Trick ‘r Treat (2007)

Written and directed by Michael Dougherty.  Starring Leslie Bibb, Jean-Luc Bilodeau, Brian Cox, Richard Harmon, Brett Kelly, Connor Levins, Quinn Lord, Anna Paquin, Tahmoh Penikett, Lauren Lee Smith and Samm Todd.

Plot: a series of scary stories weave into one another in a fantastic way (don’t worry, it is not confusing at all so long as you’re paying attention).

I’ve already used the word fantastic to describe the plot, so you probably already know that I enjoyed this movie.  And DJ enjoyed it, too.  There could have been some more hot guys to even out the number of sexy girls, but I forgive them.  Horror movies are what they are.

Trick ‘r Treat follows the cutest little killer ever in a movie, Sam (Lord).  Sam walks around in a burlap type mask over a really rounded head.  It’s Halloween and he’s carrying a sack of something and he’s bringing comeuppances, too.  It’s good.  It’s all good.  No story is a miss. It’s original.  It’s crafty.  It follows the rules it lays out.  There are the guilty and there are the innocent and everything plays out exactly as it should.

First, we meet Emma, a wife who blows out a jack-o’-lantern against Henry (Penikett), her hot husband’s, advice. It’s bad luck and it comes back to haunt her, of course. Then, there’s Principal Wilkins (Baker), who enjoys poisoning children, like Charlie (Kelly), and then carving their heads with his young son, Billy (Levins). And even after that murder, he still goes out, without his son, to murder some more. Then, there’s Laurie (Paquin), a young woman who misses trick-or-treating, but her sister, Danielle (Smith), wants her to come to a party in the woods instead. Reluctantly, she joins her sister and all her friends, who turn out to be more than some men – including Principal Wilkins – were prepared for.

An urban legend about a bus driver that was paid – by their own parents – to kill eight disabled children, is the driving force behind the other stories we follow. In one, several kids decide to prank a strange girl named Rhonda (Todd), just because she’s strange. They pretend to be the dead kids from the bus and that backfires horribly, as it should. The other story, the last real story, is about a Mr. Kreeg (Cox), a crotchety old man who steals candy from kids. He ends up getting a much needed visit from Sam and then some other even more unwelcome guests arrive because the old man has been keeping some heinous secrets.

You should trust me when I tell you that this is an impressive piece of work.  It’s fun to watch, there’s incredible innovation, a magnificent cast, awesome effects, a nice soundtrack and a killer beginning and end. Me and DJ even managed to completely agree while scoring it. This should be on everyone’s Halloween Movie Playlist.

Our score: 85.

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