An author writes stories for the 3 dead trick or treaters he killed and buried. These stories are about teens going murderous, a human sacrifice, hungry homeless people, and a special delivery. Writer/director Torin Langen takes the anthology sub-genre and gives it an extra twist by having no dialog. The film is not actually silent, there are noises and the characters make the occasional sound, but no one actually talks to anyone. This twist or different way to do things forces the film to develop its stories without the strength of the spoken word, giving more importance to the actions and the music to pass information and emotions. This shift is interesting and leads to the viewer having to pay more attention to what is on the screen.
The cast here has no lines, so they had no lines to learn, but they also had the difficult task of showing all emotions in body language and facial expressions without over-acting or over-doing things. For the “Fondue” segment, most of the cast wears masks for about 90% of it, relegating almost everything to body language alone. The best acting of the film can be found in segments “Malleus Maleficarum” and “Stash” as the actors here have more variety of emotions and situations to work with. The cast for “Fondue” is harder to see their acting due to the masks, while the cast of the “Delivery” segment is stoic as their characters look to have been wanted to be that way.
The wrap-around story has a simple cast of two and they work well together with the character referred to as “Paper Boy” played by Holden Levack standing out as one of the better performances in the film. Also standing out positively is Eric Repke as “The Brother” in the “Malleus Maleficarum” and Andrew Smart as “The Pig” in segment “Stash”. All the parts of this anthology maintain a cohesive look with cinematography by director Torin Langen who also edited. Torin’s involvement in all aspects of the film create a uniform look, bringing all the parts together to form a while that looks and feels like fall in Canada with a touch of desperation and insanity. Adding to this is the original music by Stephen Schooley which helps the cast’s performances and the imagery come together to create and communicate the feelings and emotions for the film.
As this is a horror anthology, the effects are important to a level. Here most of the effects are simple blood effects which work well and look good. The other effects, such as a severed limb, are not always quite on point but they are minimal, so not too intrusive and not too much of a problem. Unfortunately, not effects credits were found online.
3 Dead Trick or Treaters is an interesting take on Halloween and anthology films with a good amount of blood, some quite good performances, and no dialog. It uses this in a great way and finds a way to pass its emotions and feelings without spoken words. The effects besides blood could be better, but were decent for its budget. The fall setting can be felt and it works well using common ideas with newer ones.
Blood in the Snow ran from November 25th to November 27th, 2016.