It’s always easier to pick films that you love for a retrospective review, hence my last two choices being The Exorcist and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. It’s easier to remember the classics than it is the films you felt nonplussed about. But I don’t really know how helpful it is to perspective blog followers to read reviews about how good The Exorcist is... I mean that isn’t earth shattering news. So with that in mind, I thought I’d review Trick 'r Treat. I’ve noticed that there are very positive feelings about this movie amongst many Horror fans ... and I genuinely can’t understand why. In fact, I have even seen this described as the best horror film in years, which is absolute madness.
There are some very positive elements to this film and I’ll start with them. Firstly, it looks gorgeous. The lighting of the film is absolutely perfect and enriches the Halloween atmosphere superbly. I quite liked the main bogeyman/boy, until the final scenes anyway. There are definitely some creepy moments and ideas (murdered children, who come back to haunt people, is always going to be creepy!) I also like the premise of weaving multiple stories together... it’s ambitious but that is to be admired.
However, none of this changes the fact that the film is dumb, shallow and not particularly scary. The vast majority of the storylines and events are quite cartoonish. The ambition of weaving multiple stories together doesn’t really work: this is no Pulp Fiction! When one shallow tale ends you aren’t really bothered about the next one beginning. You feel like you’ve just watched a 25 minute Halloween TV special – that wasn’t very good – and then you’re forced to watch another one...and then another one... only without even the small mercy of an advert break.
To be fair, I don’t really think that this movie is for us. I’m not sure it’s possible to love a film such as Suspiria and then be expected to think good things about Trick 'r Treat. I’m sure that any teenager looking for a popcorn flick on Halloween weekend would be very happy with this. Especially if they like Glee and have absolutely no idea about Horror movies...
I guess I just couldn’t buy in. I really don’t understand how this film has been so warmly received by elements of the horror community, I’m not sure what I’m missing. It looks great, but there is very little below that superficial level.
Don’t believe the hype.