61 Days of Halloween- Trick ‘r Treat

Most holidays worth their while encompass entire seasons, such as Christmas, for example. However, as you may have noticed there is a corporate push every year for us to think about the next holiday even sooner. While this has many negative side effects I figure I may as well embrace it.

Since Labor Day is really only good for college football and movie marathons cinematically it is as significant as Arbor Day, which means the next big day on the calendar is Halloween and we can start looking toward it starting now.

Daily I will be viewing films in the horror genre between now and then and sharing the wealth. Many, as is usually the case, will not be worth it so for every disappointment, I will try and suggest something worth while as well.

Trick ‘r Treat

Last year was the first time I saw Trick ‘r Treat. I had heard about it long ago and was looking forward to it. Frankly, the fact that it was pulled from theatrical release has always been a bit disappointing. What I didn’t fully understand at the time was that it was cold feet caused by content not quality. Regardless of that it made it hard for me to see that year.

The good news is that whether it was a theatrical release or not it was still likely to find its niche on home video. I finally saw it last year and it was one of my favorite discoveries among films of older vintage. This year I revisited it, and boy did it ever hold up.

As I recently alluded to in another piece, I’ve seen quite a few horror anthologies this year. While I bristle a little at the notion that this is “merely” and anthology; it is the best categorization. What makes me bristle is that unlike many it’s not divided, it’s virtually seamless; it uses something closer to interrelated vignettes.

The tales occur over the same night, characters cross paths with one another, Sam is present in all of them (although he only reveals himself and purpose at the end), it holds together, things feed off one another and connect to one another.

Come December I will be writing about why the 24 Hours of A Christmas Story works, and having recently learned that FEARnet will do the same with this film, it makes sense for the same reasons. With the way the respective narratives unfold with connected, unified tales that are both seasonal and anecdotal. They both encompass and embrace the season in such a way that lends itself to repeat viewings. Furthermore, once one knows these narratives well, as I do with A Christmas Story and am starting to with Trick ‘r Treat, it is also conducive to partial and repeat viewings.

What Trick ‘r Treat does best is that it combines and connects various types of stories about Halloween in a natural and wonderful way. Many of the narrative threads when analyzed will seem very like a (sub)urban legend but rarely, if ever, does it seem to be blatantly so. The narrative unfolds without the patterns and possible connections revealing themselves before they’re necessary.

The most satisfying thing about revisiting this film was that very little luster wore off the impactful moments, whether just before or just after certain incidents I was thinking to myself “Oh, yeah, I remember this” and always the rediscovery was gleeful.

Trick ‘r Treat, so far as I can tell, has already achieved something of a cult status, but as time goes on I only see that growing, as more and more people will come to discover it.

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3 comments

  1. CMrok93 · October 18, 2012

    Good review Bernardo. Like all anthology flicks, there are some bright spots and some darker ones, but overall, this one’s a lot of creepy, scary fun, like we always want around Halloween.

    • bernardovillela · October 18, 2012

      Thanks! As a rule that statement about anthologies is one I agree with, but there are a few on either end of the spectrum that I feel are fairly consistent. I also have to see “Asylum,” which I’ve heard great things about.

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