Trick ‘r Treat is a fantastical, scary and funny update of 70s and 80s horror movie anthology flicks that provides laughs and chills aplenty.
Brian Dougherty is at the helm, and he was the first to admit that Trick ‘r Treat is “a weird movie – it’s not a remake, or an adaptation, and Hollywood doesn’t know what to do with original movies these days.”
The four tales interwoven in a style strongly reminiscent of 80s flicks like Cat’s Eyes, each section neatly dovetailing the last, and while it’s certainly slick with high production values, it retains the gritty edge that made those movies so much fun.
Produced by Bryan Singer, it’s no surprise to see Brian Cox and Anna Paquin popping up, the latter losing her innocence in fine, freaky style, while the former battles a pumpkin-headed Halloween ghostie with a big axe naturally, and has a royal time doing it. Before its release, the actor admitted that he wasn’t much of a horror fan, but agreed that “there was something special about this project… it celebrates the spirit of Halloween.”
Of the four vignettes on offer, Cox’s is the standout, a quick moving 20 minutes of ridiculous over the top action mainly consisting of the lead wrestling with a dwarf, a series of children in Jack O’Lantern masks and big grins from anyone watching who remembers Joan Collins fending of a demonic Santa Claus from their youth.
Other sections deal with a suburban couple ignoring tradition with grisly results, and a headmaster teaching some fat kids a lesson that won’t be forgotten. It’s standard Hammer House of Horror stuff, but it’s handled with such panache and cheek that it’s an instantly loveable movie that’s sure to feature on plenty of Netflix Halloween lists for years to come.
It may be one of the tamer movies you might catch, but also one of the most enjoyable. A genuine family horror film that’ll still rustle up it’s fair share of nightmares.
For more spine-chilling thrills to watch over Halloween, check out our complete 31 days of horror movies list.