Inspired by Michael Dougherty’s short horror film “Season’s Greetings,” our favorite trick or treater Sam returns to remind us of the further tricks he has up his sleeve as Dougherty introduces a film comprised of interwoven sub-plots a la “Go” (where everyone is out for the occasion but only a select few experience the true heinous clutch of Halloween evil) along with the comic book format in the vein of “Creepshow” where we’re bombarded with comic panels of what’s to come .
Dougherty’s horror flick is a masterfully told series of sub=plots that work within one whole storyline during Halloween night while jumping back and forth through sub plots that all work within the confines of introducing complex characters, twisted situations and surprise endings that work that ultimately prove beneficial to the web of tales. “Trick ‘r Treat” is very much in the tradition of multiple scenario flicks where characters and storylines jump back and forth on a rigid timeline that takes place in the course of one evening.
“Trick ‘r Treat” evokes everything that amazing about Halloween, it’s a celebration of ghouls and murderous specters not within the confines of actual monsters but human monsters and the evil they’re capable of when left to their devices. A vampire is running loose during a town party as a kindly neighborhood man provides a treat for the obese boy in neighborhood. Meanwhile, six trick of treaters attempt to take part in a prank involving a very scary urban legend all the while Samhaim (the film’s watchful eye) sits in the darkness to watch the unending madness unfold as the hours drawn on in to the night and even takes part in some tricking and treating himself as he terrorizes the local elderly man in the neighborhood.
Production quality is tight with most of the film able to capture the mood of Halloween and derives such delight in the successful tone it sets from minute one. Dougherty is almost a master at making his horror entry a celebration of a holiday instead of dumbing it down to make it feel like any old Direct to DVD feature. It’s a greatest hits collection of old fashioned monsters and gruesome new age beasts all set to the tone of Hallow’s Eve. I loved it. This is what Halloween horror classics are made of. Dougherty’s expansion of his short horror film is a surprise filled, twisted and giddily creepy underrated horror film with a hell of a lot of replay value. Halloween fans need apply.