Saturday, October 11, 2008


On the eleventh day of Halloween, my boo love gave to me ... eleven tainted Snickers with razor blades!


The fat kid from Bad Santa, the pedophile from Happiness, the reluctant mutant from X-men, Helo from Battlestar Galactica, tons of pumpkins and candy corn, and the latest, creepiest little horror icon this side of Chucky and/or Leprechaun.

More details here.


A cold, sinister wind rustles through trees. Doors creak close and windows are shuttered by unseen hands. Creatures howl in the night to a rising blood red moon. Disembodied cackles rip through the dark sky. Pumpkins are lit to ward off the spirits of the wandering dead. And kids hit the streets in the latest spooky wear to score some serous candy. It’s Halloween. Perhaps the greatest holiday ever where someone’s gotta give up the goodies, or else. Five stories intertwine one haunted Halloween night in the town of Warren Oaks. A little creature in a scarecrow outfit and footed pajamas wanders the neighborhood and stalks a young couple settling for the night. A child killer tries to hide his latest unspeakable crime from his neighbor and kid, and he’s having a tougher than usual time. A young girl dressed as Little Red Riding Hood seeks out the man of her dreams but instead finds a wolf in sheep’s clothing. But little Red isn’t want she seems. Five young trick-or-treaters test a tragic town legend by summoning the spirits of drowned children. But is all a joke, or is there something far more sinister waiting for them in a school bus from Hell? And finally, an old shut-in confronts an overzealous trick-or-treater who comes knocking at his door and won’t take no for an answer.


Director Michael Dougherty loves Halloween. I mean he REALLY loves Halloween. And his love casts an even darker shadow on the already spooky gloom of the holiday in this excellent horror anthology. In the tradition of Creepshow, Tales from the Crypt, and Trilogy of Terror comes this surprise sleeper that is destined to become Halloween’s It’s a Wonderful Life. Screened in Hollywood on opening night of L.A.’s Screamfest horror festival, the movie finally made it to the screen after an incomprehensibly long delay. Using familiar stories and references from other classic horror films, Dougherty sets out to redefine the traditions of Halloween while presenting genuinely spooky tales with twists on the mythology and superstitions of the holiday in the boisterous spirit of 80s and 90s horror comedy. You’ll find no mindless teen thrill-killing, no squirming-in-your-seat torture, or Japanese remakes here.

Trick ‘r Treat is the Short Cuts of the horror genre and although the storylines were intended to intertwine more intricately, some end too soon, others not soon enough. And despite a little predictability, each story manages to be engaging and reveal something new. Another slight nitpick is the overuse of music at certain points where silence probably would have been more effective. But the sprawling, clever score is another standout of the film. Trick ‘r Treat is not meant to shock or terrify, in fact it possess the quality of a dark fairy tale without the heavy-handed moralizing. The actors in the film rose to the occasion in the Halloween spirit it displays unabashedly which is also accented by exquisite cinematography. Dougherty is a skillful storyteller and avoids an all-out gorefest in exchange for legitimate chills and a few laughs. His little trick-or-treater “Sam” is unforgettable and will linger with you for many Halloweens to come. The sad story of Trick ‘r Treat’s delayed release is probably best told elsewhere, however, the fact that this solid, well-crafted horror anthology has not made it to theaters is the ultimate trick on horror fans everywhere.

(PS: I’d like to point out that Trick ‘r Treat star Moneca Delain is an absolute FOX in person. Yow!)

No comments: