Tuesday, October 30, 2012

DVD Review - Trick 'r Treat

Trick 'r Treat
Director: Michael Dougherty
Starring: Anna Paquin, Brian Cox, Dylan Baker, Rochelle Aytes, Quinn Lord
Studio: Warner Home Video
Release Date: October 6, 2009
Running Time: 82 minutes
Rated R for horror violence, some sexuality/nudity, and language

Annually, my local Walmart sets out a few horror/Halloween themed movies. It's not even October and this year’s Halloween DVDs/Blu-Rays are already out, in which the majority of them are a mixed bag of good and bad treats. I already own all the good ones and a few that I don't are not my style, but I did pick up Trick ‘r Treat only because Anna Paquin was on the back cover.

Trick 'r Treat was released to one theater in December 2007 followed by a handful of screens in 2008 and 2009, mostly at festivals. The movie was finally released to DVD on October 6, 2009 and received mostly good reviews to the small amount of critics who viewed it.

In this anthology in the style of the Creepshow, a short trick-treater, Sam, wearing a worn-out orange pajamas with a burlap sack over his head, keeps popping throughout the movie. Emma (played by Leslie Bibb) and Henry are the couple that opens up the movie. Henry loves the holiday and has over-decorated their yard with ghost-scarecrows. She demands that he cleans up everything on Halloween night, but he says he'll get to it tomorrow, which she knows he is a lying. He goes inside the house while Emma begins to take down the scarecrows and comes face to face with horror.

Charlie a trick-or-treater stops by Principle Wilkins house and steals a few pieces of Halloween candy that was on the front porch, but he is in for a shock when the candy turns out to be poisoned. It seems that Principle Wilkins drags Charlie's lifeless body inside. Later that night, he digs a hole in the backyard and tosses Charlie on top of another corpse. He is in a hurry to get the bodies covered up, help out his son carve a unique jack-o-lantern, and get ready for his date.

Five pre-teen kids, Macy; Schrader; Sara; Chip; and Rhonda, make their way through town and eventually to the rock quarry. Macy tells the other about the The Halloween School Bus Massacre that took place thirty years ago. It seems that a school bus containing eight mentally challenged children were chained in their seats. Instead of taking them home, the bus driver drives toward the quarry. Let's just say there is an accident and the bus goes over the ravine, killing all the children.

The intent of the night was to scare Rhonda, but the others turn the tables on her and pull a prank that scares Macy almost to death. Suddenly out of nowhere, the eight victims come out of the quarry in a zombie-like-state. The kids try to make it to the elevator, but Rhonda locks the door and rides back up to the top while the others are eaten alive.

Laurie (played by the lovely Anna Paquin) is pestered by her older sister Danielle and her two friends Maria and Janet, into losing her virginity. Wearing her little red riding hood costume, Laurie is on the look out for the right guy to be her first, while her sister and friends drag a couple of guys to a party out in the woods. Laurie has no luck finding the right guy and begins to walk to the party, but someone is following her. At first she thinks it is a vampire, but it turns out to be Principle Wilkins on the prowl for his date. With no other choice, Laurie settles for Wilkins, revealing her true self in a howling way.

An elderly man, Kreeg, hates Halloween with a passion and lives alone in his old house with his dog, Spite. He scares away every trick-or-treater that comes knocking at his door, but tonight there is a surprise for him - Sam! It seems the little guy doesn't like people who disgrace Halloween and he plans on giving Kregg a Halloween that he'll never forget.

I paid only four dollars for the DVD, so I wasn't expecting too much from the movie, especially with its short running time at 82 minutes. But I was pleasantly surprised at how much I actually liked it! A few of the main characters and victims are actually children, which gives this Halloween anthology more of a fright. The pint-size Sam is the new Michael Myers! Don't let his height fool you as he doesn't like anyone messing with his holiday. Sam actually first appeared in the animated 1996 short called Season's Greetings which appears as a special feature on the DVD. Trick r' Treat is now one of my "must watch" movies at Halloween! I recommend others to turn off the lights, watch the movie, and enjoy a horrorific Halloween treat!

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