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151 of 164 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Trick 'r Treat has created cult status already...epicly!
I had a chance to see Trick 'r Treat at the Midwest Premiere in Chicago on the big screen and I am mystified as to why this excellent film was never given a full theatrical release? It far exceeded my expectations and I believe it to have already become a classic film for horror aficionados and lovers of the greatest holiday ever, Halloween.

The film is set up...
Published on August 18, 2009 by Bryan Schuessler

versus
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slasher Shocker
I should qualify my comments by saying up front that I am not a shock/slasher fan and prefer more atmospheric style horror films. My favorite horror film is a ghost story starring George C. Scott, called "The Changeling". Very, very, scary and no blood, knives, or deranged psycho-killers are included.

With several adventures involving different groups of people...
Published on November 1, 2011 by RodneyPaul


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151 of 164 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Trick 'r Treat has created cult status already...epicly!, August 18, 2009
This review is from: Trick 'r Treat (DVD)
I had a chance to see Trick 'r Treat at the Midwest Premiere in Chicago on the big screen and I am mystified as to why this excellent film was never given a full theatrical release? It far exceeded my expectations and I believe it to have already become a classic film for horror aficionados and lovers of the greatest holiday ever, Halloween.

The film is set up as a sort of anthology of short stories, yet they all intertwine and complement each other in the end. There is some great artwork in the tradition of Creepshow and at times reminded me of that film, but the main difference is Creepshow's stories are all their own and Trick 'r Treat follows one night with several groups and characters that each have their own encounter with a very evil character indeed. The film has lots of suspense, violence, gore, and some sexy nudity in one story involving werewolves. We also have a serial killer principal, some rotten teens trying to scare a nerdy girl, and a story told that is destined to be some type of urban legend in the future involving mentally disabled kids and a disastrous fate. The greatest thing about Trick 'r Treat is its style and campy flavor that truly stuck to the evil side of the tracks. The film was so much fun to watch and destined to be a genre classic.

It's too bad that an original idea comes to Hollywood and and they respond by not giving it a release in theaters and snubbing it. I was very lucky to see it in a theater at all. It really is a shame Hollywood is only pumping out atrocious sequels, remakes, and reinterpretations left and right. I guess seeing indie flicks is the only satisfaction I will be getting anytime soon, for the major studios are filling the theaters with boring horror crapfests!
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207 of 234 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Trick r Treat - A Surprise Shocker Classic, August 19, 2009
This review is from: Trick 'r Treat (DVD)
People all over the webbins have been talking about Trick r Treat for some time now - exploring conspiratorial notions on why the film has sat shelved for so long while rhapsodizing about just how well X-Men 2/Superman Returns scribe Michael Dougherty's directorial debut works. Having recently seen the film, I can tell you that I know why the film sat for years: It's one of the more ruthless studio-funded horror films ever made. It's not very gory or explicit at all - but it has a truly, deeply, bad attitude. If William Gaines penned morality plays this venomous - to hell with the Comics Code. He'd have probably served time. Trick r Treat is overflowing with the kind of anarchic, mean-spirited hilarity that never sits well with the suits.

One of the reasons the film feels so vile is that the people who populate the tale feel so utterly real. It's really hard to explain without spoiling a lot of what makes it work so well, but - to give you an idea - director Michael Dougherty explained to us that one of the notes he received during the production process was that the children he cast were "too young". Couldn't he make the kids older? Couldn't he cast hotter? That's not to say that elements of the cast aren't flat-out "foxy" (witness the sexi-sexi of Lauren Lee Smith and Rochelle Aytes) but there are sequences in the film that work perfectly because they're not about plasticine twentysomethings. Again - I can't explain exactly what I mean without doing you a disservice - but when you finally see the film, you'll understand completely.

Trick r Treat has been described in certain quarters as an anthology film - but that's not wholly accurate. In truth, the film possesses a non-linear narrative structure - it's more a Pumpkin Pulp Fiction than a Creepshow copy (though the EC Comics connection this film shares with Romero's classic make them kindred spirits - and a great double bill). The film moves back and forth between tales that, at first, seem to be related only by the presence of the mysterious, malevolent little creature seen in the film's promotional materials. Over the running time, we come to realize that the tiny creeper pops up for a reason - and even that detail is something I don't want to spoil for you.

