Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Trick 'r' Treat PTSD
A rerun of a post from last Halloween for a Halloween-themed movie:
Here’s a movie that has been long awaited, so long it is almost impossible to live up to its hype. Trick ‘r Treat was originally scheduled to be released in October 2007, then October 2008, finally came out on DVD in October 2009. As I said, nothing could live up to the hype, but this is a pretty good movie for Halloween.
The film occurs on a Halloween night in a small town that takes Halloween very seriously, with a street party, lots of decorations, and almost everyone joining in. This eliminates the South from location consideration. It is an anthology film, consisting of four related stories, although it eschews the traditional let-me-tell-you-a-story chronological order approach. Instead, the four stories interlock, relating to each other in ways big or small, and characters from one thread will pop up in another, either as background or minor players in another storyline. Occasionally, you see the same incident from a different point of view. The stories do not maintain a strict chronological order, so sometimes you see a character pop up after you’ve already seen their death.
There is a really nasty undertone to the town, as apparently, decades before, parents had paid a bus driver to kill all the mentally handicapped children in town out at the old quarry. This sin is the main motivation for two of the stories, and overshadows them all. There are also all the old horror tropes, with a vampire apparently roaming the crowds, werewolves, ghosts/zombies risen from the dead, and Little Red Riding Hood. Interlaced throughout is a small pumpkin-headed figure that grows more malevolent as the movie progresses.
The cast includes Anna Paquin (the X-Men movies, True Blood), Brian Cox (X-Men 2, Manhunter) and Dylan Baker. Known and unknown the cast does a good job with their roles. The direction by Michael Dougherty, who also wrote the screenplay, is also well done.
Probably the best feature of the film is its look. It is beautifully photographed, and really looks like Halloween, from the fog filled quarry to the carved pumpkin strewn streets. It’s not really scary, or wouldn’t be to most, but what is, these days? I think it is sure to please anyone who is a fan of the holiday, and I recommend it to you.