Trick ‘r Treat (2007)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Trick ‘r Treat</strong> (2007)

(On DVD, December 2009) This straight-to-DVD horror feature may not aspire to sophistication, but It does manage to hit most of its targets as a horror film made for horror fans.  Trick ‘r Treat’s most distinguishing featuring has to be its playful non-chronological interweaving of separate short stories (four main ones, plus a prologue), into a tapestry of Halloween-themed gags.  Some of them are trite and obvious, while others have one or two surprises in store, but they’re all handled with a decent amount of skill, and the visual aspect of the film is as good as anything else in the genre.  Don’t look for redeeming social values, though: The “morals” of the film are ones that only gore-hounds will like, what with serial killers being set against each other, and people apparently being killed for not following a set of entirely arbitrary social conventions.  This being said, c’mon: It’s a self-consciously exploitative horror film about Halloween: it would be surprising if it wasn’t about gruesome deaths first, and everything else after.  Nonetheless, there are a few nice touches here and there as the acting talent slums a bit: Anna Paquin and friends are cute as not-so-innocent girls on the prowl, while Brian Cox and Dylan Baker turn in worthwhile performances.  Special credit also goes to midget scarecrow “Sam”, as close an iconic creation as the film gets.  Trick ‘r Treat all wraps up to a slickly-made, somewhat genre-centric horror film, not noteworthy in any way, but competent enough to warrant a Halloween party viewing or somesuch.

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