Monday, October 31, 2011

Day 27: The newest Halloween classic!

Trick R' Treat (Dir. Michael Dougherty): This fantastic little film has become a Halloween tradition for me.  Michael Dougherty's amazing anthology film was released three years ago and mostly played festivals because the studio just didn't know how to promote it.  It's  a damn shame too because it's one of the best genre films of the last decade.

 To get too into plot specifics would be doing the viewer a disservice.  The whole film takes place over the course of one night  (Halloween obviously) and we follow different groups as they celebrate the holiday in their own way.  The time line shifts from past to present (ie earlier and later in the evening) and there are some flashbacks thrown in for good measure and to flesh out characters.  Most of the stories and characters are intertwined and some characters are present throughout the whole thing.  A little pumpkin child named Sam is the mascot and is present in each of the story threads as well.

This film is just so much fun.  It's much stronger than most anthology films because all of the stories are good and because they are all intertwined creating a uniform narrative.  Usually films like this  make you feel detached since there is no flow, but here the film flows smoothly while still dedicating equal time to each arc.  After my first viewing I thought this felt like a really good TV special that you'd watch when you were a kid (and I mean this in the best possible way).  There's violence and a few intense scenes, but overall I felt like this it just did a great job celebrating Halloween and all the fun times that come with it.  You never quite know where the stories are going and a few of the twists are quite clever and very much earned.  Brian Cox turns out a marvelous performance to close out the piece and Dylan Baker absolutely steals the show as a deranged serial killer Principal.  I also loved how Dougherty did such a great job of recreating the feeling of celebrating Halloween as a kid.  It's almost impossible not to enjoy this and it has one of the strongest openings and closings to a film in the genre that I've ever seen.   Even the opening credit sequence is awesome! I also appreciated that Sam wasn't just a cute mascot to entertain the audience in between stories (Creepshow I'm looking at you).  He was an integral part of one of the story threads and pretty creepy ta boot.  The images are vibrant and detailed and the score is fantastic as well.  You can't go wrong with this one and it's the perfect companion piece to the original Halloween.

Funny or Scary:  Neither really, but I did jump a couple of times.
Scariest Moment: When the "kids" come out of the lake...
Overall Corpse Rating: 8 corpses.

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