Despite the aforementioned EC Comics vibe (wherein the table-turning reveal that hands the petty thief or adulterous couple their just desserts is par for the course), the twisted twistiness of Trick r Treat still manages to surprise. At different points during the running time, the audience could be heard to speculate on how they felt some swerve might play out - very early on, I had an idea of how I thought the tale featuring Dylan Baker should end - but I was convinced that there was no way my resolution would fly. That Dougherty was able to do exactly what common sense told me would be excised by an executive before it was ever filmed completely negated my anticipation of the last shot. The sequence ended the only way an understanding of the horror genre dictates it should - but instead of feeling "been there, done that" - the payoff plays like the reward for sitting through all of the committee-created genre projects that lack the spine to do it right. Another reveal - easily the film's most glorious - made me feel like a complete idiot. Thinking about it now, I still don't understand why I didn't call it with a chuckle the very moment True Blood's Anna Paquin awkwardly stepped out of her fitting room to face the derision of her friends. At least I wasn't alone - by the end of her character's arc, the audience I was part of sat in stunned silence...then burst into reverent applause - a response based on elements converging in a perfect storm: a beautifully-shot and edited sequence featuring a fantastic revelation, a flawless mix of practical and computer generated imagery, an awesome character beat - and one super-cool line of dialogue. You could sell the film with that single scene...if it didn't give so much away.

The most brilliant thing about Dougherty's film is how it uses Halloween holiday iconography to craft iconic visuals (if the film received the 3,000 screen release it so richly deserved, really cool parents would be dressing their kids up as "Sam" for years). It's Jack O' Lanterns and autumnal golds and vacuformed masks and flame retardant costumes that tie in the back and urban legends and classic monsters and tainted candy and everything else you know and love about October 31st. As so many before me (including Dougherty himself) have said, this is not a film that takes place during Halloween - this is a film about Halloween. It's about the reason for the season. Dougherty says his hope was that his film could become a Halloween holiday perennial - the one you watch every year. And trust me - it is. I'll watch Trick r Treat every CHRISTMAS - because the film is a gift.

Jason Pollock
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41 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars TRICK 'R TREAT blows away expectations! A treat, indeed!, March 1, 2010
This review is from: Trick 'r Treat [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
In October of 2007, a film was briefly marketed and then abruptly shelved by Warner Brothers. The film in question was Michael Dougherty's TRICK `R TREAT, and the theatrical trailer looked promising. Audiences were frustrated when Warner Brothers repeatedly pushed back the release date, and then, without warning, pulled the film completely out of the public eye.

There are a few reasons why this would have happened. For instance, Warner Brothers had just suffered from the box office dud that was SUPERMAN RETURNS, which was directed by Bryan Singer and was written by Michael Dougherty, who eventually helmed TRICK `R TREAT. Both individuals were probably seen as potential risk hazards for executives at Warner Brothers considering the failure of their previous film. Another reason could have been that they simply did not want to compete with the latest SAW-fest. Whatever the case, the people responsible for the marketing of this film should be ashamed - very ashamed - of themselves. TRICK `R TREAT premiered at several different film festivals, and won the audience award at Screamfest. Harry Knowles and other critics hailed it as one of the greatest Halloween films ever made. With all of the positive hype surrounding the film, no one could quite understand why the good people at WB had remained silent about it.

As of next Tuesday, TRICK `R TREAT will be released...on DVD. Now, there is a stigma attached to straight-to-DVD fare. This is for a reason. Getting a straight-to-DVD release is a bona-fide guarantee that the film sucks. It's never a good sign. However, TRICK `R TREAT is the exception to that rule. Technically, you could say that it doesn't qualify in the S.T.D.V.D. hall of shame simply because it actually screened in theatres, and won awards and critical acclaim, and you'd be right. The film is excellent. It is everything that you would expect it to be and more. It is the little Hallow's Eve indie that could, and has already gained a strong cult following.

What we have here is an homage to eighties horror films, such as CREEPSHOW, TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE: THE MOVIE, and CAT'S EYE. Each film is basically split up into three or four segments, each one telling a different story. TRICK `R TREAT follows this formula, but the narrative structure has more in common with PULP FICTION than anything else. The film is fun. It's not going to keep you up at night, but if you are on its wavelength, you are going to have one hell of a good time! With all of that being said, the film does have it's disturbing moments, but the humor contained within the film tends to balance it all out. We have stories of demons, zombies, werewolves, vampires...we even have a story that centers around an elementary school principal - played by Dylan Baker, with just the right amount of creepiness that made his deranged character in HAPPINESS so memorable and disturbing - who just so happens to be a serial killer. He knocks off children one by one by poisoning their candy. Afterwards, he proceeds to bury them in his backyard, while his son watches admiringly from the window. Yeah, this segment of the film was pretty controversial, and was probably another factor that caused mainstream film executives to shelve the film.

