Thursday, October 29, 2009

October Horror Fest #29: TRICK 'R TREAT

I had heard good things about this movie, but after just watching it now I have to say: this is the best movie about Halloween since Halloween. It really is the quintessential film for the holiday. I don't think I can say enough good things about Trick 'R Treat.

A lot of it has to do with the holiday itself. For me, being a horror fan is directly connected to childhood memories, specifically those from October 31. Whether it was running around the neighborhood for candy, looking for mischief with friends, or scaring myself out of my mind with horror movie marathons after trick-or-treating, the Halloween atmosphere captures that. I think I've been trying to relive those memories in scary movies ever since.

Writer/director Michael Dougherty seems to feel the same way. Trick 'R Treat takes place in a fictional small town in Ohio, but it could be any American suburb, mine or yours. A costume parade, decorations everywhere, and intertwining storylines (a la Creepshow and Tales From The Crypt) concerning those things that go bump in the night.

Unlike its slick Hollywood counterparts, this movie delivers genuine scares and off-the-wall absurdity in an even measure. Nods to the classics are plentiful, but it never comes across as a rip-off or hackneyed. These are original stories (albeit based on a short cartoon Dougherty made in the 80s) and they are executed brilliantly. If Pulp Fiction was a horror movie, Trick 'R Treat would be it.

It's too bad that more people won't get a chance to see this movie. Not only was its release pushed back two years, it went straight to DVD. Meanwhile, mindless shit like Saw VI is #2 at the box office right now. It's a crime. I was going to save this review until Halloween, but I want as many people as possible to check this out. I have no apprehension in saying this is the best horror film of 2009. Go get it!

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