Trick (2019)

A serial killer terrorizes a small town over many years, on the anniversary of his first spree. A detective and survivor go on his search to stop him and help the town survive.

Written by Todd Farmer and Patrick Lussier with Lussier directing, Trick starts with a bang, giving the title character his first spree. The killings are fast and fairly nasty in how they are carried out on the teenager spectrum of violence. The film then goes back and forth between the cops investigating Trick and the murder sprees happening each year. This is a decent way of having a high body count and giving the audience a bit of a break between each one of these. The writing here is good and the kills are well writing. The characters in general are on the upper end of the slasher world and some of them become characters that are easy to care about. The rest are mostly killer fodder and they seem to know it as they don’t get all that fleshed out or developed. The direction takes the script and brings it to the screen in a competent manner, giving it some suspense and bringing the kills to the screen with a sort of glee that works well with the material, themes, and the fact that this is a Halloween movie.

The cast here is led by Omar Epps as Det. Mike Denver who is put on the case of Trick after his first spree, but subsequently is removed as he becomes obsessed with the case. Epps does good work, pretty much as expected from an actor of his caliber. The main eye-catching star in Trick is Kristina Reyes as Cheryl Winston. Here she steals the show and gives the best performance of the bunch. A few days after watching the film, her work is the most memorable of the cast. She’s the main reason to watch this really. Another reason is to see Jamie Kennedy as Dr. Steven in a turn that is fun to watch and works with the film. The cast of Trick is good all-around without any sore thumb in the group. Of course, some performances are above the rest including that of Reyes.

One of the strong elements in Trick is how it’s shot. The film is shot in a manner to let the viewer see the kills with a bit editing that makes it a bit more active. The cinematography by Amanda Treyz and the editing by Tommy Aagaard pair up to make this possible and give the film a mood and feel that bring the murders to the screen in a manner that is fun and entertaining given that this is a slasher while also giving the film a bit more depth as it is also a cop film. The images created and put together serve the story and viewer very well.

Trick is a fun Halloween film for fans of slasher films may they be hardcore or casual; it’s gleefully violent and doesn’t make apologies for it. The film is perfect for this time of year and should easily become a fan-favorite, adding it to a short list of seasonal horror that hits just right.