Trick ‘r Treat (2007) Movie Review – 31 Days of Halloween
Four interwoven stories that occur on Halloween: an everyday high school principal has a secret life as a serial killer; a college virgin might have just met the one guy for her; a group of teenagers pull a mean prank, and a bitter old recluse receives an uninvited guest.
Welcome to Knockout Horror. Halloween is almost here and we are up to day 30 of our K-O-Ween 31 Days of Halloween feature. I thought we could use a little variety today so I have turned to a movie that does the whole Halloween thing better than almost any – Michael Dougherty’s 2007 Horror Anthology Trick ‘r Treat.
Anthology horror movies are often very hit and miss. I mean, if we are honest, that is sort of in their nature. They will have a few good segments, a few bad ones and a couple that are pretty average. Trick ‘r Treat is different from most horror anthologies, though. This is a movie that is legitimately solid from start to end.
Every segment is fun in its own way and the way they all connected together is fantastic. Better than almost any other similar movie, in fact. But that’s not the main reason I am featuring this movie today.
Perfect Halloween Movie
The main reason is that Trick ‘r Treat just gets the Halloween feel so damn right. It feels like a Halloween movie through and through. From the numerous Halloween parties taking place to the liberal use of carved pumpkins right down to just the feel of the movie itself. Trick ‘r Treat might be one of the most perfect October horror movies in a long time.
The movie consists of five stories that all take place within the same small town. One features a couple returning home from a Halloween party to find something strange in their garden. Another sees a pumpkin smashing boy having a grizzly encounter with his school’s principle. The third follows a group of friends as they head to the lake where a school bus full of children disappeared to perform a ritual.
The fourth sees a group of young women making their way to a Halloween party with a difference and the last sees an anti social elderly man being attacked in his own home by a malicious pumpkin headed creature.
The Best Horror Anthology?
It all sounds like pretty standard horror movie stuff and, for the most part, it is. There’s some cool moments, some effective tension, some creative setups and a few surprises. But it isn’t anything you haven’t seen before. There are plenty of horror tropes here and, for the most part, the movie projects what is about to happen before it does. It’s not massively scary but it doesn’t really need to be. The stories are just quick, punchy, and a lot of fun. They don’t overstay their welcome, either, which is a good thing.
The cool thing is the way the movies are all connected. Since the events are all taking place in one small town. All of the stories are interconnected. They are taking place at the same time and one will lead into another seamlessly or will set something up that can be revisited later. The timeline is non-linear so does bounce around a bit but it does it so well. It’s brilliant and feels like one of the best ways to present a horror anthology that I have come across. And I have watched a ton of horror anthologies.
The connecting story is almost always the worst. They are almost always vaguely linked to the individual segments themselves and often feel completely tacked together. That’s just not the case with Trick ‘r Treat. The connecting story doesn’t exist in the traditional sense. Each story simply leads on to another while simultaneously setting up a later one. It’s so much better than the norm and makes the movie so much more enjoyable. The Christmas anthology A Christmas Horror Story does something similar but, as a movie, Trick ‘r Treat is leagues better.
Flows So Well
It’s very clear that a ton of care has gone into this movie. It’s not easy to tie disparate segments together but it works so damn well. Naturally that is, in large part, due to the movie having only one director. Meaning that a consistent theme can be maintained throughout. But the segments are still unique and interesting enough to keep the horror anthology feeling alive. A lot of effort has gone into this movie to make each story interesting in its own way.
I am sure fans of Goosebumps and the like will understand when I say it’s like binging a show like that. The segments feel the same but the stories are different. It hearkens back to things like Tales From The Crypt as well. Just fun horror stories that don’t hang around to long, offer a bunch of thrills and leave before they get old. It is no surprise to me that this movie is becoming a cult classic. I loved it the first time I saw it and loved it even more on a rewatch. To be honest, I enjoyed it more than the majority of films I have watched in the past year.
A Lot of Horror
Trick ‘r Treat manages to cram a lot of horror into its short runtime. We have werewolves, vampires, killer headmasters, ghostly children, an adorable sack wearing child monster, and so much more. The variety is what makes it so good. As mentioned above, each story is unique and each story is interesting. You aren’t seeing the same thing twice. And as a very nice bonus each story features an equal amount of pure Halloween goodness. This isn’t just horror, this is Halloween horror.
Our sack wearing monster, Sam, became a bit of a horror icon. And his segments are a lot of fun. He features quite frequently throughout the stories and is something of a tie that binds them together. I believe he went on to receive merchandise including a Funko POP! and a Sideshow Collectibles figure and more. Trick ‘r Treat absolutely needs a sequel. Michael Dougherty said one is in active development right now and I hope it happens because this is one of the best Halloween themed horror movies around.
Final Thoughts and Score
There may not be a more pure and unfiltered Halloween movie on the market. Sure, others feature Halloween or are set on Halloween. But Trick ‘r Treat is an ode to the day itself. It’s a brilliant anthology with five fantastic segments and one of the best ways to bring it all together I have seen. It is perfect October viewing but save it for Halloween itself. It will put you right in the mood. It is absolutely my favourite horror anthology and a movie every horror fan needs to watch.