In short, it's the most fun that I have had with this particular genre in a long time! Both creepy and hilarious at the same time, this film delivers what it promises, and for those of you who have followed the film up until now, I can tell you this: believe the hype, it's all true - one of the best Halloween films that I have ever seen. If you love Halloween as much as I do, you'll understand why I loved it so much! Michael Dougherty has given us an instant classic.

Also stars Anna Paquin (THE PIANO, True Blood) and Brian Cox (BRAVEHEART, ADAPTATION).
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Viva La Horror Revolución, August 21, 2009
This review is from: Trick 'r Treat (DVD)
I caught Trick `r Treat at the Midwest premiere and was simply blown away. Like most horror fans out there, I have been following this movie since it was first announced and was anxious to see if it could live up to my expectations. And boy did it ever.

Trick `r Treat is a phenomenal movie that captures the spirit of the great `80s horror flicks. It gives us one night of interwoven stories that scare you, make you laugh, make you cry and make you cheer. All the right people get their comeuppance and the viewer is presented with a chewy moral center. The greatest offering Trick 'r Treat has is its heart and honesty. Director Michael Dougherty's passion for the genre bleeds out of the screen and into your heart. This doesn't feel like a photocopied version of what was once great, but instead an original masterpiece that ought to be studied and revered.

I walked out of this movie rejuvenated and filled with wonder. It reminded me of the first time I saw Return of the Living Dead, April Fool's Day, Dolls and so many other classics of the `80s. You see, this isn't gore porn, this isn't a remake, this wasn't originally in a foreign language and this doesn't star the WB actor of the month: THIS IS HORROR! This is a movie that speaks to fans, not one that speaks to our wallets. It speaks to you, not at you.

Now, I don't want to go into a commentary on Hollywood and the way they choose which movies we see, because ultimately, it isn't entirely their fault. We are the ones who spend the money that justifies what they make. If we keep putting money into seeing PG-13 remakes of our favorite horror films from the `80s (and in some cases `90s), it is our fault that they continue making them and watering down the horror gene pool. With the internet, fans have more power than ever to make their voices heard. If we don't fight for the types of movies we want to see, who will? Don't be bullied by Hollywood; fight back. I had never felt the need to really post reviews or opinions before; instead I would commiserate with friends about the inferior products I was being offered. Well, no longer will I passively sit by and watch the genre I love be destroyed. It is up to all of us to make a difference. I can only hope that Trick `r Treat is but the first shot fired in a horror movie revolution.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great way to start the Halloween season, September 30, 2009
By 
This review is from: Trick 'r Treat (DVD)
Halloween just happens to be one of Sid's favorite times of the year. When the cool weather starts moving in it just seems to inspire the need to watch horror films from laughable b to really great flicks, like our favorite and annually watched Halloween. One portion of horror that has always been our favorite is films comprised of shorter stories just like Creepshow 1&2 along with great t.v series like Tales from the Crypt/Darkside. There's just something great about getting to see multiple ideas within one film, which is why Trick 'r Treat was such a welcomed release.

The film is made up of four short stories all intertwined in someway all taking place in a small town. The stories are somewhat built on Halloween folklore taking a very original and creepy twist the entire way through. You'll get to enjoy a serial killer teacher, sexy werewolves, young vengeful zombies, and an extremely creepy half pint pumpkinhead. Overall a really enjoyable film which kicked off Sid's Halloween season just right. Despite a few negative reviews, we'd have to agree with most who loved it. Sure it's not something that's going to scare you to death but it's very entertaining and perfect to watch this time of year. This is one we did and would have enjoyed years back.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Captures the spirit of Halloween, October 11, 2009
By 
This review is from: Trick 'r Treat (DVD)
I'm glad to finally have the opportunity to watch Trick r Treat. As most horror fans know, WB pulled the movie from release 2 years ago for reasons unknown, but I'm glad they finally got the good sense to release it to the public. As a DVD, is is lacking a bit. There is only one extra feature on the disc, an animated short called Season's Greetings. Apparently the Blu Ray has all the extras.

As for the film itself, it perfectly accomplished what it set out to do. It is a finely crafted tribute to the season of Halloween, and every single frame is jam packed with Halloweern atmosphere. This is the perfect DVD to pop into the player and watch on a chilly October evening while you kick back with a bowl of candy and the wind howls at your windows. I strongly recommend it.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hallowe'en the way you remember it..., September 9, 2010
By 
Andrew Thompson "a.k.a. Jake Kincaid, Jack of... (Intellectually Underrated Deep South (Birmingham, AL, to be precise)) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Trick 'r Treat (DVD)
I first saw the trailer for this film watching "300", and remember thinking "Wow, when does THIS come out?!" I waited and waited, and, never hearing anything, did my internet research to find that it was stalled, sitting on a shelf somewhere in the studio, finally to be released direct-to-DVD.

