This is a movie that is doubtful many have seen, but damn is it worth canonizing in the legacy that is horror greats. What starts as five narratives (spoiler) then evolves into one with complex characters that are fascinatingly built in a short period of time and a script that is both biting and brilliant at the same time. If you haven’t seen the 2007 film “Trick ‘r Treat,” then now is your time.
The pseudo-anthology film functions predominantly on tropes of myths, legends, fairy tales and folklore in accompaniment with horror rules and name actors, Anna Paquin being one in particular. And while the initial temporal qualities of the film may come across rather disjointed or queer, there is a thin thread that provides the viewer with a subtle hold on reality as you delve downward into the depths of the inner circles of hell.
For those who are strictly against the idea of horror harming children, then this film isn’t entirely for you. It preys very specifically on the title term and the traditional safety that comes with it. It utilizes the holiday of Halloween much differently from the film that bears its namesake. This film focuses on the iconography of the date and the various celebrations and rituals that emerge within it. It is utter brilliance.
Because of the distinct stories, the film never seems to drag on, but the length of each vignette of sorts never leaves you feeling it is too short. The pacing is near perfection. The costuming and set designs also couldn’t be more perfect. You are immersed within the world of suburbia with all its kindness, laughter and fun. You are immersed in a world that is quite possibly all-too-familiar to you. This is where Michael Dougherty lulls you into security. The intensity certainly comes in the internal turmoil you’ll feel, coupled with a jump scare or two for you.
I personally adore the cuteness that comes in the form of Sam, the image you see above on the movie poster. His impish like qualities and adoration for all that is good about All Hallow’s Eve give the movie and opportunity to call into question what we are celebrating and how we are celebrating it. Sam’s attachment to the ritualistic qualities of the holiday and his very strong love of candy can’t help but make you cringe at the smile that you’ll have upon his arrival. But, be warned, you’ll genuinely struggle with the smile as you’ll feel almost as if you’re facing an extreme test of conscious.
Another major selling point is the resurfacing of what I would say is a horror anthem, Marilyn Manson’s variation of “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of These).” The placement of the song, which is very lonely in a generally bare soundtrack, is a perfect shift in your viewing and it jams a shocking surprise sequence down your throat.
Enjoy with a big sucker or a bag of candy. It’ll be worth it.
Make sure that you have a jack o’lantern lit outside as you go to sleep. It’s the only way to keep the spirits at bay.