copy to watch this Halloween.