I, like many, read a lot of the hype, and the more I read, the more I really, REALLY wanted to see it.

I was NOT disappointed.

While I know many were disappointed in the film, both for it's format and content, I was delighted: Finally, an original idea, and WHAT an idea! Sure, comic-type anthologies have been done before, but this one took the whole concurrent timeline style and incorporated everything I remember from Hallowe'en as a kid. Each story was brought to me in a creepy and intriguing fashion, and whereas I've seen complaints that the stories were too short and not enough was given, I look at them from the perspective of campfire ghost stories: we never knew the back-story of the guy with the hook that haunted lover's lanes, now did we? We knew the old woman that lived alone in the spooky old house was someone to avoid, but we didn't know her whole history. Trick 'r Treat, like those old tales we heard as kids, gives us as much as we need...and that's plenty.

The characters were believable and well-acted (and with Sam, I do believe that we have a whole new icon for the holiday), the legends, myths, and superstitions of Hallowe'en were blended perfectly into the storylines, and while it wasn't a "scary" movie per se, there was a prevailing sense of mystery and fear that ran throughout the night portrayed in the movie's confines...

...and for me, it definitely took me back to that eight-year old boy with the plastic costume and vaccu-formed mask, toddling about to get treats, but having respect, awe, and no small amount of fear of just what might really be milling around in the darkness of All Hallows Eve.

If you love Hallowe'en, you should really add this one to your collection.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film, great Blu, October 3, 2009
This review is from: Trick 'r Treat [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Finally. Customers had been asking about this for years now, and after screening this all weekend, I do not feel there will be any disappointment. I typically do not screen many horror films, but this was truly a treat.

Four story lines are relayed non-lineally as a town (actually a neighborhood block) experiences the most horrific Halloween night one can imagine. Admittedly, I caught a great deal more while listening to the commentary on the second viewing, but this is that kind of film - you have to watch it more than once, but it is worth every moment. You will get your scares, suspense, twisted trick-r-treating, a few critters, and some great acting by both kids and adults alike.

The Blu quality looks superb, and there are loads of opportunity for failure with the all-night shoots, candles lighting virtually every indoor scene, and the associated CGI sequences. The sound and scoring are adequate (though I would have loved to hear this in DTS). The supplements are great and include:
* 17 minutes of deleted scenes with optional commentary. Between this and the main commentary it is quite apparent how much of a battle it was with Warner to get this film made. *rant* Warner really stinks *rant*. Some of the best humor and darkness was eliminated - but at least we get to see it here.
* 3:45 minute animated short. Low grade little clip that shows some original inspiration for this film.
* 1 minute CGI/FX comparison of the bus sequence - forgettable.
* 27:18 minute making of/history of Halloween. Narrated by Brian Cox - well worth the watch. Good information, solid interviews and worthy background material.
* The crew commentary. Totally worth listening to all of the funny things they had to go through in making this - plus they point out every single little nuance from the background scenes. As stated earlier, you might want to watch it twice, and with this option on.

No real detractions here except for the story behind the release story with Warner. Enjoy.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars trick r treat is fantastic!, August 19, 2009
This review is from: Trick 'r Treat [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
To have just seen this last night and know it has been sitting at Warner Brothers doing nothing for two years is a sad sad thing.I've known about this movie in the vaguest of ways for about two years now.Watching this last night was damn amazing.This really should be seen by people,it is a great anthology of Halloween stories.The group of kids pulling a prank was the highlight.You can understand the way WB was thinking by how the writer/director afterwards said the studio wanted hot 20 somethings instead of real kids.Sometimes thinking about the projects that don't get funded or sit in a vault like this,and then think about the garbage that does come out makes me mad.I can't wait to see this again.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't you just want a little Sam for yourself now?, October 13, 2009
By 
Joy (Texas, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Trick 'r Treat (DVD)
Trick r Treat is one of the most original horror movies I've seen in so long! I was very surprised. It wasn't scary (in my opinion), but Sam carried that cute, creepy vibe, which I loved and always seems to add points in horror movies. I also enjoyed how all the stores seemed to slightly overlap each other in the end and you just giggled to yourself thinking "I know what they just did".

In short, this movie isn't for those horror fanatics that love the scare, because, in truth, I don't think Trick r Treat delivered in that department. If you're the horror fanatic that enjoys a good, funny, and very original take on Halloween and its mischeif, then Trick r Treat is the movie for you!
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Trick 'r Treat
Trick 'r Treat by Michael Dougherty (DVD - 2009)
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